Figuring out the best diet when you’re diabetic can be a bit challenging. You have to think about all sorts of factors like age, gender, and even level of activity. 

For that reason, some diabetics strip down their meals to the bare necessities. They cut out all snacks and sugar and stick to steamed protein and vegetables. 

While this may help, it’s not necessary. As a diabetic, you can still enjoy a well-rounded diet with plenty of treats. 

So, if you’re looking for low-carb snacks for diabetics, then we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll walk you through some recipes that won’t spike your blood sugar levels. 

We’ll also cover how these snacks can be beneficial to you.

Snacks and Diabetes Overview

Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects one in every 10 U.S. citizens. It’s when a person’s body isn’t able to produce as much insulin as it should. 

To help you understand why this can be a problem, let’s look at the role of the hormone. 

When we eat a calorically dense meal, our digestive system will break it down into smaller parts. One of these components is simple glucose. 

This will cause your blood sugar levels to spike. That, in turn, will result in your pancreas secreting insulin. 

The hormone helps blood sugar travel into cells where we can store it for later use. 

So, if you don’t produce enough insulin, some sugar will remain in your bloodstream. It’ll keep circulating in your body over and over. 

This can have many adverse effects on your health. For instance, it may cause heart disease, kidney failure, and even vision loss. 

To counteract these issues, most diabetics rely on insulin injections. 

Advantages of Snacks for Diabetics

Some people think that snacking isn’t a good idea for diabetics. Yet, this couldn’t be further away from the truth. 

In fact, eating many small meals throughout the day can do wonders for the disorder. This is especially true if you rely on insulin injections

That’s because the hormone will cause your blood sugar levels to decrease. If they drop too low, this can lead to a hypoglycemic coma

For that reason, you should ensure your blood sugar levels are steady throughout the day. That’s when snacks come into play. 

They’ll balance out your blood sugar and keep you functioning in tip-top shape. 

Other than that, regular snacking can help reduce your appetite. It’ll keep your hunger in control so that you don’t overeat during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Not only will this make dealing with diabetes easier, but it may help you lose weight.

Types of Snacks for Diabetics

While some treats may be beneficial for diabetics, not all snacks are suitable. For instance, sodas and creamsicles can do more harm than good. 

When picking out a snack, make sure that it’s low in sugar and carbs. That’s because carbohydrates break down into glucose in your digestive system. 

Yet, the meals also need to be high in vitamins and minerals to keep your energy levels up. 

Because of that, it can be tricky to find the perfect snack. Thankfully, we can help you out with that. 

18 Best Snacks for Diabetics

Now that you know how snacks can aid you with managing diabetes, we can move on to a few recipes. In this section, we’ll cover some of the best treats to keep your blood sugar in control.

Strawberries

Right off the bat, our first snack option is strawberries. Not only are these fruits good for you, but they can also keep your blood sugar levels low. 

That’s because strawberries don’t contain much sugar or carbs. 

On top of that, they’re an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. Plus, they can provide you with potassium and fiber to aid digestion. 

Since strawberries are low in sugar, you can eat quite a few for a snack. As a diabetic, a one-and-a-quarter cup serving portion should be ideal. 

It’ll give you a boost of energy and keep you full for a few hours. In addition, it’ll taste sweet, fresh, with a hint of tanginess. 

If you aren’t a huge fan of strawberries, you can opt for blueberries instead. Although, you’ll need to reduce the portion. 

With blueberries, try not to eat more than half a cup of the fruit. 

Almonds

Almonds are one of the most popular snack options for diabetics. That’s because they’re small and easy to carry around. 

Plus, they have many health benefits. For starters, almonds are high in magnesium and vitamin E.

Both of them are essential nutrients for a healthy diet. Other than that, the nuts contain a lot of dietary fiber. This can help relieve constipation and reduce bloatedness. 

Moving on, almonds can contribute to your daily calcium intake. That means you’ll be able to grow strong bones that can resist fractures. 

Yet, the nuts also contain a sizable amount of fat. So, you have to be careful how much of them you eat. 

Ideally, the serving portion should be around an eighth of a cup. 

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Most of us grew up eating eggs for breakfast. They’re high in protein and healthy unsaturated fats . That makes them the perfect way to start your day. 

They’ll give you a boost of energy and keep your blood sugar low. In addition, they can help you reduce your fasting blood sugar levels. 

Besides that, eggs contain a wide variety of nutrients. These include vitamins B12, B, and D. So they can even improve your mood. 

Start off with eating one large hard-boiled egg. If you still feel a little peckish, then you can have another. 

Yet, try to limit your intake to two eggs per snack. 

Cucumber rolls

When looking for a light snack to hold you over until lunch, cucumber rolls may be the best option for you. 

You can prepare them in a few minutes with ingredients that you already have in your pantry. All you need are a few cucumbers, tomatoes, and a little lemon juice.

Start out by finely chopping up the tomatoes. Then, sprinkle the lemon juice on top. 

After that, cut your cucumbers lengthwise. Try to make the slices as thin as possible. 

Next, lay out a slice of cucumber and top it off with a spoonful of your tomatoes. Finally, roll them up, and you’re ready to eat. 

