A Type 2 diabetes diagnosis is not the end of the world and it’s certainly not the end of flavor and delight. If you do your research, you’ll find that there are a lot of delicious snacks for diabetics you can try, when the mid-afternoon cravings hit you. They are much healthier than chips and chocolate – no doubt about it.
Hunger strikes and it’s way better to satisfy it with a snack then let it simmer to explode later in a binging festival. And if you eat something healthy and nutritious, odds are you are going to hang on quite nicely until your next full meal. The good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from, so you don’t enter a dreaded routine!
When you think of snacks, it’s easy to picture something high in sugar or added fats. But what you actually need is something nutritious to boost your energy - and snacks for diabetics really help with that. The main categories are whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Remember not to overdo it and to stick to portion sizes.
10 healthy and nutritious snacks for diabetics
This wonderful fruit can help you eat 15 percent fewer calories your next meal, according to a 2009 study published in the journal “Appetite”. Apples are full of fiber, and it’s great to eat them with some protein, to keep your blood sugar levels steady. The portion you’re looking for is one small apple. Combine it with one of the other options below, like hummus or peanut butter. Who needs bread when you’ve got apple slice?
They’re full of vitamins, antioxidants, and flavonoids. And they’re naturally sweet! Which means that they’re the perfect sweet snack, with a crunchy element to them. What’s even greater is that you can eat strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries without being worried about your blood sugar levels. A study published in 2013 in Circulation magazine found that if you eat more than three servings (half a cup) of strawberries or blueberries each week, you have less chance of going through a heart attack. You can have them with oatmeal or Greek yogurt.
It’s made from fatty-acid rich avocados, which also have a good helping of vitamin E. Make sure that the guacamole is fresh and without additives. You can have guacamole with a slice of toast or whole-wheat crackers. You can have about a quarter of a cup. Don’t overdo it! If you make your own guacamole, it will be better for you than any store-bought one.
4. Nut butters
Yes, you can have some peanut butter. Isn’t that great news? Look for brands which only contain nuts and salt – no added oil. Almond butter is also delicious and nutritious! You can have them with a banana, some crackers, or apple slices. Nut butters help manage your blood sugar levels and also don’t let hunger come knocking very soon!
5. Roasted pumpkin seeds
They contain magnesium, which is good for your heart, zinc, which props up your immune system, plant-based omega-3 fats, and tryptophan, which helps you have a very restful sleep. They’re also rich in folate, and vitamin E. Don’t buy them already roasted. You can make them yourself – Here’s how to, and give them the flavor you desire – curry, chili flakes, garlic powder, or pepper. One serving is half a cup.
Yeah, you heard that right. Popcorn is actually good for you, as long as you make it air-popped. You already know from movie night, popcorn makes you feel satisfied. It’s full of fiber, which improves blood sugar control, curbs appetite, and helps your heart health. According to a 2012 study, popcorn can actually keep you more full than chips can! But don’t combine it with butter or powdered cheese, it’s not good for you. Have two cups!
Another creamy treat, one I’ve fallen in love with recently, is made from chickpeas. Hummus is loaded with protein and unsaturated fat, which is good for your heart. You can have it with some pretzels, crackers – but make them whole wheat –, or your favorite veggies, for some fiber to go along with that protein.
8. Greek yogurt
It’s good on its own because of its calcium and protein content. It’s even better combined with some of the other items on this list, like berries, maybe a spoonful of peanut butter, thus getting one of those super snacks for diabetics. I feel no shame in admitting that I once had some cold Greek yogurt with hot popcorn, and let me tell you, it was amazing!
In tiny portions, like rounds or sticks, cheese can be a really good, satisfying snack for a low-energy day. And yes, it's one of those great snacks for diabetics. You can also combine them with fruit or whole-wheat crackers. Cheese has protein and calcium and it’s best combined with some fiber-rich veggie or fruit.
You can go ahead and add most nuts on your to-snack list, but number one has to be walnuts. They’re higher in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than all the other nuts. Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, and peanuts, are also rich in protein and fiber. Buy nuts without salt and make sure they’re dry-roasted and without any additives. The recommended serving is about 1 ounce – or better said a handful.