What are Healthy Snacks for Diabetics? | Snacks That Won’t Raise Your Blood Sugar

You should be eating healthy regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. Let’s talk about why healthy snacking for diabetes is important. Even when you’re snacking, you want to be sure you’re eating right because food raises your blood sugar. It’s that simple.  But What are Healthy Snacks for Diabetics? Let’s see:

Why is it Important for Diabetics to Have Healthy Snacks?

Grapes and tomatoes

There are many other factors responsible for raising your blood sugar such as certain forms of exercise, some medications, and of course stress. So, protein, fat, and carbohydrates are the principal nutrients found in the food we eat.

When you eat, your body turns carbs into glucose (sugar) very rapidly which in turn will raise your blood sugar. Potatoes, breads, pastas, rice and cereals are the foods you will find with carbohydrates.

There are fruits that have carbs as well. And some vegetables may have them. Carrots happens to be one of them. It’s been documented that fat and protein have effects on your sugar as well but they won’t change your blood sugar levels that fast.

So because you’re a diabetic, you’ll need to have some carbohydrate snacks throughout the day. Even more so if you’re type 1 diabetic. So like anything else when it comes to your health, you have to discuss this with your physician. He or she may want you to have a snack at special times each day and especially at bedtime.

You also don’t want your blood sugar getting too low, which could happen at night. It’s never good to have hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. The best case scenario is controlled blood sugar levels. So we will get an idea of what you can have for a healthy snack when you have diabetes.

So what Defines a Healthy Snack?

Your dietitian or physician gives you the okay to have snacks, which should be on the smaller side. Your snacks should be followed along with the four basic food groups. Carbohydrate in your snacks are key here because they will make a difference in controlling your glucose levels.

You want to get your snacks on the smaller size. The rule of thumb here is to aim for about fifteen grams of carbohydrates. Two small cookies, one medium sized apple, one half of a banana, and one half a cup of canned fruit (no sugar) are a few examples.

It’s important to know that by having diabetes, it doesn’t mean that eating snacks is over. It’s not. What you must know is what a particular snack does to your blood sugar. That is the key factor here. So you certainly don’t want snacks raising your blood sugar or making you gain weight. Your blood sugar levels get changed the least amount when the snacks you choose have no carbohydrates. And of course the healthiest snacks are very low in the calorie department.

With everything else when it comes to eating healthy, learn to read the labels. I can’t stress this enough. I read every label of whatever food I am buying so I know the facts. Make it a habit and don’t ignore the numbers listed. It will just be something that you will automatically do everyday.

The rule of thumb here is choose wisely when it comes to snacks with carbohydrates. The correct ones are fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as whole wheat, barley, oats, and legumes. Stay away from anything with sugar including white rice and white flour products.

How to Plan Ahead for your Snacks

Apples
Apples

It’s a very smart idea to plan your snacks ahead by making them and bringing them with you. If you’re running around or just plain out and busy, you don’t want to be grabbing the wrong kind of snack simply because it’s there.

By having something such as a small bag of crackers, some nuts (watch the amount because of the calories), or a granola or protein bar with you, you’ll be snacking healthy without having to worry about what your unknown snack will be. Again if you’re bringing a protein bar or something similar, make sure you’ve read the label before you bought it.

Skipping meals is always a bad idea. If you start snacking for no reason, then you’ll be stuck with emotional eating and that’s not good for you. And plan not to have the same snack everyday at the same time. This will become boring to you and you’re more likely to hit the unhealthy snack vending machine. So do a change up often and you won’t be bored with the same snack.

So how are your meals planned each day?  Is there a set amount of hours in between? Diabetics should not go without eating more than five hours. And some of you may have between four and five hours between your main meals. If this is the case, you may not need to snack. Snacking can really be beneficial to your blood glucose levels as long as you choose the right snacks and follow what you learn here.

Snacks will generally be mid morning, mid afternoon, and evening after dinner. Maybe you want to plan your snacks into your daily meals and this can eliminate snacking. So if you’re shooting for 2,000 calories a day, you can divide it up the best way that will work for you.

You can have three main meals, or three main meals and three snacks, three main meals and two snacks, or maybe three main meals and one snack. It’s your call. Try and see what works best for you. Remember, don’t go over your caloric intake of 2,000 calories or whatever you set for your particular instance.

Let’s talk about snacking before bedtime. Do not eat if it’s two hours to your bedtime or less. For some diabetics it is better to not snack at all after dinner or about 7 p.m. Different foods affect people in different ways. You’ll just have to experiment for yourself to see what the best solution is. And of course you want to monitor your blood sugar frequently. Discuss everything with your physician too.

