What snacks are good for diabetics? 10 Diabetic Snack Ideas
What makes a good snack for someone with diabetes? While it may seem obvious to avoid high carb, sugary snacks, knowing what foods to avoid is only half of the battle. What do you eat instead of your old faithful snacks? It’s important to learn what to look for in a snack in order to make the right choices for your health.
When learning how to eat a healthy diet in order to manage your diabetes, you should take extra care to learn exactly what goes into a good diet. Being able to identify healthy foods on your own, without the help of a list or Google, helps you stick to your diet and make it a lifestyle change rather than just a temporary fad.
What to Look For In A Snack
When trying to change your eating habits, it’s important to learn what to look for and avoid in your foods rather than simply picking items from a list every time your stomach rumbles. By learning exactly what goes into a good healthy snack and what doesn’t, you’ll eliminate a lot of the “I don’t know if I can eat this” moments you’ll run into and feel more confident about your food choices.
When looking at the nutritional content of a perspective snack, keep the following in mind:
- Keep the overall carbs low. Sugary snacks are an obvious no-go. Not only do they spike your blood sugar and your weight, they often cause sugar crashes that leave you feeling worse than before you had your snack.
- Look for high fiber carbs. Snacks high in good fiber are a great way to sneak some extra fiber into your daily diet. Carbs that consist of high fiber provide a fuller feeling and take longer to digest, too! Your waistline and your stomach will definitely thank you for eating more fiber.
- Eat plenty of protein. Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. Not only does it provide the energy needed to repair your body’s tissues and muscles, protein helps you feel fuller.
- Get in some good fats. Not all fat in foods is bad; a good balanced diet will include a variety of healthy fats. You can get these through foods such as peanut butter, avocados, and olive oil.
- Focus on good flavor. Don’t let yourself fall victim to the trap of boring snacks just because you’re trying to be healthier and manage your diabetes. Healthy food can taste amazing. It’s all about finding the type of healthy snacks you like.
Learning how to read a nutrition label will help immensely when shopping at the grocery store for both snacks and regular meals. By knowing what to look for and what to avoid, it’s much easier to find replacements for the snacks you love that don’t feel like a sacrifice. Counting carbs is much easier when you know where to look for them on a package.
The Case For Eating Snacks
As many diabetics know, controlling your blood sugar levels can feel like a constant juggling act. Stress, food, and strenuous exercise can all cause your blood sugar levels to rise. That doesn’t mean that diabetics should stop snacking! Eating small snacks throughout the day is a good way to stay in control of your blood sugar.
Just as it’s important to keep your blood sugar from spiking, it’s also important to keep your blood sugar levels from dropping too low. You’re looking to keep your blood sugar levels stable without spikes or drops. Learning exactly what a snack does to your blood sugar is important. If you’re unsure about whether or not you should be snacking, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about how to tailor your diet to tackle your diabetes.
Eating snacks is also a good way to combat overeating. By keeping your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day with small, healthy snacks, you’re less likely to binge eat at meal time. A few small snacks spread throughout the day paired with smaller meals can be a game changer not just for your waistline and insulin levels, but your overall health and happiness as well.
10 Diabetic Snack Ideas
We’ve compiled a quick list of snack ideas for the diabetic in a hurry. If you’re stuck on ideas for snacks to take to work or that you can find on a road trip, it’s a good idea to start simple. There’s no need to go from bags of chips and candy to strictly fancy veggie platters for the rest of your life. Simple snacks are often just as tasty and take less time to prepare as well.
Apples and peanut butter. This old school classic is a great option for curing your carb cravings. It is sweet treat that will remind you of after school snacks and lunch treats. Who doesn't love a bit of peanut butter in the afternoon? (For a fun twist, you can always try almond butter with a juicy green apple.)
Popcorn. Popcorn isn't just for the movies! The popcorn aisle at your local supermarket is probably packed with options. A light butter flavour is the best for diabetics, and many people prefer lightly buttered popcorn versus heavily buttered movie theatre popcorn. Popcorn makes a great and lightweight snack to tide you over between lunch and dinner.
String cheese. Another lunchbox favorite, string cheese isn't just for children. A great source of protein, anyone who loves cheese should find a place for string cheese in their snack list. It’s the perfect choice for when you're just a little hungry, as it's much better than picking up a candy bar or can of soda.
Beef jerky. While some of the more popular flavors of beef jerky are full of carbs, there are plenty of options for diabetics looking to keep the carb count down. This is a great snack for those looking to keep things simple and portable. Original flavor beef sticks are a good low carb option great for road trips!
Hummus. If you’ve never given hummus a try, it’s never too late to discover this savoury snack. Made from roasted chickpeas in a variety of flavours, it's a wonderful spread that doesn't load you up with carbs between lunch and dinner. Hummus is fantastic when paired with thin crackers, carrots, or sliced bell peppers.
Canned tuna. If you're looking for a more hearty snack, consider some delicious canned tuna. Perfect with crackers or on a slice of whole wheat bread, tuna is a flavourful snack for when you feel like you won't make it all the way to dinner without something in your stomach. Not only is it delicious, canned tuna has plenty of protein and healthy fats to fuel your body.
Almonds. Almonds are a fantastic snack perfect for when you're just a little bit hungry. They provide healthy fats and protein to keep you going between meals. There's no sugar crash involved with nuts! Be careful not to go overboard and eat too many, however.
Cheese and crackers. A small tray of cheese and crackers is perfect for a game day afternoon or a night in. Go for lighter, whole wheat crackers with higher fiber content and thin slices of cheese. For a fun twist, use slices of pepper jack or swiss cheese.
A veggie platter. While vegetables have a reputation for being the least loved food, don’t knock them until you try them! Broccoli, baby carrots, celery sticks, and cauliflower are all great options when paired with a low carb ranch dip, hummus, or even salsa. Getting creative with your vegetables is a great way to fit them into your snack routine and reap the benefits of all the nutrients they have to offer.
Sunflower seeds. If you’re looking for a snack that takes a minute to eat, look no further than sunflower seeds. Seeds still in their hull are a great solution for mindless snackers. If you’re not looking to make a mess with your snack, you can buy bags of shelled sunflower seeds as well. They’re a great source of healthy fats and protein as well.
Ready For A Snack?
Learning how to manage your diet in a healthy way is key to lowering your blood sugar levels. Eating smaller portions at meal times and throwing in a few snacks throughout the day can do wonders for your body in a variety of ways. Frequent healthy snacking is linked to less overeating at meal time and higher energy throughout the day.
If you find yourself in a slog by 2 P.M. adding in a snack may be the solution for you. Not only will it keep your blood sugar levels from crashing, you won’t go into dinner with a rumbling stomach so empty you could fit a horse in it. Snacking in moderation is great for your health. Remember that switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be a chore - there are plenty of delicious snack options that provide valuable nutrients rather than an overload of sugar.