10 Delicious and Healthy Snacks Perfect for Diabetics

June 1, 2024

Back
Featured image for “10 Delicious and Healthy Snacks Perfect for Diabetics”

Did you know that over 37 million Americans have diabetes? That’s more than 1 in 10 people! [1] If you or someone you love has diabetes, it’s important to choose snacks wisely to keep blood sugar levels stable. The good news is there are plenty of tasty and nutritious options to choose from. In this article, we’ll explore 10 delicious and healthy snacks that are perfect for diabetics.

1. Veggies and Hummus

One of the best low-carb snack ideas for diabetics is raw veggies paired with hummus. Vegetables like baby carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and celery are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals while being naturally low in calories and carbohydrates. [2]

Hummus, made from chickpeas, provides protein and healthy fats to keep you feeling full. It’s also a good source of fiber. Look for hummus varieties with no added sugars. You can easily portion out individual servings of veggies and hummus to take on-the-go.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

  • Calories: 105
  • Carbs: 13g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Fat: 5g

How to Prepare:

  1. Wash and cut up your favorite raw veggies into sticks or bite-sized pieces.
  2. Portion out 1/4 cup of hummus.
  3. Dip the veggies into the hummus and enjoy!

“Hummus and veggies are my go-to snack. It’s so easy to prepare ahead of time and it always satisfies my crunchy, savory cravings!” – Sarah, living with type 2 diabetes

2. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs are one of the most perfect proteins. They contain all the essential amino acids your body needs in the right ratios. Eggs are also very filling and can help stabilize blood sugar levels. [3]

Hard-boiled eggs are a convenient portable diabetic snack. You can make a batch at the beginning of the week to grab whenever you need a quick protein boost. Pair them with a small piece of fruit or a few whole grain crackers for a balanced snack.

Nutrition Facts (per egg):

  • Calories: 77
  • Carbs: 0.6g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Fat: 5g

How to Prepare:

  1. Place eggs in a pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring water to a boil, then remove from heat and cover.
  3. Let eggs sit in hot water for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Drain water and run eggs under cold water.
  5. Peel and enjoy, or refrigerate for later.

3. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are excellent snacking strategies for diabetics. They provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber which all work together to minimize blood sugar spikes. Some great options include:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Be mindful of portion sizes, as nuts and seeds are calorie-dense. Stick to a small handful or look for individual packets for built-in portion control. Avoid nuts that are coated in sugar or honey.

Nutrition Facts (per 1 oz serving of almonds):

  • Calories: 164
  • Carbs: 6g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Fat: 14g

Quick Serving Ideas:

  • Sprinkle nuts or seeds on top of yogurt or oatmeal
  • Toss them into a salad for added crunch
  • Enjoy them on their own as a crunchy, satisfying snack

4. Greek Yogurt with Berries

Greek yogurt is strained to remove the whey, resulting in a thicker, creamier yogurt that’s packed with protein. In fact, a typical 6-ounce serving provides 15 to 20 grams, which is double the amount in regular yogurt. [4]

This high-protein snack will keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals. Pairing Greek yogurt with high-fiber, low-sugar berries is a smart choice for stable blood sugar. Opt for plain, unsweetened yogurt and add your own fresh or frozen berries on top.

Nutrition Facts (per 6 oz serving of plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup berries):

  • Calories: 140
  • Carbs: 13g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 0g

Tasty Greek Yogurt Topping Ideas:

  • Fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
  • Chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon or vanilla extract
  • Drizzle of sugar-free maple syrup

5. Apple with Peanut Butter

Apples are one of the best fruits for diabetics. They have a low glycemic index thanks to their high fiber content, meaning they are slowly digested and absorbed, causing a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels. [5]

Pairing apple slices with a tablespoon or two of natural peanut butter makes for a balanced, nutritious snack recipe. The healthy fats and protein from the peanut butter help slow the absorption of the natural sugars found in the apple. Look for peanut butter with no added sugars or oils.

Nutrition Facts (per small apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter):

  • Calories: 157
  • Carbs: 20g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Fat: 8g

How to Prepare:

  1. Wash and slice a small apple, discarding the core.
  2. Portion out 1-2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter.
  3. Dip the apple slices into the peanut butter and enjoy!

“I love having apple slices with peanut butter as an afternoon pick-me-up. The combo of sweet and salty is so satisfying.” – Mark, living with type 1 diabetes

6. Popcorn

Believe it or not, popcorn can be a great low-carb snack idea for diabetics – as long as it’s prepared the right way. Popcorn is a whole grain that’s high in fiber and low in calories when air-popped.

