Whether you were diagnosed with diabetes years ago or are a newly diagnosed diabetic, finding diabetic-friendly snacks can be difficult. Following a diabetes diagnosis, you may feel or have felt completely overwhelmed and afraid to consume carbohydrates altogether. Carbohydrates are important for everyone, including diabetics! Carbohydrates are your body’s main fuel source, providing you energy to get through the day. Unlike protein and fat, carbohydrates impact your blood sugar which is why it is important for diabetics especially, to choose their carbohydrates wisely. Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables are digested more slowly and therefore, keep your blood sugar more stable. Here are 7 diabetic-friendly snacks that we can all enjoy!
1. Fruit + Nuts/Nut Butter
When selecting diabetic-friendly snacks, select complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean proteins over everything else! One snack that most of my diabetic patients enjoy is a piece of fruit along with a handful of nuts. A few examples include one small apple and one tablespoon of almond butter, one extra small banana (or half a medium) and one tablespoon of peanut butter, one cup of cubed melon and 12 cashews, one small orange and eight pecans or one cup of berries and 12 almonds. Selecting a different variety every day is a great way to prevent food boredom without sending your blood sugar through the roof! The fiber in the fruit and the fat in the nuts will cause this snack to be digested very slowly, allowing for a stable blood sugar throughout the day.
2. Veggies + Hummus
Another yummy diabetic-friendly snack is a veggie and hummus combination. Veggies like sugar-snap peas, carrots, celery, and bell peppers make great dipping tools with about two tablespoons of hummus. All of these veggies are very low in carbohydrates and provide your body many of the vitamins and minerals that it needs to stay healthy! Hummus is made out of chickpeas which are high in protein and fiber which will also slow down the digestion of your snack.
3. Whole-grain Crackers + Low-fat Cheese
Whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese make for a perfect afternoon snack for diabetics as well. The whole-grain crackers are complex carbohydrates, meaning they are full of fiber and will digest much slower than crackers made out of processed grains. An ounce of low-fat cheese will slow down the digestion and will provide a little bit of protein too!
4. English Muffin + Tomato Sauce + Low-fat Cheese
A delicious snack that a lot of people tend to forget about is a mini-pizza made right at home! All you need is a whole-grain English muffin, a little bit of tomato sauce and about an ounce of low-fat mozzarella cheese and within a matter of minutes you can enjoy a delicious homemade pizza snack! If you’re feeling up to it, throw on a few non-starchy veggies like sliced onions, chopped spinach and garlic before you put it in the toaster or oven to sneak a few more disease-fighting veggies into your day!
5. Greek Yogurt + Blueberries
Another delicious diabetic-friendly snack is plain Greek yogurt and blueberries. Non-fat Greek yogurt is high in protein (23 grams per cup) and low in carbohydrates (9 grams per cup) making it a great choice for diabetics. Paired with about half of a cup of blueberries and maybe even a sprinkle of almond slivers, this yummy concoction will keep you feeling full all afternoon long, while keeping your blood sugar from sky rocketing.
6. Guacamole + Whole-grain Crackers
An incredibly healthy food often forgotten about at snack time is avocado! Avocados provide several vitamins and minerals as well as a dose of healthy fat and when made into guacamole can offer an even more delicious flavor! Simply chop half of an avocado and place it in a bowl, add a little bit of chopped onion, tomato and cilantro and then squeeze on a little bit of lime juice and a dash of salt for a tasty snack in no time! Enjoy the guacamole with whole-grain crackers instead of chips for a much healthier option too!
7. Baked Potato + Salsa + Low-fat Cheese
Another easy to make and easy on the taste buds, diabetic-friendly snack is a small baked potato topped with a dollop of salsa and a sprinkle of low-fat cheese. Contrary to popular belief, baked potatoes are a mighty healthy food, packed with vitamins and minerals. The salsa will provide a delicious flavor and the cheese will provide a little bit of fat to slow down the digestion of the potato. This snack is large enough to fill you up without causing your blood sugar to spike.
Even if you are a diabetic, carbohydrates are not a food that you want to avoid; instead, you want a consistent intake throughout the day. If you are a diabetic and need a little bit more help planning your meals and snacks, talk with your dietitian for a more detailed plan. What is your go-to diabetic-friendly snack that doesn’t impact your blood sugar?