Avoid Starchy And Sugary Snacks
Your body converts foods that are high in starch or sugar into glucose immediately after eating, which can cause a quick spike in blood sugar levels. This can also lead to a large drop in blood sugar later, Stephens says.
Ideally, you want your blood sugar levels to be as stable as possible it’s the sharp swings that can cause health problems. But starchy and sugary carbs do just this.
- Fruit juices
- Dried fruit
- White bread
For people with diabetes, the Joslin Diabetes Center recommends 40% of daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrates.
Stephens recommends people with diabetes should aim for about 15 to 30 grams of carbs per snack and about 120 to 150 grams per day depending on how much physical activity they do, whether they want to maintain or lose weight, and other health factors.
How To Modify Your Favorite Treats
You’ll want to stay away from foods that are highly processed or have lots of added salt or sugar. That includes junk foods like potato chips, cheese puffs, candy, and cookies.
You don’t have to banish these foods from your diet. But when you do eat them, keep the portions very small. Better yet, substitute healthier versions like these:
- Craving potato chips? Go for the baked kind or some air-popped popcorn.
- Want chocolate? Cover some rice cakes in dark chocolate.
- Instead of cheese puffs, try some snack mix made from cereal.
- Pizza night? Try a whole-wheat English muffin with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Cookie craving? Try a graham cracker.
- If you’re a fan of soda, substitute diet soda, light lemonade, or some sparkling water with a dash of fruit juice.
Choose Healthful Protein Foods
Including protein in every meal can help balance blood sugar. People should choose healthful protein foods and vary their choices. Examples of these foods include:
- lean meat and poultry
- broccoli and cauliflower
Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, pumpkin, and corn, contain more sugar. However, people can still include these in their diet in smaller amounts as long as they monitor their blood glucose.
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The 21 Best Snack Ideas If You Have Diabetes
Choosing healthy snacks can be difficult when you have diabetes.
The key is to choose snacks that are high in fiber, protein and healthy fats. These nutrients will help keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Its also important to snack on nutrient-dense foods that promote overall health.
This article discusses 21 excellent snacks to eat if you have diabetes.
What Are Diabetes Diet Superfoods
Superfoods are foods that benefit your health beyond providing calories or fats, protein, or carbohydrates. Superfoods may be particularly rich in types of vitamins or other nutrients that are uniquely beneficial for people with type 1 diabetes. Superfoods are the opposite of diet restrictions – you can eat superfoods abundantly.
1. Fiber is a superfood because it brings down the glycemic load of any meal, increases a feeling of fullness , and stabilizes bloods sugar. A recent study demonstrated that fiber not only helps reduce cardiovascular risk among people with type 1 diabetes, it also reduces inflammation.9 Furthermore, oat fiber is beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include
- lentils, and
2. Sardines are a type 1 diabetes superfood because sardines are a great source of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. Sardines are also low on the food chain, not at risk for overfishing or habitat destruction, and are unlikely to be heavily contaminated with mercury or PCBs. Enjoy them fresh with marinara or canned in monounsaturated olive oil on crackers.
4. Cinnamon has been proven to lower blood glucose in humans, including people with type 1 diabetes.10 Cinnamon lowers both fasting and after meals glucose. It has been studied in a number of trials and systematic reviews.11 Cinnamon also is high in polyphenols which help prevent complications of diabetes.12
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Baby Carrots Cherry Tomatoes Or Cucumber Slices
Non-starchy vegetables are a great choice for a snack. They are very low in calories, fats, and carbohydrates, while offering plenty of vitamins and minerals.
These vegetables also provide antioxidants and a good dose of fiber to boost heart and gut health. For more protein, add a low-fat cheese slice to this low-calorie snack.
What To Look For In Healthy Snacks For Diabetes
Before we dive into healthy snacks for diabetes, I thought it would be good review to talk about what we are looking for in recommended diabetes snacks to buy, and what factors I considered when choosing the recommended packaged snacks for diabetes below.
We want packaged diabetes snacks that:
- Have at least 4g of protein or 4g of fiber or both
- Preferably contain some sort of plant based fat source, though not required
- Are made from whole grains
- Are made from quality ingredients
- Are easy to consume on-the-go
- Are low in sugar relative to the overall carbohydrate count
Now, obviously there are going to be some exceptions to this, and I will try to note those as best I can, but itâs important to remember not to approach food with a list of black and white guidelines. Food has nuance. There is an ebb and a flow to what works sometimes and doesnât work at other times. Just something to keep in mind.
And, if you want to read more in depth on this idea of balancing blood sugars and choosing the right foods, make sure to check out this article here.
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Be Consistent With Your Carbs
Try to eat three meals per day at regular times and space your meals no more than six hours apart. Eating at regular times helps your body control blood sugar levels. It also helps to try to eat about the same amount of food at each meal, especially carbohydrates.
