Many people with type 2 diabetes are advised to have a snack between meals, to ensure their blood sugar levels don’t go too low. A between-meal snack can also curb hunger cravings, while providing a nutritious energy boost to your day. Here are 10 diabetes snacks that you can try any time.
1. Yogurt and berries
- Berries and yogurt are excellent low-calorie food choices, and they’re also rich in nutrients.
- Blueberries contain vitamins C and B6, as well as potassium and folate, which are all beneficial for heart health; they’re also high in fibre.
- Yogurt is a good source of calcium, which supports bone health and growth; choose plain yogurt, as flavoured yogurts can have additional sugars and carbohydrates.
- A 100-gram (half-cup) serving of fresh blueberries contains just 42 calories.
- A 170-gram (six-ounce) serving of plain yogurt contains between 100 and 150 calories (depending on the fat content).
- Almonds are packed with protein healthy (unsaturated) fats, fibre magnesium and vitamin E.
- They also have a number of health benefits for people with diabetes, including lowering blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Almonds can also help reduce hunger pangs and promote weight loss.
- Because almonds are calorically dense and high in fats, it is important to exercise portion control with your almond intake.
- A 60-mL (one-quarter cup) serving of whole almonds contains 207 calories, 17 grams of fat and 7.5 grams of protein.
3. Hummus and vegetables
- In addition to being an excellent source of protein and fibre, chickpeas used in hummus are high in iron, folate, phosphorus and B vitamins.
- Enjoy hummus with your favourite raw vegetable sticks;
- Veggies are one of the best things people with diabetes can eat – they contain virtually no carbohydrates, tons of fibre and they generally have very few calories
- Choose non-starchy vegetables (e.g. celery, cucumber, carrots, zucchini and peppers) to get the best health benefits
- A 100-gram (half-cup) serving of hummus contains 165 calories and 6 grams of fibre.
- Non-starchy vegetables – such as celery, peppers, radishes and zucchini – are chock full of nutrients and have few calories; enjoy as many vegetables as you like with your hummus!
4. Avocado toast
- Avocado has endless health benefits: it’s a source of healthy fat that is low in carbohydrates and high in fibre, and it’s even thought to assist in weight loss.
- Choose a whole grain bread (instead of white bread) to get the maximum health benefit from this delicious snack.
- Pay attention to your portion size, as the calories can add up quickly; take half an avocado, mash and spread on toast; seal the remaining half tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to one week.
- One-half of an avocado contains 150 calories, 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of monounsaturated fat (a healthy fat).
- One slice of whole grain bread contains about 120 calories, 3 grams of fat and 19 grams of carbohydrate.
5. Apple slices with nut butter
- Apples are very rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fibre.
- The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
- Spreading a tablespoon of nut butter on your apple – whether it’s peanut, almond or cashew – will give your body a protein and fibre boost.
- One medium-sized apple contains about 95 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrate and 2.4 grams of fibre.
- One tablespoon of almond butter contains about 98 calories, 9 grams of fat, 3.4 grams of protein and 1.6 grams of fibre.
6. Turkey roll-ups
- Turkey is one of the leanest meats available, and is an excellent snack choice, as it contains plenty of protein.
- Besides protein, turkey also contains vitamin B6 and niacin, both of which are essential for the body’s energy production.
- Prepare a roll-up on a whole grain wrap, with a smear of mustard and a dab of mayonnaise for a low-calorie snack that will give you plenty of energy.
- For a lower-carb option, you can prepare your roll-up on a large piece of romaine lettuce!
- One serving of white turkey meat (50 grams, or 2 ounces) contains 190 calories and 15 grams of protein.
- One whole grain wrap contains 127 calories and 19 grams of carbohydrate.
7. Cottage cheese
- Cottage cheese is considered a fresh cheese, as it does not undergo an aging or ripening process; as a result, it has a very mild flavour compared with aged cheeses.
- Cottage cheese is made from the curds of pasteurized cow’s milk, and is available with various levels of milk fat (i.e. non-fat, reduced-fat or regular)
- Cottage cheese is low in calories and high in protein, and is also an excellent source of vitamin B12, calcium and iron.
- One serving of 1% milk fat cottage cheese (113 grams or one-half cup) contains 80 calories and 28 grams of protein.
8. Hard boiled eggs
- Egg whites are rich in protein, while egg yolks are a source of choline, a nutrient that promotes normal cell activity, liver function and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body.
- For a protein-packed snack, grab a hard-boiled egg (or two!) to satisfy your hunger mid-day.
- You can boil a batch of eggs so that they’re ready when you’re hungry; hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator (with the shells still on) for up to one week.
- A single egg has about 70 calories, and contains six grams of protein
9. Tuna and crackers
- Tuna is a source of high-quality protein, and contains almost no fat.
- It also contains all essential amino acids required by the body for growth and maintenance of lean muscle tissue.
- Canned tuna can be a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids which may help improve blood vessel function, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Choose solid or chunk tuna packed in broth or water (instead of oil) and spread it on healthy low-salt, whole grain crackers.
- One serving of tuna (2 ounces or 56 grams) contains about 100 calories and 13 grams of protein.
- When air-popped and eaten plain (i.e. skip the oil, butter and salt!), popcorn is a healthy whole grain food that is low in calories and high in fibre.
- High-fibre foods take more time to digest than non-fibrous foods, so they keep you fuller longer.
- Popcorn is an excellent snack choice because it’s probably the only snack food that is 100% unprocessed whole grain. Just one serving of popcorn contains more than 70% of your recommended daily whole grain intake.
- One cup of air-popped popcorn contains about 30 calories and 1 gram of fibre.