7 Diabetes-Friendly Snacks

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  • Understanding Carbohydrates

    Understanding Carbohydrates

    Snacks are a great way to keep your blood glucose levels stable, but sometimes it may seem that choosing what to snack on is easier said than done.

    Making smart food choices starts with understanding the fundamentals. For most people with diabetes, that means understanding the effects of carbohydrates on blood glucose levels.

    Carbohydrates break down into sugar, and when you eat large amounts of certain types of carbohydrates, blood glucose levels can spike.

    Make diabetes-friendly dinners »

  • Using the Glycemic Index

    Using the Glycemic Index

    The glycemic index (GI) measures how much a food that contains carbohydrates raises blood glucose levels compared to the consumption of pure glucose. Pure glucose has a score of 100.

    The American Diabetes Association (ADA) identifies low-GI foods as those with a ranking of 55 or less. Low-GI foods include:

    • 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat
    • oatmeal
    • legumes
    • non-starchy vegetables

    Medium-GI foods have ratings between 56 and 69. Some examples of medium-GI ranking foods are:

    • whole wheat
    • rye
    • pita bread
  • Counting Carbohydrates

    Counting Carbohydrates

    Counting the number of carbohydrates in your snack and choosing foods using the glycemic index are both great ways to make smart snacking decisions.

    The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that a diabetes-friendly snack should contain 15-30 grams of carbohydrates.

    We’ve come up with a few healthy snack ideas that are great on the go and can help make managing your blood glucose level simple!

  • Tasty Trail Mix

    Tasty Trail Mix

    Store-bought trail mix can be boring, bland, and not to mention expensive. Save money (and your taste buds) by making your own!

    Ingredients*:

    • 1 cup roasted peanuts
    • 1 cup raw or roasted almonds
    • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
    • 2oz unsweetened coconut
    • ½ cup raisins or currants

    Some other good choices for DIY trail mix are sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and walnuts.

    This will make 16 servings at ¼ cup each.

    * (Based on recipe from A Diabetic Life)

    *Allergy warning: Contains nuts

  • Middle Eastern-Style Snack

    Middle Eastern-Style Snack

    Enjoy 1/3 cup of hummus with one cup of a colorful trio of raw carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli. For extra flavor, throw a few green olives in the mix!

    The protein from the hummus will keep you feeling full, and the fiber from the non-starchy vegetables will keep your blood glucose levels from spiking. 

  • Fresh Fruit and Cheese

    Fresh Fruit and Cheese

    Fruit and cheese is a match made in heaven. Pair apples, oranges, grapes, or blueberries with 1oz of cheddar, Colby jack, or part-skim mozzarella string cheese for a delicious and convenient snack.

    Be sure to choose average-sized apples and oranges, about 4oz of grapes and ¾ cup blueberries.

  • Popcorn: Make Ahead or Pick Up on the Go!

    Popcorn: Make Ahead or Pick Up on the Go!

    Light popcorn is a great snack option, because a serving size is typically about 3 cups and you can either make it at home or find it pre-popped at the store.

    You can find all sorts of savory and sweet flavors of pre-popped popcorn at the store. Enjoy your corn cheesy, salty, sweet, or plain! Serving size varies slightly between flavors, so be sure to check the nutrition facts.

  • Crackers

    Crackers

    Grab a box of savory crackers for a delicious snack!  These come in all sorts of flavors, so make sure to look at serving suggestions and nutritional information on the back of the box.

    Typically, you’ll want to aim for about 6 crackers and a snack that has about 20g of carbohydrates, 3-4g of fat, zero cholesterol, 120-130mg of sodium, and a few grams of protein. 

  • Greek Yogurt

    Greek Yogurt

    Greek yogurt has soared in popularity  in recent years — and for good reason! As well as being high in protein, it’s also a great source of calcium.

    Greek yogurt now comes in all sorts of flavors, and many fat-free yogurts like Fage contain less than 20g of carbohydrates per cup! The only exception is the honey flavor, which contains 30g of carbohydrates. 

  • Chips That Are Good for You?

    Chips That Are Good for You?

    "Chips” is no longer just slang for fried potato. At home, you can bake all kinds of veggies to avoid the sodium, trans fats, and preservatives you find in a store-bought bag of potato chips.

    Try making crispy kale chips at home. Toss some kale leaves in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and lay them on a baking sheet. Heat them until they’re crisp, and you have a delicious snack in less than half an hour.

    You can also find low-sodium potato alternatives at the store. Aim for something that has no cholesterol and contains less than 20g of carbohydrates and 10g of fat per serving.

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