Consider learning about counting carbohydrates as the amount of carbohydrate eaten at one time is usually important in managing diabetes. Having too many carbohydrates at a meal may cause your blood sugar level to go too high, and not enough carbohydrate may cause your blood sugar to go too low, depending on the type of diabetes medication you take.
Snacks With 6 To 15 Grams Of Carbohydrates
These are examples of snacks with 6 to 15 grams of carbohydrates:
- Avocado, cauliflower, almond crisps: Like HIPPIE Snacks
- Cauliflower dip: Like NAYA, with vegetables or a few whole-grain crackers
- Almond flour crackers: Like FAT SNAX
- Kefir: 3/4 to 1 cup
- Broad Bean Snacks or other roasted beans : Such as Bada Bean Bada Boom
- Popcorn: 3 cups air-popped, topped with nutritional yeast for non-dairy cheesy flavor or Parmesan cheese
- 1 slice of whole-grain bread with cheese or nut butter
- 1/2 apple with 1 tablespoon of nut butter
- 3/4 cup of berries with a handful of nuts
- 1 graham cracker topped with 1 tablespoon nut butter or cream cheese
- 1/2 sandwich: Deli meat , cheese, vegetable
- Edamame: 1 cup
- 10 baby carrots with 1 tablespoon peanut butter or guacamole
- Hummus or guacamole and whole-grain chips
- Low-carb wrap topped with your favorite protein
- 1/2 Ezekiel English muffin or another whole-grain variety topped with melted cheese or butter
- 1/2 cup low-carb cereal such as Catalina Crunch, or you can make your own version
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Important Food Qualities To Look For In A Bedtime Snack With Type 1 Diabetes
According to Sara Pinson, RD there are differences in the food choices we make at bedtime to help stabilize our blood sugars overnight. She suggests combining foods that include both a carbohydrate and a protein to help sustain blood sugars overnight.
Sara states: Carbohydrates that are fiber rich will also keep kids feeling full and decrease the speed at which the sugar travels into the blood stream, helping to combat swings in those in the middle of the night blood sugars.
There Are So Many Great Packaged Snacks For Diabetes On The Market But You Need To Know What To Look For
Having easy to grab, on-the-go snacks makes life a lot easier when you are managing diabetes. Keep reading for my comprehensive list of the best packaged snacks for diabetes!
*Disclaimer: This blog post is not sponsored in anyway. These are all truly my favorite packaged snacks for diabetes. However, I do work with some of these brands occasionally. Thatâs actually one of my favorite things about my jobâ¦ some of my favorite foods to eat are also my clients! And some of the links in this post are affiliate links. What does that mean? It means that if you click on a link and end up purchasing that product, I may get a small commission, but it doesnât cost you anything extra.
Also, this article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. This article and the links contained in it provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care, and should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or registered dietitian.
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Sugar And Sugar Substitutes
Some people think sugar “causes” diabetes. But type 1 is caused by genetics and other factors. Still, many sweet foods have a lot of carbs, and that can affect your blood sugar.
If a food is “sugar free,” that doesn’t mean it also has fewer carbs or calories. Read the label so you can count how many carbs you’re getting. You may want to consider foods and drinks that use low-calorie or artificial sweeteners. They can satisfy your sweet tooth without the extra carbs and calories.
Best Ways To Snack Before Bed
The ADA no longer provide specific carbohydrate counts or recommended diets for people with diabetes.
A person should choose a healthful snack before bed.
Instead, the ADAs Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2019 suggest that a person follows an individualized meal plan tailored to their current eating patterns, preferences, and weight goals.
Some general tips that may be beneficial for everyone:
- Eat mindfully by focusing on enjoying the food.
- Avoiding snacking in front of the television or while reading, driving, or otherwise distracted.
- Plan meals, snacks, and treats ahead of time.
- Choose healthful snacks, rather than ones that contain empty calories and low-quality carbohydrates.
- Learn about and pay attention to portion sizes.
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Are Protein Bars Good For Diabetics
Protein snack bars are ideal and have an accurate blend of protein, fibers, and carbohydrates. It doesn’t contain added sugar and artificial flavors. Various snack bar brands provide a product with gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, and natural sources with healthy fats to serve diabetic people the best product.
Protein bars for diabetics are commonly available with excellent nutritional value and proper organic diabetic-friendly ingredients to give you the best snack options.
Always pay attention to the amount of sugar, carbohydrates, and total fat a protein bar contains.
Everyone Enjoys A Snack In Between Meals Occasionally
But, if you have diabetes, choosing healthier options will help manage your condition. Watching your portion size will also help you keep an eye on your weight.
