When it comes to diabetes management even a small folly could eventually end up scuttling your blood glucose control goals. Experts point out that despite opting for diabetes friendly snacks, people with diabetes sometimes end up opting for processed and packaged dips like ketchups and salad dips instead of healthy dips that raise their blood sugar levels.
How dips affect your diabetes management plans
These dips or condiments not only come with preservatives but also have trans fats and sugars which can spike up the sugar levels and cause health complications.
“People who consume tomato ketchup on a daily basis are unaware that it has corn syrup in it which leads to an increase in the sugar levels,” says Dr Sridevi Atluri, consultant, diabetes and endocrinology, Manipal Hospital Whitefield.
Dr Atluri adds pairing snacks with condiments like mayonnaise, peanut butter, cheese dips is not recommended as it will increase insulin resistance because of their high fatty acid. The high calorie foods also lead to weight gain and cause unhealthy cholesterol issues.
Diabetologist Dr Ashwitha Shruti Dass says if people with diabetes repeatedly include unhealthy foods with preservatives like high sodium and sugars in their diet, it can aggravate issues like hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol and other comorbidities which can pose a health risk for people with diabetes.
Opt for home-made dips
It is always recommended to carefully read the list of ingredients on ketchup bottles and packages to ensure whether it is diabetes friendly or not. But experts point out that a better and more diabetes friendly option is to make your own healthy dips at home.
“It is advisable to stick to home-made dips like tomato chutney made with fresh tomatoes, peanut chutney or anything made of natural vegetables except high GI root vegetables,” suggests Dr Atluri.
Nutritionist Nidhi Nigam says, for people with diabetes it is best to prepare healthy dips using natural and low calories ingredients like avocados, tomatoes, nuts and seeds etc which turn out to be tasty and healthy.
“It is best to make dips from scratch, picking diabetes-friendly natural ingredients with low glycemic index ,” adds dietitian Deepalekha Banerjee.
Dietitian Deepalekha Banerjee suggests going for healthy accompaniments like hummus (chickpea dip), tahini (sesame dip), salsa (Mexican dip made using tomatoes, onions and peppers), lentil and vegetables-based dips. “All these ingredients help regulate blood sugar levels and delay digestion process which helps in better absorption and improves insulin sensitivity,” says Banerjee.
To make an Omega 3 fatty acid rich tahini dip you need to grind roasted sesame seeds into a thin paste and then add a little olive oil, garlic, salt and lemon juice and blend it all with curd. This bitter-sour dip is a good source of calcium and has a balance ratio of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids present in the sesame.
Similarly, another middle eastern dip preparation, hummus, can have many healthy variations apart from the basic recipe which uses boiled chickpeas along with garlic, tahini paste, olive oil and salt.
Banerjee says one of its nutritious variations is the green tomato hummus made using roasted green tomatoes that are rich in vitamin A. “These are also a good source of potassium that neutralises the effects of sodium and keeps blood pressure under control,” she explains.
Similarly, other nutritious and antioxidant rich dips like red bell pepper hummus, beetroot and spring onion salsa, curd and cherry tomato dip, and cauliflower chickpea hummus can be prepared to balance the taste and nutritional value of the ingredients.
Nigam suggests replacing the ready-made ketchup with the Mexico inspired salsa that is fresh and tangy and is made using natural ingredients like onion, tomatoes, herbs, coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon for an extra punch.
Another healthy accompaniment to diabetes friendly snacks can be made by blending coriander and mint leaves along with salt, green chilli and amchur powder, and then adding curd to it. “This dip goes well with dry roasted papads, veggie sticks (carrot and cucumber) and grilled kebabs,” explains Nigam.
Another super healthy variation to this dip with healthy fats is made by blending sesame and flax seeds along with garlic, salt, green chilli and curd. This too can be consumed with veggie sticks, moong dal papads, theplas, khakhra methi, makhana and bhelpuri.
Nigam says making nuts and seeds rich dips offer protein and good fats to the body and also ensure there is no sugar spike. You get protein for muscle retention rather than just consuming empty calories from their packages and processed counterparts.
She further suggests preparing a protein rich hummus dip by blending in hung curd and paneer along with herbs and sea salt into a pasty consistency. “It could also be used as a spread with crisp rotis,” she says.
Snack and dip mindfully
Experts say it is also important to strike the right balance between the snacks and dips and not overeat either of the two.
“Items like broccoli fritters, rolled oats nachos and millet or ragi chips can be prepared using an air fryer to cut out on oil,” suggests Banerjee.
Dass says it is also important to time the snacks in between the meals and not have them right before or after the meals. Walking and exercising is also important for diabetics to stay fit and burn extra calories.
- People with diabetes can indulge in nutritious and healthy dips by making them at home with natural and low GI ingredients.
- They should incorporate fibre rich vegetables, seeds and nuts and team them with healthy and low-calorie snacks so that they do not exceed the calorie count.
- They should have the snacks and dips during the gaps between meals, in moderation.