Swapping Out Your Snacks for Diabetes
Last updated: March 2022
There may have been quite a few things that changed when you were diagnosed with diabetes. Among them: exercising more, checking blood glucose levels, and making diet changes. Sometimes your favorite snacks or snacking habits have been ingrained from childhood and it can be difficult to say goodbye. Instead, you may be able to find substitutions for your beloved snacks that work better when you are a person living with diabetes.
Opting for healthy snacks with type 2 diabetes
Let’s check out a few options and hopefully it gives you the power and knowledge to do it for yourself!
Subsitutions for fruit cups
Easy, convenient, and delicious, fruit cups are often a loved snack. Due to the fact that they are usually sitting in sugary-sweet syrup, you may have stopped consuming them. Or if you continued to consume them, they may have brought on some unwanted blood glucose readings. When choosing a snack to replace a fruit cup, the best options are high-fiber fruits such as pears that still have their peels, or berries that tend to be lower in calories and carbohydrates. Five large strawberries provide 29 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrate, and almost 2 grams of fiber. Adding a protein along with these such as a few pistachios, or even some string cheese, can aid in the satiety we are looking for from a well-balanced snack.
Subsitutions for potato chips
Salty, crunchy, what more could you want? When you are living with diabetes, potato chips can be a recipe for high blood glucose levels. In general, they aren’t a great snack as they don’t make you feel full, leading to many returns to that bag over and over again. So what can you replace them with? Nuts are a great option. Salty and crunchy but also loaded with protein, nuts are a great snack choice. Be mindful of portion sizes, as nuts are high in calories and fats (though they are healthy fats). If you struggle with hypertension or choose a low salt diet, opt for unsalted nut varieties. Another idea: cut cucumbers into thin slices and sprinkle with a favorite seasoning such as paprika or Mrs. Dash. They are refreshing and can keep your mouth and mind busy when you are looking to nibble.
Subsitutions for peanut butter sandwich crackers
Cheese crackers or plain, peanut butter sandwich snack crackers are a fan favorite. And while they boast the protein from peanut butter, they also have unnecessary sugars that lend them to be a less than optimal choice when you are living with diabetes. Instead, try making your own sandwich crackers. Choosing a whole grain cracker, such as Wheat Thins, is a better choice nutritionally as they provide fiber. Four crackers plus ½ tablespoon of peanut butter provides 83 calories and 7 grams of carbohydrate.
What snacks do you miss? Is there any way you can make them more diabetes-friendly?
Do you find it difficult to "eat right" and stick to a nutrition plan?