What makes for a good bedtime snack?
By Barbara A
Diabetics are told to watch what they eat, keep their blood sugar under control and maintain a healthy weight. So, it would seem that a bedtime snack goes against all these instructions. Given the nature of diabetes and how it affects those diagnosed, the right bedtime snack can actually help them.
Why Diabetics Need Bedtimes Snacks
Depending on the diabetes prescriptions a diabetic takes, either injected insulin or an oral medication, he could experience a nighttime dip in his blood sugar levels. If the level goes low enough, this can be potentially deadly, so a small, healthy nighttime snack can help prevent this problem
Oral medications that have been implicated in nighttime hypoglycemia include glipizide, glyburide and glimepiride. If he skips meals, exercises at night or drinks alcohol, he is also at higher risk of developing symptoms of nighttime hypoglycemia.
Choose the Right Snacks
The diabetic patient who deals with nighttime hypoglycemia should choose about 1 ounce of protein and 15 to 30 grams of healthy complex carbohydrates. Low-fat cheese, skim milk, graham crackers, sugar-free pudding or low-fat yogurt with no sugar are all excellent choices.
Other good bedtime snacks include 1/2 cup of canned fruit in light syrup or a small piece of fruit. Combined with about 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese, this gives him the protein and carbohydrates his body needs to avoid an episode of nighttime hypoglycemia.
Nighttime hypoglycemia develops when the amount of blood sugar and the amount of medication or insulin in the diabetics body are out of balance. He will wake up feeling bad; he may have a nightmare caused by his low blood sugar; soaking night sweats; confusion when he wakes up or a headache and he may feel extremely tired in the morning. If he does not discuss his symptoms with his doctor, he could slip into a coma, develop seizures or die. While that nighttime snack sounds like a frivolous allowance, it can save the life of a diabetic.
Diabetes Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Count Carbohydrates?
How do I follow a basic healthy diet?
Is there a difference between carbohydrates?
How often should I monitor my blood sugar?
How Do I Count Carbohydrates on my Diabetic Meal Plan?
What are the causes of high blood sugars (hyperglycemia)?
What should I know about the glycemic index?
Can I drink alcohol on my meal plan?
How can I eat out without going off my meal plan?
How does alcohol effect my diabetes?
How does having neuropathy affect my exercise?
What are some tips for the person with neuropathy who exercises?
How do I get a good blood sample for checking glucoses?
What are the benefits I can expect from regular exercise?
What role does water play in my diabetic care plan?
How do I lose weight with exercise?
How does exercise affect my blood sugars?
How can I prevent hyperglycemia?
How does exercise promote weight loss in my disease?
What is Hyperglycemia?
What is hypoglycemia?
What can cause an error in blood sugar readings with a meter?
What is hypoglycemia and what causes it?
What can cause errors in my blood sugar readings.?
How can I prevent hypoglycemia?
How do I check ketones?
What is the significance of ketones in my disease?
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What causes type 1 diabetes?
How is hypoglycemia treated?
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Am I at risk for developing diabetes?
How do I balance my diet?
What is the hemoglobin a1c?
How do I use food exchanges in my diabetic diet?
If it's sugar-free, can I eat as much as I want?
How does insulin deficiency cause ketones?
What are ketones and how do they effect me?
What are the symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugars)?
What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?
What are some guidelines for sick days?
What is a good recipe for chicken and vegetables?
How do I start an exercise program?
What is type 2 diabetes?
Can diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?
How much fat should my diet include?
How can I use the information I obtain from blood glucose monitoring?
What do I do if my blood sugar is high?
How is type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes treated?
What causes my blood sugars to be high?
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What is microalbumin?
How does illness affect my blood sugar?
What is type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes?
What are the different types of diabetes?
What tests are used to monitor my diabetes?
What are the monitoring tests a person with diabetes needs?
What are some causes of hypoglycemia?
What are some sick day foods?
What can I eat on my sick days?
How can I prevent hypoglycemia when exercising?
How is type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes treated?
Are over-the-counter medications safe with my diabetes?
What are the warning signs that I may be overdoing it with my exercise?
What are some warning signs I should know about when exercising?
