9 Great Snacks For Diabetics - Healthy Living Association

9 Great Snacks For Diabetics

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with diabetes? This increasingly common condition prevents your body from properly processing sugar, so keeping your glucose levels stables is a must. Snacking might sound tempting, but the wrong choice can spike your blood sugar. To save you the hassle, we found some delicious snack ideas that will take the hunger away, without the nasty consequences.

Should Someone Diagnosed with Diabetes Eat Snacks?

Like with other medical issues, the answer depends entirely on your personal needs. In general, you’ll have to snack whenever you need to raise your blood sugar levels. As such, those with type 2 diabetes who have a higher chance of suffering hypoglycemia may be more likely to need snacks throughout the day [1].

Of course, we recommend you consult with your medical team and/or registered dietitian. They will be better-qualified to evaluate whether you can have some snacks between meals, or if you’d be better off eating smaller portions more often.

How to choose snacks for diabetic patients

If you or a loved one have diabetes, the key when it comes to diet is trying to eat balanced and keeping blood sugar levels stable. Preventing spikes in your blood sugar is crucial to curbing many common diabetes complications.

According to researchers [2], for most people diagnosed with diabetes, managing your glucose levels is harder around mealtime. Right before eating, your sugar levels are low because of the long fast, but right after eating your blood sugar can spike up.

Snacking thoughtfully can help keep your glucose stable. Here are some science-backed tips to choose the right snacks for diabetic people:

  • Plan: meals or snacks scheduled too close together can spike your blood sugar levels. To avoid this, eat snacks at least 2 to 3 hours after your last meal.
  • Limit carbs in the evening: blood sugar is harder to manage later in the day, especially since you’re probably moving less. Carbohydrates are high in sugar, while fat and protein don’t cause your glucose levels to rise as fast. As a rule of thumb, choosing low-carb evening snacks is a better option. However, if you’re unsure about balancing your intake, talk to a registered dietitian beforehand.
  • Add water: dehydration can concentrate your blood, making your glucose levels unnaturally high. To avoid this, drink a glass of water while snacking, or choose foods naturally high in water (like cucumber).
  • Avoid processed items: in general, processed foods are higher in salt, sugar and fats than the homemade version. In fact, many savory items have hidden sugar you might not even taste. Don’t take the risk and choose to assemble your own snacks so you’ll know exactly what you’re eating.

Great Sweet Snack Ideas For Diabetics

  • Apple + peanut butter: if you want something sweet, a small apple and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter could be the right choice. If you want to stay even lower on carbs, choose a granny smith apple.
  • Almonds: non-salted almonds are a great option to curb hunger due to their high fat content. Like with other nuts, portion control is essential to keeping your daily calorie intake in check. One portion of almonds are a small handful, or 23 almonds [3].
  • Berries and yogurt: this can also take the form of cottage cheese and berries. This healthy snack tastes somewhat like cheesecake, without the sugar. Plus, recent studies [4] have shown berries improve hyperinsulinemia among pre-diabetic and diabetic patients.
  • Dark-chocolate dipped berries: pair 70% dark chocolate with tart berries -like blueberries, or cranberries- to satisfy your sweet tooth. Keep in mind portion control is essential if you choose a snack with chocolate.
  • Almond macaroons: these taste like the French ones, but are better for your glucose levels. The team at Diabetes Daily has the full recipe here [5].

Savory Snack Ideas For Diabetics

  • Roasted chickpeas: if you want something crispy, these might fit the bill. Roasted chickpeas are easy to make if you use a can of rinsed beans, and you can season them with any flavor you’d like. Try them with some curry, or with pepper and lemon for a tart kick.

Photo via love and lemons

  • Deviled eggs: or a version of them. Just boil an egg, take out the yolk and mix with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Put it back into the cooked egg whites and you’ll have some easy deviled eggs with less than 1 gram of carbs. You can also add chives or other ex
  • Turkey rollups: curb your wrap craving by replacing the bread with a lettuce leaf. Then, smear it with mustard, add a turkey slice and enjoy. The extra protein will satisfy you until the next meal.
  • Tzatziki and veggies: this traditional Greek dip is made with Greek yogurt, lemon, olive oil and cucumber. Paired with crunchy vegetables, you’ll have a protein-packed savory snack that won’t spike your glucose levels.
  • Beef jerky: a classic that’s surprisingly low in carbs and won’t spike your blood sugar. Remember to look out for grass-fed, organic beef jerky to avoid the over-processed versions.

References

  1. Snacking when you have diabetes. Medline Plus’ Medical Encyclopedia. Available here.
  2. Natural Ways to Prevent Mealtime Sugar Spikes. Web MD. Available here.
  3. Almonds. California Almonds Board. Available here.
  4. Calvano, A., Izuora, K., Oh, E. C., Ebersole, J. L., yons, T. J., & Basu, A. (2019). Dietary berries, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes: an overview of human feeding trials. Food & function, 10(10), 6227–6243. Available here.
  5. Italian almond macaroons. Diabetes daily. Available here.

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