When you’re living with diabetes, the foods you eat are extremely important to your health and wellness. This doesn’t just include mealtimes—snacks are also important to keep your blood sugar well-maintained. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to have a list of some easy and tasty diabetic snack ideas to turn to when you’re hungry throughout the day. Having a list of good diabetic snacks can help you avoid temptations and overindulging in cravings that are going to be detrimental to your health.
Snacking is important not only for managing glucose, but in actuality, being smart and choosing good diabetic snacks is also a great way to help you either lose or maintain your weight as well. Essentially, snacking when you have diabetes is all about being strategic.
How to Choose Good Diabetic Snacks
Snacking is part of most people’s lifestyles, and that includes people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Often the word snack has negative connotations, but if you choose the snacks you eat wisely, snacking can be great for your health.
So how do you choose good diabetic snacks?
- You have to find snacks that are good in terms of both quality and quantity. Yes, you want to opt for healthy snacks with lots of nutritional value, but you also want to make sure you’re controlling your portion sizes when you snack. Snacking, even when it’s a healthy food, is not going to be beneficial if you’re eating too much of whatever food you’re choosing.
- Learn about snacks, and how they impact your body before making choices. For example, having a snack that’s high in carbs, as opposed to being high in protein, is going to have a different impact on your body and your blood sugar levels.
- Always plan ahead. Don’t just rely on your cravings to guide you to a snack, because the impact can be disastrous. Instead, keep a list handy of diabetic snack ideas that you can always turn to when you get hungry or need a mid-day pick me up.
- Choose snacks that have a good balance of both carbs and protein, along with fiber. When you choose foods that are high in all three, you’re going to feel fuller for longer, which can help you avoid gaining weight.
- Even though snacking is a good way to avoid becoming too hungry or overeating, it’s also easy to overeat when you’re snacking, so you have to find the right balance. Eating snacks all day is never a good tactic. If you worry about your ability to stop yourself from grazing throughout the day, plan out your snack times each day, just as you do with your meals. For example, allow yourself one nutritious snack mid-morning, and another mid-afternoon, but cap your snacking at that.
- Before snacking, consider your motives for eating at that moment. If you’re actually hungry, go ahead and grab a snack—if you’re simply eating out of boredom or habit, you may want to skip the snack.
- When you’re looking for diabetic snack ideas, you should choose items that have 150 calories or less. Capping your calories at 150 for a snack will help you avoid eating too much and gaining weight. If you’re eating snacks that have more calories than that, it’s like adding extra meals to your day, versus small snacks.
- Never eat snacks straight from a package—put them in a bowl or on a plate. When you’re eating out of the package you’re more likely to overeat and overindulge.
- If you’re looking for diabetic treats, allow yourself a few bites of something you find indulgent, but don’t eat an entire serving of a treat. For example, if you have a sweet tooth, choose a bite-sized chocolate bar as your treat, rather than an entire candy bar.
- Don’t snack while you’re doing other things. Many people tend to snack while watching TV, working on the computer or reading, and mindless snacking can be a big problem, particularly if you’re diabetic. Part of strategic snacking relies on paying careful attention to what you’re eating, and how much of it you’re consuming—if you’re distracted you’re more likely to overeat.
Diabetic Snack Ideas
There are lots of healthy diabetic snack ideas you can choose from, but here are a few really simple and nutritious options:
- Nearly any type of nut are one of the best diabetic snack ideas. Nuts can be eaten on the go, and they’re packed with healthy fats. They’ll also help you feel fuller for longer. If you’re worried about your ability to be wise when it comes to portion control, buy a large bag of unsalted nuts, and divide it into smaller Zip-lock bags that you can easy grab on-the-go. A good snack serving size of nuts is about one ounce—it’s important to stick to this amount because while they are healthy, most nuts are also high in calories.
- Raw vegetables are also one of the top diabetic snack ideas. They help fill you up with fiber, and they can also help you fill in nutritional deficiencies you may have. If you don’t like the idea of munching on plain raw vegetables, add some hummus or a low-calorie salad dressing. You can also add some herbs and spices to nonfat Greek yogurt, as a great dipping option.
- If you have a sweet tooth, use fruit to fulfill your need for healthy diabetic treats. Aside from eating plain fruit, you can also whip up a fruit smoothie, which makes a good diabetic snack. Use bananas, strawberries and non-fat yogurt. Instead of blending it with milk or juice, lower the calories by using water.
- Another option for people searching for diabetic treats are frozen bananas.
- Do you have more of a salty tooth? Go for a few cups of light popcorn.
If you have diabetes, you can certainly snack, but you have to snack smartly. Create a list of diabetic snack ideas that you can take with you, to help you make smart decisions that will fill your need for food, without adding too many calories to your diabetic diet.