If you’re living with diabetes, snacking is a necessity because going for more than 3-4 hours without eating can be detrimental to your health. One of the reasons for constant snacking is to meet the goal of staving off hunger while keeping your blood sugar stable.
When your blood sugar is low, several complications come into play, which affect your eyes, heart, kidneys, or nerves.
However, it’s not easy to figure out the best snacks to eat that can help control blood sugar levels. For most diabetics, the priority is to get enough sugar in the blood and cells, but each person has different eating habits owing to their fluctuating blood sugar levels.
The good news is that it’s possible to manage and control the sugar levels in your body by eating smaller meals about 4-6 times every day instead of consuming three square meals in a day.
To help you find out the best snacks for diabetics, we’ve rounded up a list of friendly foods or snacks you can indulge in without worrying about your blood sugar levels rising. These snacks have a powerful mix of the right flavors and nutrients to quell your cravings while balancing your blood sugar.
Here are 15 of the best snacks for diabetics you can try.
15 Best Diabetes Friendly Snacks – Chips, Salsa, Popcorn etc
Lower-fat baked potato chips provide the ideal combo to help you satisfy your daytime cravings. Not only is it a crunchy snack with delicious flavor but it’s also easy to prepare and is a good source of potassium. Couple this with some salsa and you have the perfect snack.
Salsa can be bought from the store, but for diabetics, store-bought salsa may not be nearly as good as the homemade type because it can have too much sugar and vinegar.
Instead of buying the store versions of salsa, you can easily create your own low-calorie salsa using fresh ingredients. Once you make your own salsa, pair it with some freshly made baked tortilla or pita chips, which are actually lower in fat than fried ones.
Almonds are one of the most convenient and nutritious nuts to snack on. When a diabetic consumes one ounce of almonds, they receive more than 15 vitamins and minerals in their body, plus magnesium, manganese, and riboflavin as the recommended daily allowance.
Almonds are important in controlling the blood glucose levels in diabetic people. Almonds contain fiber, protein, and healthy fats that play a vital role in managing diabetes.
Additionally, since almonds have healthy fats, they reduce cholesterol levels thus promoting weight loss while preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.
Snacking on avocados is important for diabetics as it reduces sugar levels in the blood. Avocados are rich in fiber and monosaturated fatty acids that prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
After taking any meal, you can eat avocado on its own or make it into guacamole to snack on with carrots.
Also known as garbanzo beans, this is one of the healthiest legumes to snack on. When a diabetic consumes chickpeas regularly, there’s less progression of the disease owing to its ability to manage blood sugar levels.
One serving of chickpeas contains 15 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber. When consumed on a daily basis, the diabetic will be able to lower their blood sugar and insulin levels.
The most convenient method of eating chickpeas is through roasting with olive oil.
This is one of the easiest snacks to prepare. Essentially, the turkey roll-up is a breadless sandwich that consists of turkey breast slices covered in vegetables or cheese that contain low carbohydrate contents.
People with diabetes require low carbs in their diets and high protein contents that they would get by eating turkey roll-ups. One wrap of the turkey roll-ups contains about five grams of protein, which then regulates the level of blood sugar.
Additionally, this snack can help lower the appetite of a diabetic thus regulating their weight and preventing overeating.
These are popular snacks that are made with cheese slices as toppings. The snack contains high carbohydrates, fiber, and fat from the cheese that prevents spikes in blood sugar levels.
When a diabetic eats cheese, it lowers the digestion of carbohydrates, and in turn, reduces insulin hormone levels in the blood as well as sugar levels.
This is an extremely healthy snack that is comprised of cooked black beans with vegetables such as pepper, onions, and salad dressing.
Black beans are very rich in protein and fiber, which makes them healthy for diabetic individuals as it lowers insulin and blood sugar levels.
Edamame are green unripe beans that are still in their pods. They’re not only nutritious but are also convenient snacks when eaten by diabetic patients.
Edamame helps diabetics improve their resistance to insulin in the body where the cells are not able to efficiently use insulin.
Eating one cup of edamame delivers 17 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, which makes it a perfect snack for diabetics.
Hard-boiled eggs are considered healthy for diabetics because they have a very high protein content.
The boiled egg contains 6 grams of protein, which regulates the blood sugar from rising higher than normal and helps the diabetic manage their condition.
When you pair hummus with vegetables, you not only enjoy a sweet treat, but the combo provides a great source of vitamins, fiber, minerals, and protein that help manage your blood sugar levels.
You can also eat hummus with broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, and cauliflower.
One of the most beneficial snacks for diabetics is a combination of yogurt and berries. The latter are rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and damage of cells in the pancreas, which produces insulin that helps lower blood sugar levels.
Additionally, berries contain fiber that slows down digestion and absorption of glucose into the blood. Yogurt is also rich in protein that regulates blood sugar as well as improves the body’s ability to metabolize food containing sugar.
This snack is rich in nutrients and vitamins that help in managing diabetes. Apples are very rich in vitamin C, B, and potassium while peanut butter is rich in vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium that play a huge role in managing diabetes.
Apples also contain the antioxidant polyphenol, which protects against the damaging of pancreatic cells. If you don’t have apples, you can try bananas or pears with peanut butter as a healthy snack.
Cottage cheese contains a high level of protein, which helps diabetics manage blood sugar.
When you consume a half cup of cottage cheese, you’ll get vitamins and minerals, as well as four grams of carbohydrates and 13 grams of protein.
Tuna salad contains tuna with mayonnaise and vegetables such as onions and celery. Additionally, the fish is rich in omega-3 fats that help in managing diabetes by controlling the glucose level in the blood and lowering inflammation.
The salad is rich in proteins especially when mixed with cheese or yogurt.
Popcorn is one of the best snacks for diabetics owing to its low-density caloric levels, which help with weight control.
It is one of the healthiest and most popular whole-grain snack foods that not only decrease sugar levels but also help manage type 2 diabetes. A cup of popcorn contains one gram of fiber, which makes it healthy for a diabetic patient.
The snacks on our list contain at most 200 calories, which is a good rule of thumb to consider when checking out the snacks that will work for your dietary goals and needs.
Not only that, but they are also rich in one or more nutrients that suppress your appetite and steady your glucose levels. Such nutrients include fiber, protein, and fat, along with a host of dynamic textures and flavors.
Keep off refined carbs, which are found in pasta, bread, and refined sugars as these kinds of foods affect and impact your blood sugar. Instead, find healthier alternatives such as those on our list, especially snacks that are high in protein and fiber.
Processed foods also contain not-so-healthy fats, excess sodium, additives, and chemicals. This applies to juices, canned, or dried fruits, which may raise your sugar content.
Favor plant protein over animal protein, which tends to add to your body’s resistance against insulin. Plant proteins aid in the prevention and management of diabetes.
Prioritize eating enough and regularly by having healthy snacks on hand. Keep testing your blood sugar before, after, and throughout the day whenever you eat new foods so that you know what your body needs.
Work with your doctor or dietitian to determine the best snacks that work for you, and the right number of carbs, fats, and calories you need.
Any of the above snacks are great for consumption by diabetics.
You can add them to your diet and get a rich source of proteins, minerals, and vitamins while enjoying other health benefits.