This is the calorie count that makes the perfect snack, as per experts

This is the calorie count that makes the perfect snack, as per experts
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  • A good snack should provide 150 calories for both diabetic and non diabetic individuals, say medical experts.
  • Snacking between meals is very important, especially for diabetics, as most of them are obese or overweight and snacking helps maintain post-meal sugar level.
  • There is no special diet for diabetics
While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the most favoured meal is certainly mid-meal snacks. Be it aloo bhujia, biscuits or even instant noodles — Indians love to binge between meals.

But a mid-meal snack, ideally, shouldn’t contain more than 150 calories, said Dr HB Chandalia, director in endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre.

Counting snacking calories is more important for diabetics. “A good snack for diabetes should provide 150 calories, which is the usual amount of calories one should have in a snack. It should have a good ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats,” Dr Chandalia said in Britannia’s media briefing.

However, snacking between meals is also important for diabetics and it helps maintain post meal sugar level, Dr Chandalia explained.

“In our practice, we have almost found 55%-60% of diabetic patients to be obese or overweight. We have to give them a little bit lower calories during the day — 500 calories less than what they are eating and we have to divide the meals very well because if the same amount of calories is consumed in only two big meals, then the post-meal sugar management will become difficult,” he added.


Dividing meals is very important for diabetics, and a good practice in general too. Having more than two meals and a few snacks during the day helps in dividing the intake of calories, carbohydrates and protein and therefore, management becomes a lot easier.

However, the snack has to be healthy. It has to be easily available and in hygienic form, he added.

‘Snack on natural foods, not packed foods’

According to a nutritionist, snacking can also help if they are of the right kind and colour.

‘’There is no special diet for diabetes; the whole idea is to nourish the body by taking various nutrients in the right proportion and right time. The focus should be on eating lots of seasonal colourful vegetables, consuming healthy fats and adequate protein sources. For carbs, choose a variety of whole grains,” said Chhavi Kohli, chief diabetes educator and nutritionist at Medanta the Medicity, Gurgaon.

She further added, “Do not miss fruits, use them as snacks and avoid packaged and processed food items. Also, a lot of myths prevail around the right diet for diabetes. Do not fall prey to misinformation. Always consult certified nutritionists and diabetes educators for your diabetes.”

India is said to be the diabetes capital as it stands second in the list of most diabetics in the world after China. In the South-East region, more than 96 million people are estimated to have diabetes, and another 96 million to be pre-diabetic, causing at least 600,000 deaths annually.

“By 2045, unless urgent action is taken, the prevalence of diabetes in the region is expected to increase by 68 per cent," Dr Poonam Khetrapal, WHO regional director for South-East Asia, said.

It is more common among people aged between 40-60 years and a report by Tata 1mg further found that it is much more prevalent among men than women in India.

“As the prevalence of diabetes rises, more young adults and adolescents tend to develop diabetes, particularly if they are overweight/obese,” said Dr Prashant Nag, clinical head, Tata 1mg Labs.

The major reason behind a massive surge in diabetes is an unhealthy lifestyle, which includes lack of physical activity, excessive fast-food consumption, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

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