How do I choose an exercise thatīs right for me?
What kind of exercise is right for me?
How does exercise help my heart and my diabetes?
What are the carciovascular benefits I can expect from exercise?
What is lipodystrophy?
What is the relationship between diabetes and anemia?
How can diabetes contribute to falls?
How does my blood sugar effect my mood?
What is ketoacidosis and what causes it?
What is amyotrophy and what does it have to do with diabetes?
What is the Dawn Phenomenon?
What is the Somogyi Effect?
What is the relationship between pre-eclampsia and diabetes?
What is gastroparesis and what does it have to do with diabetes?
Explain Juvenile Diabetes.
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What is gestational diabetes?
What is pre-diabetes?
What is Type II Diabetes?
What is Type I diabetes?
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Will my glucometer support alternate site testing?
Why should I do controls on my glucometer?
How do I maintain my glucose meter?
Is there a glucometer than can sample and test my blood in one step?
What can I do if my glucometer doesn't seem to be working right?
What kind of features can I find in a glucometer?
How do I go about getting started exercising?
How do I get started exercising?
Why should I exercise?
What is aerobic exercise?
I need more information about flexibility exercises.
What can you tell me about strength training?
How will my body respond to exercise if I am diabetic?
How do I avoid injuries when I am exercising?
What can I do to exercise, if I hate to exercise?
How does exercise impact my metabolism?
What can I do about my dry skin?
Why does my choice of socks make a difference?
How should I take care of my toenails?
Who makes the different glucometers?
is there a difference in lancets and lancing devices?
What should I see a Podiatrist
What kind of shoes should I buy, now that I have diabetes?
Why am I so sad, now that I have diabetes?
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What are the different types of insulin?
I have heard about nasal spray insulin - is this available, yet?
What is the insulin pump and how does it work?
If there a way to test my blood sugar withou poking my finger?
I have trouble drawing up my insulin - is there another way?
Why should I have a Diabetes Educator?
Why do some people take insulin and oral medications for their diabetes?
What should I know about oral anti-diabetes medication?
Why is choosing the right syringe so important?
What does an Endocrinologist do?
What are some tips to manage my insulin?
What is the best way to manage my test strips?
How do I code my strips to my glucometer?
How do the diabetic testing strips work?
What is the main difference between the test strips?
Can I actually choose my testing strips?
Can you give me some tips for handling those tiny little test strips?
How do I avoid making mistakes with my test strips?
Will Medicare cover my diabetic supplies?
Will Medicare care pay for self-management training?
Will Medicare pay for screening for diabetes?
What is Medicare Health Support?
What is Medicare D and how will if effect me?
What should I consider when I choose a Part D Plan?
Will Medicare pay for my diabetic supplies?
How does Medicare D impact my Medigap coverage?
What is the Standard Medicare D Plan?
What will Medicare Part A cover?
If I have VA insurance, do I need to register for Medicare Part D?
Do I get Medicare Part D if I am already on DSHS?
What is the "Welcome to Medicare" physical exam?
When am I eligible for Medicare?
What should I look for when picking a Medicare Part D plan.
How do I compare the formularies in the Medicare Part D Plans?
Who is providing these Medicare Part D plans?
What should I look out for when choosing a Medicare Part D plan?
What are Medicare Advantage Plans?
Where can I get information about Medicare Part D?
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Can I balance my vegetarian and diabetic diets?
Can I eat sugar on my diabetic meal plan?
I need some help balancing the carbs in my diet. What do you suggest?
What information should I get from nutrition labels?
What are sugar-alcohols and how do they impact my diabetes?
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Why would I want to see a Registered Dietitian if I have diabetes?
What are the benefits of keeping a food diary?
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What makes for a good bedtime snack?
What are the best snack foods for me to eat?
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I need help figuring out food portions. What do you suggest?
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What is a Nutritionist and what do they do?
There are alot of new diets out there. Are they safe for me?
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What do you think about Dr. Mary Vernons'treatment for type 2 diabetics where the patient cuts out almost all carbs out of their diet. Is this a permenent solution? What are the risks involed? Thank you for your time and advice.
Why is it so important for a diabetic to have a nighttime snack?