What are some good snacks for a diabetic?

Great question! Including “healthy snacks” between meals can be an excellent way to curb hunger and to prevent overeating later in the day. Having foods balanced with carbohydrates, proteins and fats can also help keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. However, the word “snack” can sometimes be deceiving. Many times snack foods are considered to be high in calories, sugar, and fat (potato chips, doughnuts, ice cream, cheese popcorn, etc.). I generally call foods that people may eat between meals “Healthy Snacks”. People with diabetes need to be especially careful with their healthy snack choices, as they have to make sure they are sticking with their carbohydrate goals for the day.

There are a number of foods that can be a good fit for someone following a diabetic diet. It can be a good idea to mindfully grocery shop. I encourage my patients to wander through the aisles and focus on healthy foods that are quick and easy. Stock your cupboards and refrigerator with high fiber/protein foods that don’t need a lot of preparation. Choose a small cup of a chunky vegetable soup or try pre-cut fresh vegetables with hummus. Rice cakes topped with almond butter can also be a filling and crunchy afternoon treat! Focus on increasing fiber by combining frozen fruit with light yogurt, low sugar juice (Healthy Balance or Cranberry Naturals) and ice and then mix together for a great fruit smoothie. Other high fiber options include whole wheat crackers topped with peanut butter or a handful of nuts and dried or fresh fruit. As I mentioned, lean protein can be a great part of the diabetic diet. Canned chicken and tuna can go great with a whole wheat wrap or on top of a salad. Dairy products such as Greek yogurt and string cheese can be fantastic on-the-go snacks. I have found that protein bars can also be a great option when looking for something quick. Just be sure to check the product’s label and skip the products with a lot of saturated fat or sugar. My favorite protein bars contain ~180-200 calories, ~5 grams of fiber and ~10 g protein.

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