10 Healthy Snacks for People with Diabetes

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Cindy Kuzma on August 4, 2021
  • fruits-and-vegetables
    10 Healthy Snacks for People with Diabetes
    Snacks serve an important role in a diabetic’s diet. They help keep your blood sugar steady between meals and before exercising. And they help treat episodes of hypoglycemia—when your blood sugar drops dangerously low. But skip the vending machine and try these healthy snacks instead.
  • blueberry-smoothie
    1. Fruit Smoothie
    Blend a combo of fruits—think strawberries, peaches, and bananas—with 6 ounces of light or nonfat yogurt. Use fresh fruits when they’re in season. Otherwise, choose frozen—just make sure no sugar has been added.
  • veggies
    2. Precut Veggies
    Set aside time each week to prepare produce and you’ll never have to search for a healthy nibble again. Some ideas: sugar snap peas, zucchini sticks, cucumber slices, or bell pepper strips. Pump up the protein by eating them with a small container of store-bought hummus.
  • bowl of white bean dip
    3. Bean Dip to Go
    Beans provide as much protein as meat with much less fat. Just one half-cup serving gives you one-third of your daily fiber requirement. Mash one-third of a cup of pinto or fat-free black beans with salsa. Spread on a corn tortilla or scoop up with baked tortilla chips.
  • peanut butter and banana sandwich on plate with knife
    4. Peanut Butter and Banana Toast
    This tasty treat combines whole grains, fruit, and nut butter, full of protein and healthy fats to manage hunger. Serve a slice of whole-wheat bread or half a whole-grain English muffin with a swipe of peanut or almond butter. Top with a few banana slices.
  • Gourmet Fruit and Nut Mix
    5. Homemade Trail Mix
    Nuts provide polyunsaturated fatty acids that help keep blood sugar steady. Combine two or three different types with dried cranberries, blueberries, or raisins. If you like, throw in some pumpkin or sunflower seeds, too.
  • Woman drinking coffee
    6. Skinny Latte
    An 8-ounce latte with skim milk has just 100 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates. Plus, it offers bone-building calcium and vitamin D. Pair it with a piece of fresh fruit for a satisfying snack while shopping or reading.
  • Grapefruit
    7. Whole Fruits
    Fruits such as bananas, nectarines, and cherries could be considered nature’s perfect snacks. They’re nutritious, delicious, and easily portable. Each fruit has its own healthy benefits. For instance, citrus varieties—including grapefruits and oranges—provide a boost of vitamin C and fiber. And berries pack an antioxidant punch.
  • homemade-ice-cream-in-bowl
    8. Fro-Yo Sundae
    In moderation and with smart topping choices, frozen yogurt provides a healthy alternative to ice cream. Keep the portion size to half a cup—that’s about the size of half a tennis ball. Pile on 2 ounces of berries and about 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds.
  • salmon salad crackers
    9. Quick Seafood Salad
    Keep a can of salmon or light tuna on hand. Each supplies healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect your heart. Mix it with light mayo and freshly ground pepper. Scoop with whole-grain crackers or make a half-sandwich on whole-wheat bread.
  • Popcorn
    10. Popped Secret
    You may be surprised to discover that popcorn is a whole grain, full of nutrients such as fiber and magnesium. Just skip the salt and butter to avoid excess sodium and fat. Instead, top air-popped kernels or light microwave popcorn with chili and garlic powder.
10 Healthy Snacks for People with Diabetes
  1. Nutrition for Everyone: Basics: Carbohydrates. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dec. 11, 2012. (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/carbs.html);
  2. 10 tips to help you eat more seafood. United States Department of Agriculture, December 2011. (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet15EatSeafood.pdf);
  3. Snacks. American Diabetes Association, 2013. (http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/snacks/?loc=askthedietitian&print=t);
  4. Diabetes Superfoods. American Diabetes Association, March 2013. (http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/diabetes-superfoods.html?print=t);
  5. On-The-Go Tips. American Diabetes Association, Nov. 2011. (http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/);
  6. On-The-Go Tips. American Diabetes Association, Feb. 2012. (http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/);
  7. 8 Quick Snack Ideas – Lean Protein Included. American Diabetes Association, March 2012. (http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/);
  8. 8 Quick and Easy Summer Snacks and Meals. American Diabetes Association, June 2012. (http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/);
  9. Fill up on Fresh Summer Produce. American Diabetes Association, June 2012. (http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/);
  10. On-the-Go with Fro Yo. (http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/);
  11. Chili popcorn. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2013. (http://www.eatright.org/kids/recipe.aspx?id=6442472313&terms=popcorn);
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Last Review Date: 2021 Aug 4
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