When you have diabetes, it’s important to keep your blood sugar levels in check, as well as eat a balanced diet. But while preparing and planning ahead for the big meals of the day, we often forget about snacking. Preparing healthy and balanced snacks is just as important as big meals, because as a diabetic you need to keep your glucose levels in line all day long.
If you reach for a bag of chips or a candy bar instead of a smoothie or veggies in a healthy dip, you might send your levels out of whack for the day, and you’ll develop a bad habit of unhealthy eating that you need to avoid as a diabetic. We’ve compiled some of the healthiest and tastiest snacks for diabetics from around the web. These snacks are packed with the good sugar, protein and fiber you need to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.
1. Homemade popcorn
Popcorn out of the microwave bag is covered in additives and artificial flavorings that are no good. So get some much-needed fiber by popping your own corn at home with a tablespoon (14 grams) of canola oil and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of kernels. Health suggests that if you want a bit more flavor, you can add a pinch of salt, garlic powder or even Parmesan cheese.
2. Smoothie with protein
Smoothies are great for getting the recommended servings of fruits and veggies, but you can also pack some protein into these liquid snacks. WebMD suggests adding protein powder, nut butter or even Greek yogurt.
3. Cheese and apples
This snack may bring back childhood memories, but it’s guaranteed to be good because it’s simply yummy. When portioning out your serving, remember that while fruit is an important part of any diet because of its fiber and nutrients, too much can elevate your sugar levels. Health suggests cutting up a small apple and pairing it with a reduced-fat but sharp cheddar cheese.
4. Greek yogurt with raisins
Everyday Health highlights a study that says diabetics who ate raisins didn’t see a blood sugar spike and that it actually lowered blood pressure. Pair a tablespoon (10 grams) of raisins with 1/2 cup (125 grams) of plain Greek yogurt for a protein- and antioxidant-packed snack.
5. Natural fruit leather
With diabetes, you’re often looking for ways to keep your blood sugar down, but WebMD explains that after exercise, your blood sugar actually drops. So it’s important to keep a snack around that can get those glucose levels back in check. Fruit leather is a great option because it’s all natural and easy to pack in your gym bag.
6. Chicken noodle soup
A low-sodium soup is a great snack to warm up any day. Everyday Health suggests any broth-based soup that is filled with veggies and protein, and a small amount of noodles is just fine for a diabetic snack.
7. Black bean salad
These beans are packed with fiber and protein that help stabilize your glucose levels and keep you filled up for longer. Health suggests mixing low-sodium black beans with diced tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado cubes, lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Scoop it up with a spoon, or top a salad with it.
8. Egg salad
A hard-boiled egg is a great snack because it’s got tons of protein, and it can travel with you easily. But you can also mash up a hard-boiled egg and add a teaspoon (5.4 grams) of low-fat mayonnaise for a fresh egg salad. Everyday Health says you can pair it with some multigrain crackers, whole-wheat bread or even a handful of grapes.
9. Yogurt dip and vegetables
Health highlights this snack because raw veggies are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals — and dipping them in yogurt adds some much-needed protein that helps keep your blood sugar levels in check. Plus, this snack is filling. Mix up some dill, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper into your plain nonfat yogurt, and dip your raw carrots and broccoli right in it.