If you've ever traveled while dealing with diabetes, you understand how crucial it is to establish good behaviors that feel natural to you. Being prepared is essential while traveling with diabetes.

While picking high-calorie and high-carb snack items like potato chips, cookies, candy, and soda can result in weight gain and, in the case of diabetes, increased blood sugar levels.


There are few foods that diabetics can eat on the move to sate an unexpected hunger without raising blood sugar levels. Can and should people with diabetes consume snacks? Read on to find out!

What to Look for in Healthy Travel Snacks 

It's important to consider the mix of protein, fiber, and fat when choosing a snack for diabetics. The road trip snacks we select should ideally be reasonably nutrient-dense.

However, if you have diabetes and are on insulin, you should also pack fast-acting sugary snacks in case you experience hypoglycemia.

Do People With Diabetes Need to Eat Snacks?

For people with diabetes, managing blood sugar levels is essential. One way to keep blood sugar levels in check is to eat carbohydrate snacks throughout the day. This helps to balance blood sugar levels and prevents spikes and dips. This might be the case if you have type one diabetes.

Another fantastic approach to increase your energy is to snack. The snack you select is particularly crucial if you have diabetes, as it may either help stabilize your blood glucose levels or result in an unwelcome increase.

Although making food plans in advance is helpful, believing that unexpected snacks won't ever occur unrealistically. If it has been three or more hours since your last meal, you should be sure to listen to your hunger signals and eat when you are hungry.

Denying yourself food when you are hungry is one of the worst things you can do for your metabolism and blood sugar levels. This frequently results in overeating during the next meal and can, in the interim, result in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and a sluggish metabolism.

Snacks can and should be a highly wholesome, fun, and nourishing element of anyone's daily eating plan in light of everything mentioned above.

How Healthy Snacks Can Help You Manage Diabetes

Blood sugar level

Snacks are necessary to maintain blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible and to help prevent hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. There are many more options than foods that are heavy in fat or sugar when it comes to snacking. Just make sure to pick them carefully.

Healthier weight

Some snacks can aid in healthy weight gain without significantly raising blood glucose (sugar) levels. Foods strong in protein such as meat, fish, poultry, lentils, eggs, nuts, and full-cream dairy products are among them. All energy sources are margarine, avocados, nut butter, oils, and salad dressing. Counting calories is the key to healthily gaining weight.

Snacks to Avoid When Traveling

A person with diabetes may experience dangerously high blood glucose levels if they eat too many carbohydrates. High levels might harm your body's blood vessels and nerves over time, which could pave the way for heart disease, kidney disease, and other major health issues.

 Keeping your carb intake under control can help prevent blood glucose increases and significantly lower your risk of developing diabetes problems. As a result, it's crucial to stay away from the following meals, beverages, and packaged snacks.

1. Sugar-sweetened beverages

The worst beverage option for someone with diabetes is one that contains sugar. First, they contain a lot of carbs—a 12-ounce (354 mL) can of cola has 38.5 grams. Each sweetened iced tea and lemonade serving has over 45 grams of carbs made up solely of sugar 

These beverages also contain a lot of fructose, which is significantly associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. Sugar-sweetened drinks may raise your risk of developing diabetes-related illnesses such as fatty liver disease. Replace sugary beverages with water, club soda, or unsweetened iced tea to help keep blood sugar stable and reduce the risk of illness.

2. White pasta, rice, and bread

White bread, rice, and pasta are processed foods that are heavy in carbs. People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have been proven to drastically raise blood glucose levels by consuming bread, bagels, and other meals made with refined flour.

Products manufactured with refined white flour are not the only ones that elicit this response. Gluten-free pasta can also cause blood sugar levels to rise, with rice-based varieties having the worst impact.

There is hardly much fiber in these processed foods. The bloodstream's ability to absorb sugar is slowed by fiber. It has been demonstrated that switching these low-fiber foods out for high-fiber ones will considerably lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Additionally, increased fiber intake enhances gut flora, which may have improved insulin resistance.

 3. Fruit-flavored yogurt

People with diabetes may find plain yogurt to be a healthy snack choice. Fruit-flavored versions, however, tell a different tale. Usually produced from nonfat or low-fat milk, flavored yogurt is high in carbohydrates and sugar. A serving of 1 cup (245 grams) of fruit-flavored yogurt may contain roughly 31 grams of sugar or 61% of its total calories.

Many people view frozen yogurt as a healthier substitute for ice cream. It may, however, have an even higher sugar content than ice cream. Choose plain, whole-milk yogurt instead of high-sugar yogurts, which can cause blood sugars and insulin levels to surge. This may improve your appetite, ability to regulate weight, and gastrointestinal health.

4. Packaged snack foods

Bad snack choices include pretzels, crackers, and other packaged items. They often contain refined flour and offer little nutrients, but they are also a good source of fast-digesting carbohydrates, which can significantly elevate blood glucose levels.