Avoid movie theater popcorn or microwave popcorn that’s loaded with butter and salt. Instead, make your own at home using an air popper or microwave popcorn maker. Season with your favorite herbs and spices for added flavor without the blood sugar impact.

Nutrition Facts (per 3 cup serving of air-popped popcorn):

  • Calories: 93
  • Carbs: 19g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 1g

Healthy Popcorn Seasoning Ideas:

  • Cinnamon and stevia for a sweet treat
  • Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning
  • Chili powder and cumin for a spicy kick
  • Nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor

7. Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a fantastic source of plant-based protein and fiber. One cup of chickpeas packs in 15 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber! [6]

Roasting chickpeas transforms them into a crunchy, savory snack that you can flavor any way you like. They’re a great alternative to chips or pretzels. Look for canned chickpeas with no added salt, or cook your own from dried beans.

Nutrition Facts (per 1/2 cup serving):

  • Calories: 134
  • Carbs: 22g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein 7g
  • Fat: 2g

How to Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Toss chickpeas with 1 tbsp olive oil and seasonings of choice.
  4. Spread chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  5. Roast for 20-30 minutes until crispy, stirring halfway through.

8. Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are a true superfood. They’re loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various micronutrients. The high fiber content means they can absorb 10-12 times their weight in water, forming a gel-like consistency. [7]

This makes chia seeds perfect for making a creamy, satisfying pudding that won’t spike your blood sugar. Chia seed pudding is one of the best low-sugar snack options for diabetics. Top with fresh berries for natural sweetness.

Nutrition Facts (per 1/2 cup serving):

  • Calories: 138
  • Carbs: 14g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Fat: 8g

How to Prepare:

  1. In a jar or bowl, mix together 1/4 cup chia seeds and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and sweetener of choice (like stevia) to taste.
  3. Stir well, making sure there are no clumps.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 2 hours.
  5. Stir again before serving and top with fresh berries if desired.

“I make a big batch of chia pudding to have on hand for the week. It’s become one of my favorite homemade diabetic snacks.” – Liz, living with prediabetes

9. Turkey Roll-Ups

When you’re craving a sandwich but trying to limit carbs, turkey roll-ups are the perfect solution. Simply take a slice of turkey and wrap it around your favorite fillings. It’s an easy, portable diabetic snack you can take anywhere.

Look for high-quality deli turkey with no added sugars. Avoid honey-roasted or maple-flavored options. Pair the turkey with non-starchy veggies and condiments like mustard for a flavorful, low-carb combo.

Nutrition Facts (per roll-up with 2 oz turkey, 1 slice cheese, mustard):

  • Calories: 147
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Fat: 10g

Turkey Roll-Up Filling Ideas:

  • Sliced cucumber, tomato, and avocado
  • Shredded lettuce and grated carrot
  • Cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning
  • Hummus and roasted red peppers

10. Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes

Cottage cheese is a fresh cheese with a mild flavor and creamy texture. It’s packed with protein and relatively low in carbs, making it a great choice for diabetics. A 1/2 cup serving of cottage cheese provides 14 grams of protein and only 4 grams of carbs. [8]

Pairing cottage cheese with juicy cherry tomatoes adds fiber, vitamin C, and a pop of sweetness. This savory-sweet combo makes a delicious snack or light meal. Look for low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese to keep calories in check.

Nutrition Facts (per 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes):

  • Calories: 123
  • Carbs: 8g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Fat: 2.5g

How to Prepare:

  1. Portion out 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese into a bowl.
  2. Wash and halve 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes.
  3. Top the cottage cheese with the tomatoes.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh herbs like basil or chives if desired.

Snacking Strategies for Diabetics

Now that you have some tasty snack ideas, let’s review a few key snacking strategies to keep in mind:

  • Practice portion control by measuring out single servings rather than eating from the bag or container.
  • Consider the blood sugar impact of your snacks by choosing options with a low glycemic index.
  • Aim for balanced nutrients by combining protein, fiber, and healthy fats to promote stable blood sugar.
  • Get in the habit of reading food labels to check for things like added sugars and unhealthy fats.
  • Time your snacks between meals to prevent blood sugar dips and keep your energy levels stable.

By following these strategies and choosing nutritious snack recipes, you’ll be well on your way to better blood sugar management!

