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Moderation is the key -- whether diabetic or not

by Rosemary Boggs | April 23, 2018 at 1:47 a.m.

My motto is: Live every day to the fullest -- in moderation.

-- Actress Lindsay Lohan

I learned a new word recently that I just had to share. I saw it on a friend's Facebook page and realize that it's something I've been guilty of.

According to, "snaccident" (pronounced snax-eh-dent) is when food is consumed in an accidental, often regrettable way. This can refer to accidentally eating food of questionable quality and/or quantity.

Maybe it's a bag of chips or cookies, or your favorite fast food goodies. You start out planning to have a cookie or two, maybe a handful of chips, and the next thing you know the bag is empty and you barely remember eating it.

For some, guilt might set in, for others, it may be a trigger to eat more and more. And chances are we're not going to be reaching for a bag of baby carrots or kale chips.

I remember back when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. At first I was running scared. Did one candy bar mean I'd experience hyperglycemic shock? Or would a slice of birthday cake bring on a diabetic coma or stroke. That was a bit of an overreaction, but at the time it was new to me. Life as I knew it had to change, and boy did I resent it.

I've since come to terms with things -- for the most part. I realize that even if I wasn't diabetic, I should still practice moderation and use common sense when eating.

But no matter how good I work to be most of the time, there are those days I just want a sweet snack. I found that by cutting back drastically I was sort of setting myself up for an eventual "snaccident."

I ran across an article on the website of Everyday Health ( titled "What candy can people with diabetes eat and how much is safe?" Written by registered dietitian Amy Gorin, the gist is that candy, a snack favorite of many, isn't totally off limits just because we're diabetic, and we can incorporate it into our diet.

The article also quotes Rainie Carter, a registered dietitian in Birmingham, Ala., who suggests thinking of candy as a dessert versus a snack. "Changing that mentality allows people to think about eating candy in smaller portions. We are typically fuller from the meal and therefore eat less candy or sweets than we would have before."

And that doesn't mean we have to turn to sugar-free versions that sometimes contain tummy-upsetting sugar alcohols.

The 2015-2020 Dietery Guildelines for Americans ( recommends limiting added sugars, the type found in candy, to less than 10 percent of our daily calories.

Although a fun-size or miniature candy here or there is fine for many diabetics, it's important to take blood sugar into account. If it's higher than recommended, it's not a good idea to eat high-carbohydrate food, including candy, according to contributor Diane Norwood, a registered dietitian in Virginia. She suggests checking blood sugar before eating the candy and then two hours after to help determine if the portion size is acceptable.

"With or without diabetes," Carter says, a small treat can help curb a sweet tooth without leaving us feeling deprived or with a sugar crash later." Sticking with fun size helps with portion control. Well, that and walking away from the candy bowl after a treat.

Some suggestions:

• Peanut M&M's, one fun size. Candies with nuts can be higher in calories, but they can have better blood sugar response.

• Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, one snack size. The second ingredient, peanut butter, offers some satiating fat, protein and fiber to help tide you over.

• Skittles, one fun size. It's pretty sugary, but this candy can be used to treat low blood sugar in a pinch. Because it contains no protein or fat, it will hit the bloodstream more quickly.

• Snickers, 3 miniatures. There is some protein and fiber, which can help slow down how quickly the body digests the food and helps us feel full longer.

When in doubt discuss it with your doctor or diabetes educator.

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ActiveStyle on 04/23/2018

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