Overview

Having type 2 diabetes means you should be mindful about what you snack on. You’ll need to do your best to keep your blood sugar levels under control. If you’re carb counting, a bag of potato chips or a few cookies isn’t going to cut it.

But snack time doesn’t have to be complicated or boring. Here are some grab-and-go snacks that can be healthy picks when you have type 2 diabetes.

Nuts are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins. Plus, they’re super easy to grab when you’re in a rush. Pecans, macadamia nuts, peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are all terrific choices.

While nuts are low in carbs, they’re also high in calories, so you’ll need to watch your portion size. One serving of nuts is roughly 1 ounce or 28 grams. This means roughly 24 almonds, 12 macadamia nuts, or 35 peanuts.

Studies show that having at least five servings per week of nuts is significantly associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. So, feel free to make this your daily snack.

Carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and celery sticks are great for dipping into hummus. These colorful veggies are also full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Hummus is made from chickpeas, making it high in both protein and fiber. Chickpeas have a low glycemic index, which means that hummus won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar.

Celery contains virtually no calories, but lots of fiber and antioxidants. Dip some celery into a tablespoon or two of peanut butter for extra protein to help keep you full and control your blood sugar.

Greek yogurt is high in protein and a great source of calcium. Make sure you choose plain, unsweetened yogurt. Avoid any flavored or sweetened yogurts as they likely contain tons of sugar and carbs.

Top your yogurt with a few raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries to add some sweetness. These berries are high in antioxidants and fiber, but surprisingly low in sugar.

Air-popped popcorn is a great snack option for people with type 2 diabetes. The amount of fiber in popcorn will help keep you full and prevent you from giving in to cravings for sweets.

Keep in mind that most of the calories in popcorn come from carbohydrates, so be sure to watch your serving size. Aim for about 3 cups of popped popcorn, which contains roughly 19 grams of carbohydrates and 165 calories.

You can buy pre-popped popcorn, but make sure to check the nutrition facts. Avoid hydrogenated fats and added sugars. Stay away from movie-theater style popcorn, too, as it contains a lot of unhealthy fats and salt.

You can purchase pre-packaged low-fat string cheese for when you’re really in a rush to get out the door. Cheese is high in protein and contains little carbs. Cheese can be high in sodium, though, so make sure to read the label.

Sodium can elevate blood pressure and lead to heart problems. Try to choose a low-sodium option when possible. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.

Boiling eggs takes just 10 to 15 minutes and you can prepare them ahead of time for your busy week. Eggs are a wonderful source of protein and contain only a half a gram of carbohydrates.

This snack is super quick and easy to make. Cut up an apple and dip the slices into a tablespoon of store-bought almond butter for a healthy and filling treat that’s high in fiber and protein.

If you’re worried about controlling your portion size, you can buy individual almond butter packets to make it easy to measure a serving size on the go.

Olives contain a ton of healthy fats, along with iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamin A. Olives are also abundant in phytonutrients, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A quick snack of 5 to 10 olives could be enough to satisfy a food craving. A serving of eight Kalamata olives only has about 2 grams of carbohydrates and 90 calories.

If you’re craving some ice cream, you might be able to satisfy your itch with a cup of frozen fruit. Mango, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries taste amazing whether they’re fresh or frozen.

Avocados are low in carbs and loaded with healthy fats and fiber. In fact, the monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat present in avocados may help raise your HDL (good) cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Avocados are also low in carbohydrates, which means they won’t cause a spike in blood sugar.

Spread about half of an avocado on a piece of toasted wheat bread for a satisfying snack.

Sugar-free gelatin doesn’t really contain anything nutritious, but if you’re in the mood for something sweet, you can grab one of these snack packs on your way out.

You can add a dollop of sugar-free whipped topping for a more flavorful treat. To make it a more filling snack, add up to 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese if you’re making your own.

Before you grab a snack, take a few sips of water. You may easily mistake thirst for hunger. Once you’re hydrated, you may find that you don’t need a snack after all.

When you have type 2 diabetes, you can snack smart by aiming for items high in protein and fiber, but low in sodium and sugar. Know your portion sizes beforehand, and don’t forget to count the carbohydrates into your overall meal plan.

The American Diabetes Association advises that a diabetes-friendly snack should have under 20 grams of carbohydrates.