A woman enjoys a jar of plain yogurt, which is low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and a good source of calcium.
Eating on the run can be a challenge if you have diabetes. Rather than reaching for high-calorie treats, which can cause a sugar rush, keep an eye out for the Be Rite labels while shopping at your local Rite Aid to find the snacks that meet your wellness needs. Consider trying something from our list of off-the-shelf, nutritious diabetic snack ideas, that will help to keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Unsalted almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts are high in protein and fiber and contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower your cholesterol levels. Remember to eat them sparingly, however, because they are high in calories and contain some carbohydrates. Just an ounce (roughly a handful) is all you need.
If you're in the mood for something creamier, try one to two teaspoonsful of nut butters as an alternative; they keep blood-sugar levels steady while satisfying your appetite for hours. Avoid any nut butter with a lengthy ingredient list. They should contain just nuts or seeds and salt.
While popcorn is considered a carbohydrate, it is still a safe, savory treat for people with diabetes. This whole-grain snack contains fiber, which does not raise blood glucose levels and has a low glycemic load compared to other traditional snack foods. Avoid movie theater popcorn and prepackaged microwavable popcorn, which can be high in fat and sodium, and make your own healthy popcorn at home (without adding sugar or unhealthy fat). A one-cup serving of air-popped popcorn contains approximately six grams of carbohydrates and is a perfect snack for curing cravings.
Raisins and Pumpkin Seeds
Want something sweet and crunchy? Try a mix of raisins and pumpkin seeds for an ideal carb/protein combo. Pumpkin seeds are rich in nutrients, including magnesium, which your body needs to regulate blood pressure and control blood glucose. Raisins are a good source of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. Be mindful of portion control with this healthy snack. Both foods are calorie-dense, and dried fruit tends to pack a high-carb punch.
Nonfat or Low-Fat Yogurt
For a creamy, satisfying snack, try a 6 oz. serving of plain yogurt, which is low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and a good source of calcium. Calcium promotes bone health, which is particularly important if you have type 1 diabetes, which has been linked to low bone density, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Again, when choosing a yogurt, be sure to read the nutrition facts and avoid products that contain added sugar.
Tuna Fish and Whole-Grain Crackers
Get a dose of protein and a dash of fiber from this savory snack, along with the added bonus of omega-3 fatty acids. The fiber found in whole grains may help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and protein-rich tuna fills you up to help curb hunger. It's a diabetic snack that won't break the blood sugar bank.
Hummus helps you feel full and also aids in digestion. While chickpeas (the main ingredient in hummus) are high in calories, they are also high in fiber and protein. Both fiber and protein can help keep your blood glucose levels stable. Chickpeas are one of the primary components of the Mediterranean Diet, which has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Try some hummus as a dip with veggies, or spread it on whole-grain crackers or whole-grain pita bread.
You could cancel out the benefits of these diabetic snack ideas if you pair them with sugary drinks such as soda or fruit juice. These beverages will raise blood glucose levels and include a wallop of calories in just one serving. If you're craving something other than water, mix things up with a refreshing flavored seltzer. It's fat-, calorie-, and worry-free.
By: Emily Williams
Joslin Diabetes Center, How Does Fiber Affect Blood Glucose Levels?
National Institutes of Health, Magnesium
The New England Journal of Medicine, Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.