This will give you a boost in vitamins K, B, and C. Once you try one of these rolls, it’ll be tough to stop eating them. 

Yet, it’s best to limit the intake to five or six rolls. 

Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

If you’re a dairy lover, cottage cheese may be the perfect snack for you. It’s a little creamy and it can keep you feeling full for a couple of hours. 

Plus, cottage cheese is an amazing source of calcium. This is crucial for healthy bone and teeth development. 

Moving on, some versions of this cheese contain probiotics. These are good bacteria that’ll maintain your digestive system. 

To top it all off, cottage cheese doesn't come with a lot of carbohydrates. In fact, a half-cup serving only contains about four to five grams of carbs.

Yogurt

If you want a snack that you can eat at your desk, then try out yogurt. For starters, it’s easy to pack and transport. 

Besides that, you can eat it quickly without making a mess. Plus, it has countless health benefits. 

First off, it’ll give you protein, vitamins, calcium, and probiotics. This means it's a complete snack that’s rich in nutrients. 

Not only can it enhance your heart health, but it’s delicious to boot. Yogurt is creamy with a tangy aftertaste. 

That makes it a simple way of spicing up your diet without spending hours in the kitchen. In addition, you can add fruits on top to give the meal a hint of sweetness. 

Try sprinkling on a few strawberry or blueberry slices to a cup of yogurt and enjoy your snack. 

Veggie Slices

Some of us struggle with staying full for long periods. So, about an hour after a meal, we’ll start to feel hungry again. 

This will cause a drop in energy levels and leave us feeling miserable. If that’s the case, then veggie slices may be the answer you’re looking for. 

That’s because most vegetables don’t contain a lot of carbs. For that reason, you’ll be able to eat more of them, which should keep you full for longer. 

Plus, you’re free to choose any veggies you like. That includes cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, and broccoli. 

Although, not all vegetables are suitable for diabetics. Potatoes, corn, and peas have a high glycemic index, which means they can cause blood sugar spikes. 

This doesn’t mean you can eat these veggies. It only indicates that you’ll have to consume small amounts of them to stay in control of your blood sugar. 

Veggies and Hummus

If veggie slices are too plain for you, try eating them with hummus. The dip is hearty, creamy, and mouth-watering. 

It’ll add a flare to the veggies that’ll keep you coming back for more. 

Besides that, hummus is good for diabetics. This is because it’s high in protein, fiber, and unsaturated fats. 

For that reason, hummus can keep you feeling full for hours after the snack. On top of that, it contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, potassium, and iron. 

As a general rule, you don’t want to eat more than a third of a cup of hummus a day. Otherwise, you’ll consume much more fat than you need. 

Popcorn

Most of us think of popcorn as a movie snack. Although, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the treat daily. 

Popcorn is a great snack for diabetics since it only contains small amounts of carbs. 

That means you can have about two to three cups of the snack without worrying about your blood sugar rising. 

On top of that, the treat is a good source of polyphenols. These are antioxidants that can have many beneficial effects on your health. 

For example, it’ll improve your blood circulation. This will make moving around easier, and it’ll help with healing wounds faster. 

Other than that, polyphenols can aid with digestion. 

Cauliflower Bites

Potato chips are one of the world’s most popular snacks. People of all ages and backgrounds enjoy the crispy treat.

Yet, they’re not particularly good for diabetics. That’s because they’re oily and usually have a high carb and fat content. 

Luckily, there’s a healthier alternative on the market. When looking for a crispy snack, then cauliflower bites are the way to go. 

All you have to do is throw your cauliflower into the oven for about half an hour. Then, you’ll have a crunchy treat that’s tasty and healthy. 

Plus, you can add any spices you like to flavor the bites. If you don’t have the time to make them yourself, you can buy pre-packaged cauliflower bites online. 

Egg Muffins

After a while of eating hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, anyone will get bored. Fortunately, there are hundreds of ways you can spruce up the dish. 

One of the easiest methods is to make egg muffins. For this dish, you’ll need the following:

  • 5 large eggs
  • ½. Once you have the components, chop up your veggies and throw them in a large bowl.

    Then, crack the eggs on top and add in your milk. After that, spoon the mixture into a muffin tin and place it in the oven for about 30 minutes. 

    Finally, season your muffins and dig in. 

    This recipe will make about three muffins, but you shouldn’t eat them all in one sitting. Instead, spread them out over two to three meals. 

    Avocados

    Most people think of avocados as the most nutritious fruit on the planet, and they’re right. That’s because it has a high concentration of monosaturated fats. 

    Not only can these reduce the chances of heart disease, they can also help you lose weight. 

    Moving on, you can eat the fruit as is or turn it into guacamole. That way, you’ll have another dip option for your veggie slices.

    Although, guacamole will have a lot more fat than hummus. For that reason, it’s good practice to limit your daily intake to about half an avocado

    Beef Jerky

    No road trip is complete without beef jerky. It’s an amazing snack option for people who are always on the go. 

    You can eat it in a flash, and you don’t even have to refrigerate it. 

