Quick. What’s the first thing you think about when you hear type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Most often, it’s blood sugar. Yes, that's important—but don't forget, the heart deserves lots of TLC too. Maintaining heart health and preventing heart disease is critical for everyone living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Let's start at the beginning with the basics.
If losing some pounds and revamping eating habits is a lifestyle change you want to pursue this year, rethinking how you snack should be a part of your healthy eating game plan.
However, it's easy to snack mindlessly, and that habit needs to be modified. Eating while distracted, like while watching television, makes it easy to overindulge and derail your healthy eating goals. When choosing a snack, remember that even if it’s healthy, you should still watch your portions and check nutrition labels carefully.
What to Look for in a Diabetes-Friendly SnackLook for unprocessed foods with low levels of fat, sugar, and sodium that have high levels of nutrients and fiber. That may sound impossible to find, but we have some recipes and ideas you can make at home for easy, healthy snacks.
Salty and Crunchy Diabetes-Friendly Snack IdeasKale chips: You can make these with your favorite spices and herbs. Our Chinese Five-Spice Kale Chips are easy to prepare and satisfy crunch cravings.
Air-popped popcorn: Buy an air popper and instead of topping popcorn with butter, fill a mister with extra virgin olive oil and spray it on top. Love a cheesy addition? Fake it with a shake of nutritional yeast. If you have a craving for BBQ chips, try BBQ popcorn instead!
Roasted chickpeas: You can buy them in international markets or make your own, using canned, drained and rinsed chickpeas. These Roasted and Spiced Chickpeas are high fiber and can keep you feeling full for longer.
Veggies with dips: Keep vegetables cut up in your fridge to make them easily accessible. Enjoy dipped in hummus or try our Veggie Dip Cups, with a yogurt dip. You can swap out the veggies so it’s always something new and fresh.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and more are wonderful snacks. Buy them raw and roast and season them yourself so you can monitor the sodium amount. However, be careful to keep portions small because they are a fat-dense food.
Air fryer vegetable chips: You can “fry” lots of different veggies, from sweet potatoes and cauliflower to Brussels sprouts, zucchini, and onions with an air fryer. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees. Slice your vegetables thin, toss in a little olive oil and seasoning, add in an even layer to basket and cook until crisp. No air fryer? No problem. Make our Green Bean “Fries”.
Sweet Diabetes Friendly Snack IdeasBerries or sliced fruit: Fruit is full of fiber and lots of great nutrients when consumed raw. Nibble on them alone or dip them in low-fat or non-fat yogurt. However, this is another item to monitor the portion control so you aren’t eating too much sugar.
Homemade frozen yogurt-and-fruit pops: Buy popsicle molds online and fill with a mix of low-fat or non-fat yogurt mixed with fruit, then freeze. Brilliant for steamy summer days. Or try our Banana Chocolate “Ice Cream.”
Dark chocolate: Sometimes you just need a chocolate fix. It may take some training of your palate, but you can learn to love a piece of dark chocolate. Look for a high cocoa percentage since it has less sugar and fat than the milk or white chocolate varieties.
Check out all the different snack options on the Diabetes Food Hub and sign up for our monthly newsletter to have recipes delivered straight to you inbox.