The body’s’ preferred source of energy is sugar. Whether it’s the simple sugar found in sweets or the more complex sugars that our body makes out of grains. Because sugar, especially the sugar from sweets, is so fast acting, it’s one of the places that we are likely to turn for a quick pick-me-up.
Unfortunately, if you’re on a diet and/or managing diabetes, you want to do your best to avoid sugar. So what is a sugar-free snacks that give you energy?
This suggestion is dangerously close to a junk food, so be sure to show some restraint.
Popcorn is usually covered in unhealthy things like too much butter and salt, or caramel and other sugars. Now, we’re not going to argue that popcorn is a vegetable, but if you eat it plain it can be much better for you than the stuff you get at the theater. It provides energy, and it has no sugars.
Be aware, however, that it does have carbs. That’s where the energy comes from. The energy in popcorn don’t take as long for your body to process as the carbs from grains, but because there’s no sugar it’s not going to cause a such a large spike in your blood sugar.
You still need to count those carbs, though.
A better alternative
Similar to popcorn, nuts and seeds can provide energy without the sugar, but you need to know how they’re prepared. A lot of nuts and seeds come with added sugars, carbs from oils, or unhealthy amounts of salt.
Raw nuts and seeds are good sources of protein, which your body can also use for energy. Because breaking down protein for energy doesn’t involve sugar, it doesn’t mess with your blood glucose like carbs will.
Nuts and seeds are also good sources of fiber, so they can help for you to feel full for a while to prevent further snacking. They’re also full of nutrients like minerals and healthy fats.
However, keep in mind that nuts are high in calories, so you can’t snack without guilt. It’s best to limit your intake to one handful.
Finding energy without sugar and without carbs is difficult. This is true because our bodies like to burn sugar for carbs and because we can forget that energy can come from sources other than carbs and sugars.
Because it can be so hard to find sugar-free or carb-free snacks, it is important to plan your meals appropriately so that you have energy throughout the day.
Include complex carbohydrates and protein that it takes your body a while to break down. This will give you a steady flow of energy until your next meal so that you won’t be looking for a bite inbetween.