10 Snack Ideas for People with Diabetes
Try these quick, healthy foods for a morning, afternoon, or evening snack.
July 26, 2021
Snacks can be an important part of a person’s day, especially for a person with diabetes. Skipping or delaying meals can lead to blood sugar crashes or even blood sugar spikes! Spikes can occur because a person with diabetes may overeat after having a low blood sugar or their body simply wants them to compensate for missed calories. You can avoid blood sugar highs and lows by planning ahead and having healthy snacks on hand. A healthy snack contains little to no added sugars and a combination of carb, fiber, protein, and healthy fats as this will help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Here are 10 snack ideas for people with diabetes:
#1: Fruit and yogurt
Fruit is considered a nutrient-dense carb food because it can be a great source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Fiber helps control blood sugar, potassium helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, vitamin A keeps your eyes and skin healthy, and vitamin C helps with healing—these functions are important for preventing diabetes complications. To make snacking on fruit easier, keep chopped fruit in the refrigerator and a fruit bowl on your kitchen table. Pair your fruit with a high-protein yogurt, such as nonfat Greek yogurt. This Berry Skewers with Lemon Ginger Yogurt Dip recipe is a fun way to incorporate a fruit and yogurt snack into your day!
#2: Veggies and hummus
Veggies, like fruit, are a nutrient-dense carb food. Yes, a carb food! Many people do not realize that all vegetables, even nonstarchy ones like broccoli, contain carb. However, nonstarchy vegetables usually do not contain enough carb for them to impact your blood sugar. Because nonstarchy vegetables are packed with nutrients and have minimal blood sugar impact, try to eat at least 3-5 servings of them a day. A great way to get in a serving is by pairing veggies with protein-rich hummus for a snack. Try this Sweet Red Pepper Hummus recipe made with Splenda Stevia.
#3: Nuts and seeds
While it may not seem like it, fat has a purpose—it protects our organs, keeps our body warm, and helps us absorb and transport fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins D and K. Unfortunately, not all fats are created equal. Aim to get more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet—these are healthy fats! Monounsaturated fats include almonds, cashews, pecans, and peanuts, and polyunsaturated fats include walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds. Try making these Spicy Texas Pecans for a yummy snack!
#4: Splenda Diabetes Care Shake
Have you tried our Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes? They are a smooth and creamy snack replacement with no added sugar! An 8-ounce serving contains 15 grams of total carbohydrate (3.5 grams of net carbs), 16 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of total fat, most of which is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. This unique nutrient combination can help manage blood sugar and keep you feeling full. Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes come in three delicious flavors: Milk Chocolate, French Vanilla, and Strawberry Banana. Click here to find out where you can buy them.
#5: Cheese and whole-grain crackers
Cheese gets a bad rep because of its high saturated fat and sodium content. However, it’s important to know that cheese is a high-quality protein food and a good source of calcium! If you are still worried about the saturated fat and sodium, try choosing reduced-fat cheese and cheeses that are naturally lower in sodium, such as swiss, goat, and fresh mozzarella. Pair your cheese with whole-grain crackers for a boost in fiber to help manage blood sugar.
#6: Cottage cheese and fruit
While cottage cheese is not a low-sodium food, you can find it with less sodium, and if you are watching your fat intake, low fat and fat free options are available. A ½ cup serving of cottage cheese is equivalent to eating 2 ounces of meat/protein. Pair this serving with a fruit—peaches and berries are popular choices. Sprinkle your favorite Splenda sweetener on top for added sweetness!
#7: A half sandwich
A half sandwich may sound like a boring snack, but it doesn’t have to be! First, choose a whole-grain bread. Whole-grain products are made from the whole-grain kernel, making them a key source of B vitamins and fiber. For a sweeter half sandwich, make a PB&J with one of these delicious Splenda jam recipes. For a more savory half sandwich, dress up low-sodium meat with this Apple-Bacon Chutney made with Splenda Sugar Blend or these Bread and Butter Pickles made with Splenda Granulated Sweetener.
#8: Energy or protein balls
Energy or protein balls have been a trending snack for good reason—they’re delicious and simple-to-make! Most of these recipes require no baking, like this Energy Balls with Chunky Peanut Butter recipe made with Splenda Stevia Granulated Sweetener. Energy or protein balls are called a combination food because they contain a mixture of food groups (usually grains, protein, and fruit). Make sure to read the nutrition info that comes with the recipe to know how to count it in your diabetes meal plan.
#9: Mini quesadilla
“Mini” is a relative term. The point is to remind you that this quesadilla is a snack, NOT a meal, so try to keep it small. Fold an 8-inch tortilla in half or use two street taco-size tortillas. Flour or corn tortillas are fine, but if you can find whole-wheat tortillas go for those! Use about 1/3 cup of shredded cheese (this counts as 1 dairy serving), and heat your quesadilla in a skillet. Top your quesadilla with this Southwest Citrus Salsa for added flavor!
#10: Protein smoothie
Depending on the ingredients, smoothies can serve as a healthy snack or a sugary dessert masking as a smoothie. A healthy smoothie should include a protein source, such as Greek yogurt or peanut butter, and fruit and/or veggies. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie contains a ½ serving of fruit, chia seeds (remember these are a source of polyunsaturated fat), peanut butter, AND an 8-ounce Splenda Milk Chocolate Diabetes Care Shake. This smoothie is packed with nutrients!
Summary: Snacks can be essential for people with diabetes to prevent blood sugar crashes and spikes. Snacks do not have to be boring, but they should be healthy! The snacks listed above can be used to keep your blood sugar stable, satisfy your hunger, and get a wide variety of food groups and nutrients in your diet. Enjoy!
Written by Holly Moran, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES, and member of the Splenda Healthcare team.
Diabetes Friendly Recipes
1 American Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Fats., www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/eating-well/fats. 2 Cleveland Clinic. (2019, May 1). Sodium-controlled diet., my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15426-sodium-controlled-diet. 3 Duyff, R. L. (2017). Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics complete food and nutrition guide (5th ed.). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.. 4 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (n.d.). Cheese. , www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/cheese/. 5 Produce for Better Health Foundation. (n.d.). Key nutrients in fruits & vegetables. Have a Plant. , fruitsandveggies.org/stories/key-nutrients-that-protect/