Several of these items can have more carbohydrates than are indicated on the nutrition label. Consuming nuts or a few low-carb veggies with an ounce of low-fat cheese is preferable if you are hungry in between meals.

Healthy Low-carb Snacks to Eat When Traveling

1. Mixed Unsweetened Nuts

 Nuts are a timeless low-carb, crunchy snack and nutritious travel food. One ounce of mixed nuts for only 6 grams of carbohydrates should satisfy your appetite and give you an energy boost. Nuts are a healthy diet staple since they are packed with nutrients and good fats.

They take up very little room, are portable, are a satisfying snack, and are simple to consume while on the go. Great airline snack because nuts may be brought through airport security without any issues.

2. Avocado 

The health advantages of avocados are vast! It is loaded with minerals, healthy fats, and fiber. Around 12 grams of carbs can be found in one cup (150 grams) of avocado. Because avocado slows down digestion and other carbs' absorption, eating it with other foods also helps prevent sugar rises.

It is more difficult to transport than nuts. To cut it, you would need to bring a knife with you, which would be difficult to do on an airline. It's excellent for outings into nature, hiking, and road trips!

3. Sardines are a low-carb snack for people with diabetes.

Sardines are a great diabetic travel snack because they have around 0g of net carbohydrates. They provide you with a ton of nutritious food without causing your blood sugar to spike. A top source of calcium, minerals, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. According to a recent study, Sardine consumption may help avoid Type 2 diabetes.

4. Fresh fruit with fewer carbs

While most fruits have high levels of fast-acting sugars, some have lower levels and can be good low-carb snacks. Fruits are a wise choice for anyone watching their weight because they are low in calories and fats.

Choose fruits as your diabetic travel snack when your blood sugar is relatively low. It's best to choose snacks with even less sugar if you have hyperglycemia.

5. Slices of raw vegetables: Possibly the healthiest snack!

Slices of fresh veggies are the best snack for diabetes: no fat, deficient calorie intake, and almost no carbs. Even while traveling, consuming 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily is advised.

At home, slice some vegetables, then place them in a zipper bag. Cauliflower, pumpkin seeds, celery, radishes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and pickles are also healthy diabetes snacks.

6. Olives: a portable, diabetes- and keto-friendly snack

Olives are another excellent diabetic and keto-friendly on-the-go snack since they are rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and healthy monounsaturated fats—an estimated 6g of carbohydrates per 100g of olives. The Mediterranean diet, one of the most nutritious diets on earth, includes olives every day. They contain a lot of sodium, so if you're attempting to reduce your intake, only consume small amounts.

7. Hard-boiled eggs: a universally accessible low-carb, high-protein snack

 Boiling eggs are the perfect travel snack for people with diabetes because they are filling, simple to prepare, portable, and delicious. They are delicious and filling, yet one large egg only has 0.6 grams of carbohydrates, and about 70 calories and 6 grams of protein are included in one egg.

You can consume up to three eggs a day without harm if you're in good health. It is advised that you consume fewer eggs and solely the white if you have excessive cholesterol levels. Avoid fried eggs.

Cheese sticks and boiled eggs are all excellent protein or healthy fat choices to help you stay full and maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout a lengthy trip.

8. Plain/Greek yogurt that can be consumed as a snack to curb hunger

Due to its high probiotic content, yogurt has been shown to help improve intestinal health and decrease appetite and hunger. Additionally, it's a fantastic option for individuals seeking to lose weight. With 20 grams of protein per cup, it aids in maintaining stable blood glucose levels.

The liquid format makes it much easier to consume while traveling because you can do it without a spoon.

Tips for Snacking on Road Trips

Monitor your hunger levels

There can be instances when you're so ravenous that you need a fast snack. Refrain from grabbing a bag of chips or a few biscuits. Instead, choose low-carb nutritious snacks that can simultaneously quell your appetite and cravings before your next meal.

Portion out snacks

You may manage your diabetes, get enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and even lose a few pounds by snacking on healthy foods. But if you eat straight from the box or packet, things can go wrong (i.e., you wind up consuming more calories and carbs than you think). Consider pre-bagging your food in plastic snack bags or portioning them into a small bowl.

Think about your diabetes treatment strategy

You might not need a snack if you control your diabetes with healthy food, regular exercise, or certain diabetic medications like Metformin. In contrast, snacking may be advised if you use insulin or the diabetic medication sulfonylureas to assist you in avoiding low blood sugar levels. Your medical staff can assist you in determining whether snacking is a healthy option for you.

Conclusion

Using these straightforward tactics, you can select a refreshing and pleasant snack that is ideal for you anytime, anywhere. You'll be more equipped to make decisions that improve your general health if you know what's best for your blood glucose.

About the Author

Inez Briand

Inez Briand partner of a type 1 diabetic. She has always been interested in traveling, and now that she has a partner with diabetes, her interest in cooking even more healthily has skyrocketed. She loves finding new recipes to cook for her partner and family, and loves sharing any food and nutrition-related articles on Diabetic & Me.

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