    Aside from that, beef jerky can provide you with a lot of iron and vitamin B12. These will aid with growth and development. 

    To top it all off, an ounce of the snack only contains about six grams of carbs. Yet, beef jerky typically has a high salt content. 

    So, to ensure you don’t consume too much sodium, limit yourself to eight pieces a day. 

    Peanut Butter Protein Balls

    Peanut butter balls were all the rage in the early 2000s. That’s because they’re both sweet and salty, and they’re easy to make. 

    All you need is peanut butter, a little powdered sugar, and unsalted butter. Sadly, this recipe is unsuitable for diabetics. 

    Yet, there’s another simple version that’ll reduce the fat content. Instead of powdered sugar, you can use protein powder

    Plus, as an alternative to butter, you can substitute it with coconut oil. This will give you a treat that melts in your mouth and itches any sugar cravings you may have. 

    Finally, it’s not a good idea to eat more than one peanut butter ball in one sitting. 

    Apples and Peanut Butter

    As a diabetic, it’s important that you ensure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Although, this can get a little old pretty fast. 

    Yet, there are a few ways you can make eating fruits more fun. For example, you can try dipping them in peanut butter. 

    It’s rich in vitamins E and B6, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. 

    Unfortunately, peanut butter is also high in unsaturated fats. Because of that, you should only eat about two tablespoons per meal. 

    Tuna Salad

    If you’re looking for a snack that’s high in protein and low in carbs, a tuna salad is an excellent choice. 

    First off, the fish has an exceptionally high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. For that reason, it can reduce cholesterol levels and improve brain function. 

    Plus, tuna may be able to help you boost your eyesight. To top it all off, the dish is simple to prepare. 

    Start off with about three and a half ounces of tuna. Then, chop up a few vegetables like lettuce and bell peppers. 

    You can be as creative as you like with your choice of veggies. After that, put all the ingredients into a bowl and finish them off with a sprinkle of lemon juice. 

    Roasted Chickpeas

    Legumes are generally a good option for diabetics. That’s because they can suppress appetite and blood sugar concentration. 

    Thankfully, chickpeas are no different. 

    These legumes are appetizing, and they’re good for you. Plus, when you roast them, they have a pleasant crunch that’s ideal for snacking. 

    To make this dish, you need about one and a half cups of chickpeas. Spread them onto a baking sheet, then drizzle a little olive oil on top. 

    After that, you can sprinkle spices and herbs on the dish. In this step, you can be as creative as you like. Yet, we think the best additions are a little rosemary and garlic powder. 

    Chia Seed Pudding

    If you have a sweet tooth, then try out a chia seed pudding. 

    The majority of dietitians refer to chia seeds as a superfood. This is due to the high vitamin and mineral concentration of the seeds. 

    Moving on, they have a high fiber content, which can help keep blood pressure low. Plus, chia seeds can reduce inflammation and enhance your glucose and insulin tolerance. 

    To make this dish, you’ll want to start off with half a cup of your favorite milk. You can use any type, but almond milk adds a nice nutty aftertaste. 

    On top of that, add about an ounce of chia seeds and one packet of stevia. Then, you’ll have to wait for a couple of hours for the seeds to bloom. 

    They’ll double in size, and the mixture will thicken up. Lastly, garnish the dessert with a couple of strawberries and dig in. 

Tips for Snacking as a Diabetic

At this point, you should know that you want to reduce carbs and sugars in your diet. Although there are a few other factors you should consider when snacking.

Salt Content

While salt won’t cause your sugar levels to surge, it’ll cause a spike in blood pressure. This, in turn, will increase your insulin resistance.

Snack Timetable

When snacking, it’s good practice to keep an eye on when you eat. To keep their blood sugar levels balanced, diabetics snack every two to three hours. 

Although, this may change depending on your condition. That’s why you should have a glucometer. This will tell you when your sugar levels are low enough for your next snack. 

Water Intake

Water is your best friend as a diabetic for many reasons. For starters, it won’t increase your blood sugar levels. 

Other than that, it’ll help keep you full between meals. Finally, water can flush out excess sugar from your bloodstream. 

Conclusion

If you’re looking for low-carb snacks for diabetics, there are many options to choose from. Some of our favorites include egg muffins, strawberries, and cucumber rolls. 

Yet, you can also try out beef jerky, avocados, and tuna salads. 

Plus, if you have a sweet tooth, then peanut butter protein balls or chia seed pudding may be for you.

Other than that, be sure to keep an eye on your salt intake. Finally, don’t forget to drink plenty of water and snack on a regular schedule.

Sources

At Diabetic Me, we are committed to delivering information that is precise, accurate, and pertinent. Our articles are supported by verified data from research papers, prestigious organizations, academic institutions, and medical associations to guarantee the integrity and relevance of the information we provide. You can learn more about our process and team on the about us page.

  1. Cleveland Clinic The Skinny on Unsaturated Fats: Why You Need Them and the Best Sources
  2. WebMD What Are Probiotics?
  3. National Library of Medicine Chickpeas suppress postprandial blood glucose concentration, and appetite and reduce energy intake at the next meal

About the Author

Inez Briand

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

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