Sunday, February 28, 2010

Late Night Snacking

Here is a question I recently received from

I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. During the day at work I eat very little, but in the evenings and weekends, I can’t seem to stay out of the kitchen. Do you have any suggestions to control my snacking in the evenings and weekends?

Increased appetite during later parts of the day can be a direct cause of skipping meals or not eating sufficient breakfast, lunch, and/or snacks. As a diabetic, it is EXTREMELY important not to skip meals.

Think of your body as a car. Your car needs fuel (gas) in order to function. If you deprive your car of gas, it won't run. Your body works in the same way.

Carbohydrate, specifically, is needed as fuel for the body. While carbohydrate intake needs to be monitored with diabetes, the body needs it in order to function. Carbohydrates break down in your body into glucose (or blood sugar). A chemical in your body known as insulin normally joins with glucose, and regulates your blood sugar by entering your cells to be used as energy. With diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or insulin doesn't work correctly. Therefore, as a diabetic, you no longer have the liberty to skip meals.

Besides ensuring you eat at least 3 meals daily, here are some other tips to help suppress late-night hunger:
-Drink something! Often, we confuse hunger for thirst. Choosing water or low calorie drinks such as diet sodas, coffee, tea, and Crystal Light may help.
-Distract yourself! People often eat out of boredom. Mindless eating in front of the television is a surefire way to overindulge. Try to do something active or find a new hobby.
-Portion control! If you feel like you must eat something, portion out a sensible size and leave the kitchen. Do not take the bag with you! Or, choose one snack pack.
-Choose foods wisely! Many junk foods are tasty, but not filling. Picking a starch (preferably whole grain!) with a protein, such as a half of a sandwich or peanut butter and graham crackers, will not only satisfy your tastebuds, but fill you up on much less calories!

Best of luck!

Check back soon for my next post!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sugar Substitutes

Here is a question I recently received from

What is the best sugar substitute to use for baking and daily use for diabetics?

Sugar substitutes come in different varieties and go by many a name- Sucralose (Splenda), Saccharin (Sweet and Low), Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), and Acesulfame K (Sunett). Each of these sweeteners are FDA-approved and are considered safe to consume. While much debate exists between which are better choices, the bottom line is to choose the one that best agrees with your tastebuds!

Note that many "diet" and "sugar-free" foods to allow diabetics to be able to enjoy their favorite foods more often, while following diet guidelines.

A word of caution on baking- since artificial sweeteners do not share the same properties of sugar, be wary when making recipe modifications. An improper substitution may affect the quality of the product. Official websites of brand name artificial sweeteners contain a variety of recipes in which sweeteners can be used in baked goods- be sure to check them out.

Also, remember sugar is not the only source of carbohydrate in baked goods- fruits, starch (flour, grains), and dairy must also be taken into carbohydrate count.

Happy baking!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I am a Registered Dietitian and a Nutrition Editor at - a website designed to help people with diabetes.

Please check back soon for updates and credible nutrition information.