Snacking can be tricky when you have type 2 diabetes.
Although you may feel hungry, you don’t want to boost your blood sugars before your next meal. Or, if it’s a bedtime snack you’re craving, a snack could push up your morning readings.
The old advice for people with diabetes was to consume three meals and two snacks. But lately this grazing approach has fallen out of favor with some nutritionists, who realized that some people took that advice as a license to eat what amounted to six meals.
However, sometimes you need to nosh. Over the past 25+ years living with type 2, I’ve learned what snacks can satisfy me without wreaking havoc with my glucose readings. The principles for my snacks are the same: if I eat something with carbs, I counteract with protein. A little fat is ok, since it gives me a boost in energy. And before I eat, I try to remember to drink a glass of water, because sometimes I mistake thirst for hunger, and it’s good to stay hydrated.
Keeping in mind every case of diabetes is unique, here are 30 snacks that work for me:
1. 25 almonds
2. String cheese and a half cup of blueberries
3. A Glucerna minibar and a warm drink
4. A half cup of plain Greek yogurt mixed with two tablespoons of homemade granola
5. Two sugarless fudgesicle bars
6. Ten baby carrots and two tablespoons of hummus
7. Two bagel thins and an ounce of lox
8. One ounce of hard cheese with six small rosemary raisin crackers
9. A handful of peanuts (just a handful)
10. Three cups of air-popped popcorn sprinkled with garlic salt and cumin
11. A half cup of low-sugar, low-fat ice cream
12. A cup of raspberries and two tablespoons of whipped cream
13. Sugarless Jell-O with a little whipped cream
14. Two cups of chopped salad – cucumbers, parsley, tomatoes and red onion with a smidgen of feta
15. Two figs and one ounce of brie cheese
16. A slice of Ezekiel bread with a half tablespoon of butter
17. A berry parfait with a mix of berries and Greek yogurt mixed with vanilla
18. A hard boiled egg and celery sticks
19. A small stir-fry of low carb vegetables (if I’m really hungry)
20. Five shrimp with two tablespoons of sauce
21. A two egg white scramble with spinach
22. Half of a Kind bar
23. Half of an almond nut butter and no sugar jelly sandwich on low glycemic bread
24. One piece of dark chocolate, eaten slowly
25. A small antipasto of two grilled artichoke hearts, roasted pepper, 6 black olives and one thin slice of mozzarella
26. A small bowl of tzatziki (Greek yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber, garlic and dill) and sliced cucumbers
27. Eggplant rollups: broiled slices of eggplant wrapped around a thin slice of provolone cheese and a sundried tomato
28. One small homemade oatmeal raisin cookie
29. One half cut of cottage cheese and sliced radishes, cucumbers and baby carrots
30. A small box of raisins mixed with two tablespoons of cashews
As always, you should check with your nutritionist (and your blood glucose machine) to make sure that these snacks are right for you.