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Smart Snacking For People with Diabetes
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Smart Snacking For People with Diabetes

People with diabetes often have questions about what types of snacks fit a diabetes meal plan. Firstly, there is no need to purchase special foods if you have diabetes. However, special attention needs to be placed on the amount and type of carbohydrate that is eaten throughout the day, and this includes snacks!

Registered Dietitians recommend that people with diabetes eat a snack between meals if their meals are more than 4 – 6 hours apart. Snacks should contain about 15 grams of carbohydrate, in addition to fibre or fibre and protein. Fibre is found in whole grain breads, cereals, rice and pastas, lentils, beans, peas, vegetables, and fruit. Fibre helps to control blood glucose. Both fibre and protein help you feel fuller longer, and neither raise blood glucose levels. Better-for-you protein choices include lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and peanut and nut butters.

Here are some delicious snack ideas, which contain fibre, or both fibre and protein!

  • 1 small piece of fruit such as kiwi, nectarine, orange, small banana, ½ medium mango, 250 mL (1 cup) blueberries
  • 175 mL (3/4 cup) Raw vegetables with 15 mL (1 tablespoon) low fat dip
    Veggies & Dip
  • 750 mL (3 cups) low fat microwave or plain air-popped popcorn
  • 2 rye wafers with cream cheese and sliced cucumbers
  • 30 mL (2 tablespoons) Mixed Bean Hummus with 7 small whole grain crackers
  • 3 (approx. 21 g) plain cookies with fibre
  • ½ whole grain pita with bean sprouts, diced cucumber, shredded carrots, chopped tomato, and balsamic dressing
  • 7 small whole grain crackers and 30 grams (1 oz) low fat cheese or 1 hardboiled egg
  • 2 topped crackers (41 g each)
    Easy Apple Cheddar Melts
  • 30 mL (2 tablespoons) peanut butter spread onto slices of 1 medium apple or pear
  • ½ whole grain English Muffin with 30 grams (1 oz) low fat cheese melted
  • 2 filled mini pita pockets (64 g each)
    Tuna Pockets
  • 125 mL (½ cup) raspberries with 60 mL (¼ cup) low fat cottage cheese
  • ½ whole grain pita or 7 small whole grain crackers with 30 mL (2 tablespoons) peanut butter

So, when you are planning your snacks, don’t forget to watch the amount of carbohydrate, and aim to have fibre, or fibre and protein! Keep these additional tips in mind when planning your snacks:

  • Control portions! - A snack should not turn into a meal! Try using single serve containers or portion out snacks ahead of time to avoid mindless munching from packages containing multiple-servings.
  • Read labels – Check for grams of carbohydrate and fibre per serving – compare labels and choose products with the most fibre!
  • Snack when hungry - Avoid the urge to eat when bored, frustrated, or stressed.
  • Plan ahead! Keep a variety of nutritious snack foods on hand for easy snacking on the go.

Visit the Kraft Diabetes Centre website for more information on diabetes and diabetes-friendly snack ideas.

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