10 Healthy Snacks for Diabetics Dietitians Approve Of
If you have diabetes, you might be wondering how best to eat to manage your blood sugar numbers. It’s a common question because diabetes and prediabetes are very common in the United States. But what are healthy snacks for diabetics?
The key to managing diabetes well is to keep your blood sugar from spiking. A good snack for someone with diabetes has healthy fats, which slows the rate at which carbs hit the bloodstream. In addition to fat, snacks should have protein and fiber, which also help control blood sugars.
With that in mind, we reached out to several dietitians to learn about healthy snacks for diabetics and pre-diabetics. Our helpful dietitians gave us some great ideas — and they’re not the usual snacks. Hopefully, you’ll find some new and unique snack ideas to help you feel satisfied and manage your diabetes well.
1. Boiled egg with a side of olives
This snack is all about protein and healthy fat, both of which are key to keeping your blood sugar nice and stable. Amber Dixon, RD and CEO of Elderly Guides, an organization that focuses on dietary and health solutions for seniors, gave us this idea. She says, “eggs are a good source of protein and contain healthy fats. Olives are rich in monounsaturated fats and are low in carbohydrates, making them a good choice for someone with diabetes.”
Eating hearty snacks like this can prevent a blood sugar spike and crash, and leave you feeling satiated.
2. Cottage cheese with add-ins
It’s amazing the versatility of cottage cheese. Whether you want your snack to be savory, sweet, or salty, cottage cheese can do the job. Amy Beney, MS, RD, CDCES, and owner of Nutrition Insights gave us this idea. She says, “cottage cheese is a great snack for diabetics because it is a great source of protein and can be eaten in a variety of ways.”
She suggests adding fruit for sweetness and fiber, and don’t forget cinnamon – which can help manage blood sugars. She adds, “Some people also like savory cottage cheese and add veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, etc…chia seeds add fiber plus healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids.” Cottage cheese is so creamy and hearty, it will definitely satisfy.
3. Organic jerky
This snack is not only satisfying and healthy, but it’s easy to throw in your bag so it’s on hand wherever you are. Mary Sabat, MS, RDN, LD at Body Designs by Mary tells us, “organic jerky, made from lean cuts of meat without added sugars or artificial additives, can be a beneficial snack for diabetics. It is high in protein, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels and promotes satiety.”
Jerky – and all animal foods – are nutrient-dense and provide vitamin B-12, which we can’t live without. Sabat adds, “Jerky also provides healthy fats, is portable and convenient, and typically contains minimal carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for blood sugar management.” Sign us up!
4. Full-fat Greek yogurt and berries
This idea comes from Jesse Feder, RDN and personal trainer with My Crohn’s and Colitis Team. He tells us, “full-fat Greek yogurt provides a great source of healthy fats from dairy and high amounts of protein. Yogurt is naturally low in sugar and a great snack for diabetics for this reason.”
Remember to choose the full-fat Greek yogurt since it has a lower carb count and will impact your blood sugar less than low-fat versions. Feder adds, “Adding in berries makes it even healthier as it is high in antioxidants and fiber. This can help reduce inflammation that may be caused by diabetes and promote healthy digestive health.”
Here is the best Greek yogurt you can try today.
5. Hummus and veggies
Hummus, which is a hearty dip made of cooked and pureed chickpeas, is a great option for anyone with diabetes or prediabetes. Kathryn Piper, RDN, LD at The Age-Defying Dietitian tells us, “this type of snack leads to stable blood sugars between meals and snacks without a lot of highs and lows.”
She says hummus and veggies are a good choice because it’s high in fiber and healthy fats, which can even lower your risk of heart disease. She adds, “diabetes increases your risk of heart disease. Avoid high and low blood sugars to feel your best and lower your risk of complications from diabetes.”
Here’s a quick hummus recipe!
6. Mini cheese board
This is a fun one! Caroline Young, MS, RD, LD, RYT, and owner of Whole Self Nutrition tells us this is one of her favorite snacks to recommend to people with diabetes. She suggests whole grain crackers, your favorite cheese, and blueberries. Young says, “The mini cheese board provides the balance of nutrients you need for stable blood sugar — fiber and complex carbs (from the crackers and blueberries), and sustaining and satisfying protein and fat from the cheese.”
It has amazing versatility, plus, the mix of flavors and textures is sure to be satisfying.
7. Avocado and nori
This one is definitely unique! Sam Schleiger MS, RDN, and owner of Simply Nourished Functional Nutrition gave us this great idea. Take a few avocado slices, sprinkle them with sea salt, and wrap them in nori — which is a dried seaweed sheet you probably have seen at sushi restaurants.
Avocados are famous for their healthy monounsaturated fats; many studies showcase those heart-healthy benefits. Schleiger says, “seaweed offers a food form of iodine and fresh berries offer fiber and phytonutrients.”
The iodine in the seed weed and sea salt has full-body health benefits and is extra important for thyroid health.
8. Turkey roll-up with cheese
For a savory and filling snack that won’t spike your blood sugar, try this one suggested to us by Dalia Beydoun, MS, RD at DSB Nutrition. She says, “we recommend a high fiber/low carb tortilla loaded with lean turkey slices and cheese. This snack is an excellent choice due to its low glycemic index, which helps prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.”
The glycemic index rates how foods affect blood sugar. This snack incorporates foods low on the list, meaning they have minimal impact on blood sugar. She says, “Additionally, lean protein from turkey and calcium-rich cheese contribute to maintaining stable blood sugar levels and supporting overall health.”
9. Bell pepper and almond butter
Here’s another unique snack: cut a bell pepper in half, scoop out the seeds, and fill it with almond butter. Johanna Angman, RD with Glow Bar London says, “bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C and fiber, while almond butter provides healthy monounsaturated fats and protein. This combination ensures a slow and steady release of glucose into the bloodstream, reducing the chance of blood sugar spikes.”
The fresh and crisp bell pepper added to the smooth almond butter makes a great combination!
10. Veggie sticks with guacamole
Crisp veggies dipped in guacamole always make for a great snack. Josten Fish, RD and owner at Dietitian Meets Mom says, “This makes a good snack for someone with diabetes because it has a healthy fat in combination with a carbohydrate.”
Fat is not only satiating, but it’s especially important for people with diabetes. Fish says, “Adding fat to a snack can help to lower the overall glycemic index by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption and preventing a blood sugar spike.” Add fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and cilantro for a tasty guacamole dip.