People with diabetes can snack on a variety of healthy whole grain, fruit and vegetable options but should avoid the sugary, high-fat choices that are typically associated with snacking. Portion control is essential to control blood glucose levels.
In general, carbohydrate-rich ingredients such as sugar, white flour and white rice should be avoided. A good rule of thumb to remember is that one slice of bread or one small apple or orange all contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates, which is a good standard for a between-meal snack.
Lower-carb options are also possible. The following represent healthy snack choices which contain only approximately 5 grams of carbohydrates.
- 15 almonds, 8 green olives or 2 tablespoons pumpkin or sesame seeds
- 1 cup of salad greens with 1/2 cup chopped cucumbers and a drizzle of oil and vinegar dressing
- 1 cup of light popcorn or 2 saltine crackers
Snacks with higher carbohydrate counts - approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates - may be appropriate just before exercising or working out. There are many different options.
- 1 medium banana with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 6 ounces light yogurt with 3/4 cup berries
- 3/4 cup whole grain cereal and 1/2 cup skim milk
It is important to keep an eye on the carbohydrate count of any snack foods. Prepared snacks and foods which are marked as being diabetic-friendly may be low in sugar but still have a high carbohydrate count.