All of my adult life I believed that avoiding eating between meals was the ticket to avoiding weight gain. In other words, I believed that 3 meals a day with no snacks in-between was the Holy Grail of healthy weight management. Religously, even: I regarded snacking as the Ultimate Excess whose Temptation never ceases. Now I come to find out that it's a good thing. Talk about your paradigm shift!
I guess I heard the rhetoric about the importance of healthy snacking for diabetics some time following diagnosis, but who could concentrate on that with so darn many changes to get used to? I was more concerned about the warnings that going on insulin can cause weight gain. And I sure didn't want to deal with dosing for carbs more often than absolutely necessary (still don't).
But it's true... Eating between meals is even considered quite important for people with diabetes!
This fact hit me like a lightening bolt at a recent TCOYD conference* (not the frozen yogurt!), which I never really had a chance to blog about properly. Nutritionist Paige Reddan of LifeScan, Inc. gave an excellent talk about Truths and Myths of diabetic eating.
What I learned is pretty much common sense, but powerful nonetheless:
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- food intake should be distributed throughout the day into frequent small meals and snacks
- 'cause you need to feed your body throughout the day while it's active
- between-meal snacks are even built into many diabetic meal plans (which is smart because it's haphazard snacking that gets you into trouble)
Now that I can finally embrace my snacking (instead of hiding my guilty munching), I think I'm making better snack choices, and I feel a heck of a lot less famished at mealtime (which reduces the cranky factor). I call this Progess!