Healthy Snacks for Diabetics

Popcorn
Popcorn
  • Baked cinnamon apple chips. These are great if you find just having apples gets boring.
  • Chocolate cocoa kale chips. So if you like to sweeten up your taste of kale a bit, these are a great choice.
  • Peanut butter. It’s got protein and has a sweet taste but low in carbohydrates. Not too much because two tablespoons contains 188 calories. I love peanut butter as a snack.
  • Popcorn. This is one of the best snacks for you. It’s tasty and almost any kind will do including homemade.
  • Yogurt. It’s very healthy for you and you can have low fat yogurt or greek yogurt which provides probiotics and aids in digestion.
  • Nuts. Nuts are high in protein, high in fiber, and essential fatty acids. Bag some nuts and take with you, but remember they can be high in calories so make sure it’s not a large portion unless you’re bagging it for more than one snack.
  • Unsweetened apple sauce. You can have this with a tablespoon of almonds if you like.
  • Trail mix. Trail mix is another nut combination snack which could include unsalted nuts and raisins.
  • One cup of cantaloupe with one half a cup of lowfat cottage cheese.
  • Low-fat granola or protein bar
  • One cup of strawberries. (I love strawberries and blueberries)
  • One cup of blueberries.
  • One slice of whole grain bread with a quarter of a cup of tuna (in water, not oil), and you can add one teaspoon of light mayonnaise. (This is one of my favorites)
  • Pickles and olives are great snacks because they have almost no effect on your blood sugar.
  • Avocados are one of the healthiest foods you can eat period. Have these any way you wish.
  • Celery is not my particular favorite but it helps curb your appetite while also lowering your blood pressure.
  • Cucumber slices, one cup of tomatoes, ten grapes, and throw the celery in too. I like the red grapes but that’s my choice.
  • One ounce of cheese with a couple of whole grain crackers.
  • Apples. One small apple makes the perfect snack and is extremely healthy, especially with pectin in the skin.
  • Carrot sticks are healthy for you, so let’s help those eyes!
  • Cottage cheese is awesome.
  • Tomato and mozzarella salad. Tomatoes are very good for you. I love tomatoes.
  • One half of a sandwich, one slice of bread with lunch meat and one ounce of cheese
  • One small orange. Great source of vitamin C.
  • A small pear. Less than half a pound is good.
  • Five graham crackers. You can add one tablespoon of peanut butter if you like.

Use Your Head and You can Enjoy SnacksA woman thinking

They make pre-packaged snacks. This can be another way to go. But the important thing here is that your snacks taste good, satisfy you, and are healthy for you all at the same time.

There are many snacks that you can have that will help you. Just find the ones that you LIKE first and go with them.

Sometimes snacking can be a mind game. You stomach tells you one thing and your brain tells you something different. Planning your snacks is important and everyone is different.

And there are many to choose from. I’ll admit that some of them I don’t like so I would not choose them. But from everything listed here, there are plenty of choices for me that would suffice.

Final Thoughts

What are Healthy Snacks for Diabetics? Snacks can be treats and be healthy at the same time. Snacking as a kid is not the same as snacking when you have diabetes or trying to stay healthy. The days of chocolate bars, candy, cookies, and ice cream are over. These are the healthy snacks for diabetes.

Listen, if I can do it, you can too. The consequences are not worth it. But snacking can always be an issue when trying to lose weight and with diabetes as well.

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Rob Sciubba

Rob Sciubba - Founder of NaturalWaystoLowerBloodSugar.com

Rob is an blogger who has type 2 diabetes and wants to spread the word treating diabetes. For the past 3 years he has provided valuable information about diabetes and lowering blood sugars and continues to offer additional ways to treat diabetes.

If you’re serious about treating your diabetes and lowering your blood sugars the natural ways, then you will learn from his website.

8 thoughts on “What are Healthy Snacks for Diabetics? | Snacks That Won’t Raise Your Blood Sugar”

  1. These snack recommendations are great for diabetics. The important point is that they have to have low Glycemic index so that there’s no sudden rush of blood sugar like what processed starch and white sugar does. I have heard about the magical benefits of avocados. Unfortunately, I don’t actually know anyone that likes eating it. As for celery, I don’t like it either. Cinnamon is good to replace sugar for those with a sweet tooth. I know a lot of buddies who are diabetics. They can probably use some of this advice. Yes, the old days of chocolate chip and ice cream are over. Do you have any diabetic cookie recipes you can recommend?

    Reply
    • Yes processed starch and white sugar are definitely no good for you as snacks. There are a lot of people who enjoy avocados. Celery isn’t one of my favorites either and I would choose something else. And I agree that cinnamon is good and healthy for you too. I don’t have any diabetic cookie recipes but you may find some by clicking here

      Reply
  2. Hi Rob
    Excellent post
    Diabetic patients are more of sufferers in all aspects of life, but especially with food habits. But you provided  excellent tips on food habits, especially snacks. Everyone likes snacks during free time, but for diabetic people it is very difficult to choose snacks, but you provided a great list to have healthy snacks.
    Continue your excellent service for diabetic patients!
    Thank you

    Reply
    • It’s hard when you have diabetes or when you’re trying to lose weight and you’re looking for healthy snacks. But just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t have snacks. They just have to be healthy and not contain sugar. Find the ones that you enjoy and switch them around every so often. Thank you for your comments!

      Reply
  3. Snacking with diabetes truly is complete a pain in the butt. It seems that every time you snack, it adds the need for two more pins to go into you. One to test and another to shoot up.

    The problem with snacking is that it’s such a small amount of food that it’s really easy to skip over the blood sugar monitoring and just wait until your next meal, which can mean elevated levels for a few hours.

    Reply
    • Well I know that it’s not the easiest thing to do when you have diabetes and you’re in between meals, but snacking can help you through if you’re eating the right meals and having healthy snacks. It’s hard enough just to test your blood sugars all the time but if you need to inject insulin it just multiples the condition and what you must to to fight diabetes. Planning your meals and snacks as best you can can only help.

      Reply
  4. It’s no coincidence the extensive list of snacks you listed for people to naturally lower their blood sugar contained mostly whole plant based foods.

    This has been documented, studied and replicated many times over and even has been shown to reverse diabetes in as little as three weeks.

    So the excellent list you have and snacking in itself, is great since it keeps blood sugar levels more stable throughout the day! 

    Fantastic post Rob, I will be showing my father this.

    Reply
    • Well it would make sense that whole plant based foods would make good snacks. Getting sugar out of the diet is crucial. It is very detrimental to our health. Stabilizing and controlling our sugar should be top priority. 

      Food is medicine and when we start “taking the right medicine” then positive results will follow. Thank you so much!

      Reply

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