Ducks 'n a Row: Diabetic? Get Smart About Hunger and Take It To The Ground!

03 May 2016

Diabetic? Get Smart About Hunger and Take It To The Ground!

I have been compensated by Glucerna for this post, however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. Talk with your health care provider about a diabetes management plan that is right for you. #GlucernaHungerSmart #CollectiveBias

diabetes, care giver, cravings, Glucerna Hunger Smart

Do you have diabetes or are you caring for someone who does? Either way, I think you'll agree that it is tricky, at best. You feel like you are in a wrestling match! One moment you are winning, the next you are not. You get the picture. Managing diabetes can be frustrating but it is essential to good health and quality of life that it be done.

diabetes, meal plan, curb hunger, curb cravings, vanilla, chocolate
As the caregiver for a diabetic -my hubby- I am the one who plans the menu, shops and prepares the meals. Sounds simple enough. But truly it is NOT that simple. I cannot put the food in his mouth (or bat it away if it is an unwise choice.) He is in control, ultimately, of what he does. 

So, if you are a caregiver, like me, let me lighten your load just a bit. Do your best to provide the right foods that taste good but know that it is not your responsibility to do all the thinking for him/her. They need to understand diabetes for themselves, see their health care professional on a regular basis and test their blood-sugar levels several times a day.

How You Can Help
Diabetes sufferers need to eat a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, low fat dairy products and protein (beans, lean meat, poultry and fish.) Start by preparing meals for your entire family that are consistent with healthy eating and everyone will benefit from it. 

Diabetes is a balancing act. Diabetes sufferers, like the rest of us but more-so, deal with temptation to eat the wrong things. Hunger and cravings come into play exponentially for diabetics. Their bodies call out for the very things that they shouldn't have. 

One of the things I hate the most about diabetes is that their blood sugar can "crash" (go dangerously low) without warning. When that happens, a quick drink of orange juice may save their lives. Thankfully, I have been present almost every time that my husband has had one of these scary episodes. Many times it happens in the middle of the night, in a blink of an eye. They are so debilitating; he shakes so much that he is unable to move. I make the mad dash for the refrigerator to grab the lifesaving brew. 

So how can you help? Be prepared. Stock your kitchen with the right foods. There are ways that you can meet the desire for sweet treats and squash between-meal hunger to maintain that delicate balance. 

In my opinion, the best practice is for them to eat a naturally sweet treat along with some form of protein like cheese or nuts. Sweets on their own, even natural sweets, can tip blood sugar in the wrong direction. 

Remember, also, that quantity is as important as quality. Many times diabetics are struggling to lose weight. Small snacks can go a long way toward satisfying a craving and prevent the person from putting on excess pounds. 

So let's take a look at some food possibilities to fight hunger and control cravings:

diabetes, snacks, cravings, Glucerna
Fresh fruit and berries - not canned or dried. 

Whole grain, high fiber, lower-carb crackers are best.
Ricotta cheese has a sweetness to it. Eat 1/4 cup with a spoon as a creamy dessert. Sprinkle it with cinnamon for variety!
Cream cheese on a whole grain cracker is very satisfying
Cheese sticks also make a quick, portable snack. 

protein, snack, low carb, diabetic diet
Nuts - walnuts, almonds, pecans and so on.

Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes in vanilla and chocolate
 Whole wheat or bran berry muffin 
Small and naturally sweetened.

Sugar -Free Gelatin
Top it with a small dollop of whipped topping for a tasty snack.

diabetes, snacks
Slice of Apple 
Top it with peanut butter for that protein balance.

Diabetes management includes good, healthy snacks

Vanilla or Chocolate
Keep some bottles in the refrigerator for an easy, healthful meal or snack that is easy to take with you when you are on the go. 

Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes are available at Walmart. That is where I bought mine. I found them right in the pharmacy section among the weight loss and nutritional items.

As I was reading about this product, I got very excited. I've wished for a while now that hubby would try it. I'd always known that Glucerna® was very high in nutrition with 25 vitamins and minerals. 

But then I heard about the protein content of the Hunger Smart shakes. Protein curbs hunger and they are packed full of it! Each serving has 15 grams of protein plus Carbsteady® which is a slowly-digestible carbohydrate that helps minimize blood sugar spikes. Keeping that blood sugar at a healthy, steady level is great news. I love it. 

Now, the difference between these nutritional shakes and others out there is that they are specifically designed for people with diabetes. They are 50% higher in protein and 66% lower in sugars. 

Of course, taste is very important. My husband won't consume anything that doesn't taste good. So, before I asked him to try it, I opened a bottle and tried it myself. Wow. It tastes really good and he likes it, too. Yipee! 

*Diabetics, be sure to use this product under medical supervision.

SAVE: Now, this is good news. Walmart has a money saving offer on Glucerna® Hunger Smart Shakes. 

Below you will find a recap of the snacks along with a run down of how to plan meals for diabetics. There is also a link to a FREE worksheet that will help you in preparing your grocery lists.

#GlucernaHungerSmart Shakes in vanilla and chocolate, diabetes care #ad
Snack List
1. Whole Grain Muffins
2. Fresh Fruit and Berries
3. Sugar Free Gelatin
4. Whole Grain Crackers & Cheese
5. Apple Slice and Peanut Butter
6. Nuts

How To Shop and Cook for Diabetics
  1. Plan on three balanced meals and 2-3 snacks per day. 
  2. Each meal should have protein and carbohydrates (refer to the list of healthy foods at the beginning of this post.) 
  3. Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes are a perfect meal replacement for diabetics - especially those who are on a weight loss plan. I think I would have mine for lunch. 
  4. Stock up on items from the snack list above plus finger-food type vegetables such as cucumbers, green or red peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, celery and carrots. 
Here is a printable check-list that you can use for building your grocery shopping list.

So, after I have talked and talked here, what ways have you learned to control diabetic cravings? 

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