10 Best Snacks for Diabetics & Best Times to Snack

by Ella

For individuals living with diabetes, maintaining stable blood sugar levels is a cornerstone of managing the condition. A well-planned diet that includes nutrient-rich snacks can play a pivotal role in achieving this goal. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the world of snacking for diabetics, unveiling a curated selection of the best snacks that promote blood sugar balance, provide sustained energy, and support overall health.

The Importance of Snacking for Diabetics

Snacking can be a strategic tool for diabetics, aiding in blood sugar management and preventing spikes that can lead to complications. When chosen wisely, snacks can bridge the gap between meals, prevent overeating during main meals, and help maintain consistent energy levels. The key lies in selecting snacks that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats while keeping carbohydrates in check.


The Best Snacks for Diabetics

1. Nuts and Seeds: Nature’s Tiny Powerhouses

Nuts and seeds are stellar choices for diabetics due to their satiating blend of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are excellent options. A small handful can provide a satisfying crunch while helping stabilize blood sugar levels.


2. Greek Yogurt: Creamy and Protein-Rich*

Greek yogurt is a protein-packed snack that can keep hunger at bay and contribute to blood sugar control. Opt for plain, unsweetened varieties and enhance flavor with a sprinkle of cinnamon, a drizzle of honey (in moderation), or fresh berries.


See Also: Yogurt for Diabetics: All You Want To Know


3. Hummus and Veggies: A Harmonious Duo

Hummus, made from chickpeas, is a fiber-rich dip that pairs beautifully with an assortment of colorful vegetable sticks. Carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cucumber slices provide a medley of textures and flavors while offering vitamins and minerals.

4. Hard-Boiled Eggs: Protein Powerhouses

Hard-boiled eggs are convenient, portable, and loaded with protein. They make for a satisfying snack that can help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full.

See Also: How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs: A Simple Guide

5. Cottage Cheese and Fruit: Creamy and Sweet

Cottage cheese, especially the low-fat or non-fat variety, can be coupled with fresh fruit like berries or sliced peaches for a balanced snack that combines protein with natural sweetness.

6. Veggie Chips: A Guilt-Free Crunch

Homemade veggie chips, crafted from kale, zucchini, or sweet potatoes, offer a satisfying crunch with fewer carbohydrates and more fiber than traditional potato chips.

See Also: The Impact of Potato Chips on Diabetes: All You Want To Know

7. Nut Butter on Whole Grain Crackers: A Tasty Combo

Spread a dollop of nut butter (peanut, almond, or cashew) on whole grain crackers for a harmonious blend of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.

See Also: The Best Bread for Diabetics: A Comprehensive Guide

8. Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers: Savory Delights

Pairing a small portion of cheese with whole grain crackers provides a satisfying combination of protein and fiber. Opt for low-fat or reduced-sodium cheese options.

9. Edamame: Plant-Based Protein Pods

Edamame, young soybeans, are a fantastic plant-based source of protein and fiber. Lightly steam and season them for a nutritious and convenient snack.

10. Chia Pudding: Packed with Fiber

Chia seeds soaked in almond milk or yogurt create a delightful pudding rich in fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Top with fresh fruit for added flavor and nutrients.

See Also: 10 Best Fruits For Diabetics

Smart Snacking Strategies

1. Portion Control: The Key to Balance

Even with nutrient-dense snacks, portion control is essential. Measure out servings to avoid excessive calorie and carbohydrate intake.

2. Read Labels: Mind Carbohydrate Content

When selecting packaged snacks, carefully read nutrition labels to assess carbohydrate content and choose options with minimal added sugars.

3. Pairing Proteins and Carbs: A Winning Combo

Pairing protein-rich snacks with a small amount of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains or fruits, can help manage blood sugar levels and provide sustained energy.

4. Planning Ahead: The Snack Arsenal

Preparation is key. Stock your pantry and refrigerator with diabetes-friendly snacks to ensure you always have a wholesome option on hand.

