Most associate a diabetes diagnosis with 3 bland meals a day, no snacks in between. And while people with diabetes do need to watch their carbohydrate intake (45-60g per meal and 15-25g per snack), a diabetes diet is no more different than an overall healthy diet: low in sugar, salt, and trans-fat, and high in protein, fiber, and good fats.
With that in mind, here are 10 endocrinologist– approved snack options that anyone with diabetes can enjoy:
Table of Contents
- 1-Apple Slices with Peanut Butter:
- 2-Yogurt and Berries:
- 4-Open Face Turkey/Chicken Sandwich:
- 5-Homemade Protein Bars:
- 6-Garam Masala Eggplant Chips:
1-Apple Slices with Peanut Butter:
Combine the ample stores of vitamins B, C, and potassium in apples with vitamin E, magnesium and manganese of peanut butter, and you get a tasteful snack that improves blood sugar levels and protect the pancreatic cells (where insulin is made) from further damage.
Moreover, the high fiber content of both ingredients also promotes weight loss by keeping you full for longer. Just remember to keep the peanut butter natural with zero preservatives. You can also try pairing it with bananas, pears, or grapes for extra flavor and benefits.
2-Yogurt and Berries:
Berries contain antioxidants that not only reduce inflammation, but also prevent pancreatic cell damage, and like apples, are high in fiber. Moreover, the probiotics and proteins in yogurt help control blood glucose levels, making yogurt and berries the ideal health snack.
Try mixing an assortment of berries with yogurt, or layering the two for a tart and sweet parfait. This can also be taken as a low-calorie post-meal dessert.
Considered the best snack food for diabetes, air-popped popcorns are low-grain and lightweight, with only 31 calories and 1g fiber in an 8-gram cup. This helps with weight and blood sugar control by promoting fullness. However, avoid pre-packaged popcorn which is rich in salt and trans-fat content, and choose to air-pop natural corn kernels yourself.
4-Open Face Turkey/Chicken Sandwich:
2 ounces of home roasted (not fried), skinless turkey or chicken provides high protein content that is ideal as both a weightier snack and a quick lunch. Pair it with whole-grain bread, tomatoes, leafy greens, and very light mayonnaise for a nutrient-dense sandwich that also keeps calorie consumption in check.
5-Homemade Protein Bars:
Store-bought protein bars contain high amounts of added sugar, which cancels the glucose-lowering and energizing effect of protein. So if protein bars are your go-to snack, make them at home instead in only 25 minutes.
Simply combine 1 cup natural smooth peanut butter, ¼ cup honey (or less according to taste), and 3 scoops vanilla whey protein powder in a large bowl, and mix until a slightly dry ball is formed. Cover an 8×8 inch baking pan with plastic wrap, scoop the batter onto it, and flatten it evenly with hands to fill the pan.
Freeze for 20 minutes, then cut into 12 bars or more. Now melt ¼ cup dark chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth and spread over the frozen bars. Allow to cool completely until hard, and refrigerate in an airtight container.
6-Garam Masala Eggplant Chips:
The seeds and overall texture may throw most off, but baked eggplant chips make for an excellent snack due to high potassium and fiber content with only 6.5g of carbohydrates. This makes them a healthier, lighter alternative to oil and sodium laden packaged crisps.
Simply cut 2 eggplants into ¼ inch slices and place side by side over 1-2 large parchment-lined baking sheets, sprinkle with salt and leave for 1 hour to remove moisture. Now blot dry and preheat the oven to 350F.
Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon garam masala, and brush both sides of each slice with the mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crisp and browned but not burnt, remove from oven, sprinkle with ½ tablespoon salt, and enjoy.
Light snacking between meals is essential to prevent hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar), particularly for those at risk, or if taking blood-sugar lowering medication.