In this article, well talk about the easy swaps you can make and the kinds of snacks that are best if you have diabetes. Weve also listed healthy suggestions for snacks under 10g carbs, as well as those containing 50, 100 and 150 calories.
This will make it easier to find healthy options that suit you, if you have a goal around weight management.
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What Foods Should Be Avoided If You Have Type 1 Diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes should avoid many of the same unhealthy foods that everyone should limit. In short, this means restricting processed foods and food with a high glycemic load. This includes
- sodas ,
- processed/refined sugars ,
- trans fats , and
- high-fat animal products.
Restrict white foods i.e. pasta, bread, scones, cookies, flour, sugar, white potato, etc. This is an easy way to remove high glycemic load foods. It is important to remember that, unlike type 2 diabetes, food choices didn’t specifically contribute to developing type 1 diabetes but they do impact how someone manages diabetes. People with type 1 and 2 diabetes alike are at risk for the complications that stem from high blood sugar, such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. Because of this, attention to healthy eating is important and foods that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease should be avoided.
Apple With Peanut Butter
Nutrition Facts 1 medium apple: 94 calories, 0.3g fat , 0 cholesterol, 1.8mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate , 0.5g protein.
2 tablespoons peanut butter: 188 calories, 16g fat , 0 cholesterol, 147mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate , 8g protein.
A small apple with the skin and a couple tablespoons of peanut butter makes a fiber- and protein-rich snack. This classic combination provides a quick energy boost and a sweet and nutty treat any time of day. Slice up one small apple and spread one tablespoon of homemade peanut butter across the pieces.
By the way, these are the best salad dressings for diabetics.
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Whats On My List Of Best Snacks For Diabetes
If you keep scrolling youâll see the following categories of packaged snacks for diabetes: crackers, chips, popcorn, bars, cookies, desserts, eat with a spoon, breakfast cereals, low blood sugar treatments, and kid-friendly. If you have another category youâd like to see me tackle, leave a comment at the end and Iâll add it!
Cheese And Apple Slices
Apple may not be particularly low carb but half an apples worth of apple slices with cheese should have a relatively benign effect on blood sugar levels.
People with type 1 diabetes may find they need to inject a small amount though.
Low carb snacks are often sought by people with diabetes who need some energy but without the carbohydrate hit. Here are a few simple ideas:
- Probably the healthiest option, raw vegetables make for a simple and often quite filling snack. Crunchy vegetables like carrots, celery and pepper are good picks.
- Nuts are a popular snack amongst people with diabetes, providing a good dose of energy. Unsalted nuts are best to ensure the recommended daily salt intake is not exceeded.
- A few cuts of chicke, turkey, ham or a boiled egg can make a good snack. Protein is broken down into energy slower than carbohydrate and so provide a longer lasting energy fix than carb based foods.
- Cheese being primarily based on fat has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels and makes for a good low carb snack.
- Low carb dips are another good snack option. They can of course be eaten with crackers or, to keep the carbs lower, with vegetables like celery. Some favourite choices are tzatziki, avocado based hummus and cottage cheese with radish and dill.
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More Awesome Low Snacks
- Fruit Snacks
Remember, when treating a low, the goals are to increase your blood sugar to normal range, sustaining that corrected blood sugar, and portion control as to remain within your nutrition plan and goals. These options, while not what you might automatically think of for a low snack, should help you get there!
When Is A Good Time To Have A Lower Carbohydrate Snack
One of the best ways to gather information is to ask people living with diabetes about their experience. We reached out to Kimberly Avelin, a schoolteacher living with type 1 diabetes since she was 11 years old.
She tells Verywell, I think low-carb snacks are great for those times when you are hungry but dont want to have to worry about taking too much or too little insulin. For example, when you are on the go or between meals.
Parents who have children with type 1 diabetes may also find lower carbohydrate snacks useful when their children are hungry but a meal is not ready, or when their children are not supervised by someone who can administer insulin or count carbohydrates.
Low-carbohydrate snacks can be appropriate when blood sugars are elevated and you dont want to deal with chasing a high blood sugar before or during exercise. They might be used when blood sugars are not necessarily considered to be low, but are not high enough to work out without developing hypoglycemia.
When in doubt, discuss certain scenarios with your medical team or certified diabetes care and education specialist. They can help you identify patterns and address your needs accordingly.
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Whisps Parmesan Cheese Crisps
These contain just 1 gram carbohydrate per serving, making them a great choice for those trying to manage their carb count, and also just one ingredientcheesefor those who like to keep it simple. “Whisps are also perfect for travel or keeping in your office desk drawer so that you guarantee you have a decent snack. I also like that they don’t come with additives or unnecessary flavors,” says Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, of MohrResults.com. Their crunchy nature might also make it so that you don’t need to pair your cheese with a cracker, which will save you some carbs.