You will often need snacks to top up your blood glucose levels and help prevent you having a hypo. They can be important at bedtime or when you do exercise. So let's get munching...
You may need snacks between meals and at bedtime to top up your blood glucose levels. A high-carb snack will help to keep your blood glucose levels even enough to give you energy throughout the day.
A proper breakfast, such as a bowl of cereal or toast is essential. If you're running late, grab a banana or cereal bar at the very least.
The amount of snacks you need will depend on your usual eating habits, your insulin-taking programme and the amount of physical activity you do. Some people like to eat little and often, others only need a snack at bedtime, which helps to prevent night-time hypos.
Snacks and physical activity
It's also important for you to have snacks before and after physical activity. Always take a blood glucose reading before getting active. If your blood glucose is lower than usual, have a snack before you start. If you are playing a sport for a long time, you may need to top up your blood glucose level part way through.
After you have finished being active, your muscles will carry on using extra glucose to replace their stores. It's a good idea to have plenty of starchy carbohydrate at your next meal or snack, such as a sandwich or pasta. Having a snack after activity will ensure your blood glucose levels do not drop. You may need a larger snack at bedtime if you have been very active. For more info, see Sport and physical activity.
Because life is unpredictable and plans change, it is essential that you carry some snacks with you just in case. Fruit, biscuits, or cereal bars are good to have in your pocket or bag. Always carry some glucose tablets or non-diet soft drink with you as well, in case of a hypo.
See Hypos for info about how snacks are important in preventing and treating hypos.
Let people know
At school or college you may need to snack in class. At exam time, you will also need to take a sugary drink and some food (not noisy crisps unless you want everyone to scowl at you) into the exam with you, as well as your blood testing kit. Don't forget to tell the teacher or the invigilator beforehand, so they know why you're munching away. Find out more in our School and college section.