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Mealtime Insulin and Snacks

Handling Extra Snacks

If you want to have an extra snack, it is possible that your last mealtime insulin dose will "cover" your snack and you might not need any extra insulin. How to know for sure? This is something you'll get a feel for with time and practice.
 
Each time you have an extra snack without taking extra insulin, make a note of how long it's been since your last dose, the carb count of your snack, and how it affects your blood sugar. You'll start to understand your own pattern of how your blood sugar responds to snacks. Also, some insulin regimens handle snacks better than others.
 
If you find that extra snacks raise your blood sugar too much, you've got a few options. The easiest is simply to choose a snack with a very low or zero carb count. Another option is to do a bit of physical activity if your blood sugar is just slightly out of range (this isn't a good solution if your blood sugar is very high, though).
 
You can also talk to your doctor about taking an extra dose of your mealtime insulin to handle extra snacks, essentially treating your extra snack as a meal. Be careful, however, as you probably still have some of your last dose "on board," so a lower dose might be more appropriate. This works for the "flexible" (quick-acting) mealtime insulins but not the longer-acting, premixed ones. Don't start adding in extra insulin doses without checking with your healthcare provider first.
 
If your snack is shortly before a meal, it's usually easiest to simply count it as part of the meal.
 

"Big Picture" Snacking

When you have type 2 diabetes (especially if you're on insulin), it's very easy to have tunnel vision about your health, focusing entirely on your blood sugar. But, remember that the leading cause of death in people with type 2 diabetes is heart disease. Keep this in mind when snacking. Watch out for excess sodium, especially if you have high blood pressure, and avoid saturated and trans fats. Try to view snacks as an opportunity to round out your diet and make up for any nutritional slip-ups during mealtimes.
 
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