5. Hydration: Don’t Forget Water

Staying hydrated is crucial for blood sugar management. Drinking water throughout the day can also help curb excessive snacking.

Snacks People with Diabetes Should Limit or Avoid

1. Sugary Treats:

Snacks that are high in added sugars can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, followed by sharp crashes. Limit or avoid:

Sugary candies, chocolates, and sweets

Pastries, cakes, and cookies

Regular soda and sugary beverages

See Also: Can Diabetics Eat Ice Cream? [Revealed!]

2. Processed Snacks:

Highly processed snacks often contain unhealthy fats, excessive sodium, and refined carbohydrates, which can disrupt blood sugar control and contribute to other health issues. Approach with caution or limit:

Potato chips and other fried snacks

Pre-packaged snack cakes and muffins

Flavored crackers and chips

3. Sugary Breakfast Cereals:

Many breakfast cereals, especially those marketed as “healthy” options, can be loaded with added sugars. Choose cereals with minimal added sugars and high fiber content if you decide to include them.

4. Energy Bars and Granola Bars:

While some energy bars or granola bars may seem like convenient options, they often contain high amounts of added sugars and refined carbohydrates. Opt for bars that are specifically designed for people with diabetes and have a balanced macronutrient profile.

See Also: Can Diabetics Drink Zero Sugar Coke? [Revealed! ]

5. Sugary Yogurt and Fruit-Flavored Snacks:

Yogurts with fruit on the bottom or fruit-flavored yogurts can contain significant amounts of added sugars. Choose plain, unsweetened yogurt and add your own fresh fruit or a small amount of honey if desired.

6. Excessive Fruit Consumption:

While fruits are generally a healthy choice, consuming large quantities of high-sugar fruits in one sitting can lead to spikes in blood sugar. Opt for smaller portions of fruits and pair them with protein or healthy fats to balance the impact on blood sugar.

7. Regular White Bread and Baked Goods:

Snacks made from refined white flour, such as white bread and baked goods, can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Choose whole grain options or consider alternatives like whole grain crackers or rice cakes.

8. High-Sugar Dried Fruits:

Dried fruits can have concentrated sugar content, making them less suitable for people with diabetes. If you enjoy dried fruits, consume them in small portions and pair them with protein or healthy fats.

9. Alcohol and Sugary Mixers:

Alcoholic beverages and mixers high in added sugars can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. If you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation and opt for lower-sugar mixers.

See Also: 8 Sweet Snacks Safe For Diabetics

Timing Snacks for Diabetics

1. Between Meals:

Snacking between main meals can help prevent prolonged periods of fasting, which may lead to drops in blood sugar levels. Aim to have a snack roughly 2 to 3 hours after a meal to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

2. Pre-Exercise Snacking:

If you plan to engage in physical activity, particularly intense or prolonged exercise, a small snack before the activity can help prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Choose a snack that combines carbohydrates with a source of protein to provide sustained energy.

3. Bedtime Snack:

A bedtime snack can help prevent nighttime hypoglycemia or provide a steady source of energy throughout the night. Opt for a snack that includes complex carbohydrates and a small amount of protein, such as a small whole grain cracker with nut butter or a piece of cheese.

4. Before or After Medications:

Depending on your medication regimen, you may need to time your snacks around your medication schedule. Some medications require food intake to prevent low blood sugar, while others may require you to avoid certain foods or beverages.


Snacking, when approached mindfully and strategically, can be a valuable tool for individuals living with diabetes. By choosing nutrient-packed options rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, diabetics can stabilize blood sugar levels, maintain energy, and support overall well-being. A well-stocked snack arsenal, coupled with smart portion control and thoughtful pairings, empowers diabetics to take control of their nutritional journey and enjoy a flavorful array of snacks that nourish both body and soul. Remember, consulting a registered dietitian or healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance tailored to individual dietary needs and health goals.



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