Snacks to Avoid with Diabetes

While the 10 snacks we covered are all great choices, there are definitely some snacks to avoid if you have diabetes, including:

  • Sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, and fruit juice which can cause rapid blood sugar spikes
  • Processed carbohydrates like chips, crackers, cookies, and pastries that are high in refined flour and added sugars
  • High-fat meats such as hot dogs, sausages, and bacon which are high in saturated fat and sodium
  • Sugary fruits like dried fruit and canned fruit in syrup which have concentrated sugars
  • Sweetened yogurts that are high in added sugars and low in protein

By limiting these foods and focusing on low-carb snack ideas and low-sugar snack options, you’ll have an easier time keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

Putting It All Together

Snacking can be a part of a healthy diabetes meal plan when done mindfully. Focus on nutrient-dense whole foods that provide a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This winning combination will help keep you feeling full and satisfied while also promoting stable blood sugar levels.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your snacks! Try out different healthy diabetic snack recipes to keep things interesting. And remember, preparation is key. Taking the time to portion out snacks in advance will make it that much easier to make smart choices when hunger strikes.

By following the tips and ideas in this article, you’ll be a snacking pro in no time. Your body (and your blood sugar) will thank you!

Summary

  • Choose snacks that are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats to promote blood sugar stability and fullness.
  • Some of the best snacks for diabetics include veggies and hummus, hard-boiled eggs, nuts and seeds, Greek yogurt with berries, and apple slices with peanut butter.
  • Avoid sugary, processed snacks like chips, cookies, and sweetened drinks which can cause rapid blood sugar spikes.
  • Practice portion control, read nutrition labels, and time your snacks between meals for optimal blood sugar management.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different healthy snack ideas and recipes to keep things interesting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are snacks okay for diabetics to eat?

Yes, snacks can definitely be part of a healthy diabetes meal plan. The key is choosing nutrient-dense options that provide a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to promote stable blood sugar levels and fullness. Aim to keep snacks around 15-20 grams of carbs per serving.

What are some good portable snacks for diabetics?

Some great grab-and-go snack options for diabetics include:

  1. Individual packs of nuts or seeds
  2. Hard-boiled eggs
  3. Low-sugar protein bars
  4. Baby carrots and individual hummus packs
  5. String cheese and whole grain crackers
  6. Greek yogurt cups
  7. Apple and peanut butter snack packs

How can I tell if a store-bought snack is good for diabetes?

When evaluating store-bought snacks, look for options that are:

  1. Low in added sugars (less than 5g per serving)
  2. High in fiber (at least 3g per serving)
  3. Contain a good source of protein and/or healthy fats
  4. Have less than 20g of total carbs per serving
  5. Made with whole food ingredients rather than processed flours and sugars

Reading the nutrition label and ingredient list is key to making informed choices.

Can I ever have sweet snacks with diabetes?

Yes! Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can never enjoy sweet treats. The key is choosing options that are low in added sugars and high in fiber and protein to minimize the blood sugar impact. Some great options include:

  1. Fresh berries with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream
  2. Chia seed pudding made with unsweetened almond milk and topped with cinnamon
  3. Homemade trail mix with nuts, seeds, and a few dark chocolate chips
  4. Frozen grapes or banana slices
  5. Sugar-free popsicles made with real fruit

Moderation is important, so be mindful of portion sizes and frequency.

What are some good bedtime snacks for diabetics?

If you’re prone to low blood sugar overnight, having a small snack before bed can be helpful. Aim for something with a balance of protein and complex carbs, such as:

  1. A small apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter
  2. Half a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread
  3. A handful of berries with a scoop of cottage cheese
  4. A hard-boiled egg with a few whole grain crackers
  5. A small bowl of oatmeal made with unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon

Avoid sugary snacks or processed carbs which can cause a blood sugar spike and crash. As always, check with your healthcare team for personalized guidance.

Making smart snacking choices is a key part of managing diabetes. By focusing on nutrient-dense, whole food options and practicing portion control, you can enjoy delicious snacks while keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Use the tips and ideas in this article as a starting point, and don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen! With a little planning and preparation, healthy snacking can be a breeze.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). National Diabetes Statistics Report website. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html
  2. American Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Snacks. https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/snacks
  3. Diabetes UK. (2019). 10 healthy snacks for diabetes. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/eating-with-diabetes/10-healthy-snacks-for-diabetes
  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Yogurt, Greek, plain, nonfat. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/330137/nutrients
  5. University of Sydney. (n.d.). About glycemic index. http://www.glycemicindex.com/about.php
  6. U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, Bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173756/nutrients
  7. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2018). Chia seeds. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/
  8. U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Cheese, cottage, lowfat, 1% milkfat. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171306/nutrients
Rate this post

Related articles



Image
Image

MIRARI®
Cold Plasma System

The world's first handheld cold plasma device

Learn More


Made in USA

Image