Snacks serve an important role in a diabetic’s diet. They help keep your blood sugar steady between meals and before exercising. Snacks also help treat episodes of hypoglycemia—when your blood sugar drops dangerously low.
Skip the vending machine and try these 8 healthy snacks instead.
Sliced Avocado With Lime
The American Diabetes Association recommends avocados for diabetics as they have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels without reducing beneficial HDL cholesterol (Monounsaturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease).
Monounsaturated fats improve heart health — an especially important benefit for diabetics. Add a few thin slices of avocado to your sandwiches in place of mayonnaise, or mash a ripe avocado with cilantro, lime juice, and diced tomato for a delicious guacamole dip.
Fruits are tasty and portable and provide a ton of health benefits. Fruits like strawberries, apples, and peaches are ideal for diabetics because they have a low glycemic index and come packed with various important nutrients. Cherries, pears, and grapefruit are other good options – even plums and oranges.
Of all types of nuts, pistachios contain the highest level of phytosterols — natural plant compounds that have been shown to lower cholesterol and can cut your risk of complications from diabetes. A study in Spain showed that people who ate a one-ounce portion (or about 50 pistachio nuts) every day for 24 weeks lost an average of 0.7 inches from their waists, reduced cholesterol by 15 points, improved their blood sugar, and lowered inflammation.
Whole Grain Toast With Peanut Butter
Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and protein, this combination makes a nutritious addition to meals and snacks for people with diabetes. Peanut butter’s low carbohydrate content controls blood sugar, while its healthy fats satisfy the appetite for several hours. Choose a brand of peanut butter with little to no added sugar, and measure out each serving to keep calories in check.
Most diabetics have to give up or at least drastically reduce some of their favorite foods. However, shrimp is packed with protein, very little fat, and virtually no carbohydrates. Not to mention it’s delicious! Shrimp is simply perfect for the diabetic to eat. Thank you, Mother Nature!
Beans are considered a diabetes superfood, and The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics consume beans several times a week. Why not try mashing up some black or pinto beans with salsa and making a delicious bean dip? You can have it with baked tortilla chips or corn tortillas.
That’s right, popcorn. It’s a whole-grain snack rich in fiber, magnesium, and other nutrients. Note, however, that there is a difference between air-popped popcorn and the kind you get at the movies, which is usually swimming in butter and loaded with salt. For flavoring, why not try some garlic or chili powder instead?
Cheese & Crackers
String cheese (low fat) is a source of protein and fits in well with a healthy diabetes diet. The pre-packaged sticks also fit nicely into a purse and aid portion control. For a nutrition boost, nibble on single servings of the cheese with some whole-grain crackers (1 stick to 5 crackers), apple slices, or even baby carrots.