Snacks

Planning meals is important for managing diabetes, but what about snacks?

When it comes to snacking, people often think of foods that are high in sugar or added fats but you have lots of other options.

Snacks can help curb hunger while adding a nutritious energy boost to your day. But that means choosing foods wisely. 

It’s a great opportunity to fit in another serving of whole grains, fruits or vegetables! These foods are healthier than salty snacks and sweets. They will also fill you up and give you the energy you need.

Regardless of how many snacks your meal plan includes, portion sizes are the key to controlling your blood glucose and avoiding weight gain. So, resist those trips to the vending machine – plan ahead and pack a healthy snack!

Below are a few snack ideas listed by how much carbohydrate they contain.

Snacks with Less Than 5 Grams of Carbohydrate

  • 15 almonds
  • 3 celery sticks + 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 5 baby carrots
  • 5 cherry tomatoes + 1 Tablespoon ranch dressing
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 cup cucumber slices + 1 Tablespoon ranch dressing
  • ¼ cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup of salad greens + 1/2 cup of diced cucumber + drizzle of vinegar and oil
  • 1 frozen sugar-free popsicle
  • 1 cup of light popcorn
  • 2 saltine crackers
  • 10 gold-fish crackers
  • ½ cup sugar-free gelatin
  • 1 piece of string cheese stick
  • 8 green olives
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin or sesame seeds
  • ¼ of a whole avocado (~4 g.)

About 10-20 Grams of Carbohydrate

  • ¼ cup dried fruit and nut mix
  • 1 cup chicken noodle soup, tomato soup (made with water),  or vegetable soup
  • 1 small apple or orange
  • 3 cups light popcorn
  • 1/3 cup hummus + 1 cup raw fresh cut veggies (green peppers, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, celery, cauliflower or a combination of these)
  • ¼ cup cottage cheese + ½ cup canned or fresh fruit
  • 1 cheese quesadilla (made with one 6-inch corn or whole wheat tortilla + 1 oz shredded cheese) + ¼ cup salsa
  • 2 rice cakes (with a 4-inch diameter) + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 5 whole wheat crackers (or ¾ oz) + 1 piece of string cheese
  • ½ turkey sandwich (1 slice whole wheat bread + 2 oz turkey + mustard)
  • ½ cup tuna salad + 4 saltines

About 30 Grams of Carbohydrate (good to eat before exercise)

  • ½ peanut butter sandwich (1 slice whole wheat bread + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter) + 1 cup milk
  • 6 oz light yogurt + ¾ cup berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a combination of these)
  • 1 English muffin + 1 teaspoon low-fat tub margarine
  • 3/4 cup whole grain, ready-to-eat cereal + ½ cup fat-free milk
  • 1 medium banana + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter

Tips to Remember

  • Know your portion sizes beforehand, and if you aren’t sure, use measuring cups and spoons!
  • Don’t forget to count the carbohydrate into your overall meal plan if you use carb counting!
  • Avoid mindless snacking in front of the TV or computer or while reading or driving.
  • Stock up on healthy options so you always have them on hand.

 

  • Last Reviewed: August 16, 2013
  • Last Edited: May 13, 2014

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast