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Type 2 diabetes
Living with type 2 diabetes means it’s important to be mindful about what you snack on. Try to choose options that help you manage your blood sugar. And because everyone responds to certain foods differently, there’s no one-is-size-fits-all snacking guide.
But this doesn’t mean snack time has to be complicated or boring! Here are some grab-and-go snacks that can be healthy picks when you have type 2 diabetes.
2. Veggie sticks and hummus
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 also have a low glycemic index, which means that there’s less of a chance of blood sugar spikes.
3. Nut butter and celery sticks
Celery contains very few calories and is also very low in sugar.
Dip some celery into 1 or 2 tablespoons of nut butter for extra protein to help keep you feeling fuller for longer — just make sure the nut butter you use is not overly high in sugar.
Popcorn is a great snack option for people with type 2 diabetes. The amount of fiber in popcorn can help keep you fuller for longer, which may help prevent 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 g of carbohydrates and about 177 calories.
You can buy pre-popped popcorn, but make sure to check the nutrition facts. Avoid hydrogenated oils and added sugars. Stay away from movie-theater style popcorn, too, as it can contain a lot of saturated fats and salt.
6. String cheese
You can purchase packaged low fat string cheese for when you’re really in a rush to get out the door. Many string cheeses are high in protein and contain few carbs. Cheese can be high in sodium in general, however, so make sure to read the label.
A high sodium diet can elevate blood pressure and lead to heart conditions over time. Try to choose a low sodium option when possible. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you eat less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day.
7. Hard-boiled eggs
Boiling eggs takes just 10 to 15 minutes, and you can prepare them ahead of time for your busy week.
Eggs wonderful sources of protein and contain only about 1/2 g of carbohydrates.
8. Tuna and crackers
One can of tuna packs a whopping 62 g of protein and only 3 g of fat. There’s also no sugar.
Mix it up with a little bit of mayonnaise and some chopped celery, carrots, and pickles, and you have a tasty tuna salad that will go great on whole-grain crackers or a piece of whole-grain bread
Try to limit or avoid pre-made tuna salads, as they can sometimes contain added oils and ingredients.
Olives contain a nice dose of healthy fats, along with iron, fiber, and vitamin E. Olives are also abundant in phytonutrients, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
A 1-cup serving of black olives contains 8 g of carbs, 0 g of sugar, and 8 mg of iron.
If eating olives by themselves doesn’t sound appetizing, try putting them on top of some hummus, and enjoy them with vegetable sticks or crackers.
10. Avocado toast
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 the risk of a blood sugar spike is quite low.
For a satisfying snack, mash up half of an avocado, spread it on a piece of toasted wheat bread, and sprinkle a little bit of sea salt and crushed red pepper on top.
11. Sugar-free gelatin
Sugar-free gelatin is not nutrient-dense, but if you’re in the mood for something sweet and are really trying to watch your blood sugar, this is a good option.
Add a dollop of sugar-free whipped topping and some fresh berries for more flavor and added antioxidants.
12. Flavored waters and seltzers
Dehydration can spike your blood sugar, so staying hydrated is an essential part of managing diabetes. Because soda and most fruit juices can contain a lot of sugar, try incorporating no-sugar-added flavored waters and seltzers into your daily routine.
While these may not make you less hungry, they provide a pop of flavor, which may make them easier to drink.
When you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you can snack “smart” by aiming for items high in protein and fiber, and low in empty carbs 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 has under 20 g of carbohydrates.