A list of research based diabetes friendly snacks you can enjoy anytime of day. These snacks are considered to be less prone to elevate glucose levels but be sure to check with your meal plan and/or dietitian before altering your routines. Research has shown that high protein low carb snacks are beneficial in controlling glucose levels.
10 Diabetes Friendly Snacks for Bedtime
This post originally published November 2015 now updated with evidence based research articles and updated photos. Be sure to check with your health professionals for specific goals for your snack routine. Remember also to check your glucose levels anytime you try a new food to see how your body responds. Avoid using foods that you know from previous experience will spike your levels.
Popcorn is considered a good source of whole grain fiber and scores high on the satisfying-to-snack-on scale! Try to limit excess butter and salt on your popcorn by sprinkling on alternative seasonings like nutritional yeast, cinnamon (very diabetes friendly), cumin, chili powder,etc.
Check out this recipe for "Dorito" or Taco Popcorn at wholenewmom.com. Healthy Popcorn Recipes by Eating Well gives you lots of tasty flavored popcorn options. Looks delish! 3 cups of popped popcorn equals about 15gm carb or go with only 1 cup popcorn for around 5gm carb.
*Linked Reference: "The prevention and control the type-2 diabetes by changing lifestyle and dietary pattern"J Educ Health Promot. 2014; 3: 1.
Soup is a great way to get filled up- especially on cold winter nights. Studies show people eat less overall on the days they eat soup.
Cook up a pot of Hamburger Vegetable Soup (think lean beef, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, green beans,etc.) and add in your favorite herbs and spices for a boost of antioxidants and flavor. Freeze your soup in 1 cup amounts to make it easy to pop it in the microwave and -boom- instant snack. Depending on the veggies you use, a 1 cup serving will equal 10-20 gms of carbs.
*Linked Reference: "Soup and Satiety" Physiology & Behavior Volume 83, Issue 5, 17 January 2005, Pages 739-747
3. Smart Sandwich -*
Change your definition of a sandwich! According to the American Diabetes Assn, whole grains are the best choice. A sandwich made with wheat bread, thin sliced bread or a lower carb tortilla is lower in carbs compared to plain white bread. Stuff it full of veggies and add some turkey or chicken and a shot of mustard for a satisfying PM nosh. Depending on your bread or wrap choice this will run you anywhere from 10-15gm carb.
Check out some of the cloud bread recipes out there in cyberspace for an even lower carb count. Low Carb Tortilla Roll Up is a tasty choice. Consider using a lettuce leaf instead of bread for even lower carb counts!
* Linked Reference: American Diabetes Assn- Get to know carbs
4. Fruit + cheese-*
Get your fave small serving fresh fruit and add a slice of cheese. How easy is that? You get fiber AND protein- win/win. Snack time is a great opportunity to fit more portion controlled fruit servings in your diet. Depending on your fruit choice, you will be in the range of around 15gm carbs.
* Linked Reference: American Diabetes Assn -Fruit
Eggs (especially at breakfast) have been shown to be satisfying and help to decrease overall calorie intake. Make some Low Carb Ham and Egg Cups for breakfast and then save a few in the fridge for snacking later.
Stash hard boiled eggs or Avocado Stuffed Eggs in the fridge for getting you through evening tv watching. Better make a few extra because you know you're gonna have to share...
* Linked Reference: Nutrition Research-Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men
Tomatoes are full of fiber which can help you stay full. Be sure to add in some protein like low fat cheese and you've got a snack that will power you through the evening.
Try my recipe for Picnic Tomato Caprese Cups.
*Linked Reference: American Diabetes Assn- Diabetes Superfoods
7. Nuts and seeds-*
These are sooo diabetes friendly as the carb counts are super low!! Try walnuts, almonds, pecans,etc. - just monitor your serving size as the calories can add up!! 12 almonds = about 90 calories.
Check out my complete article on Nuts and Type 2 Diabetes.
* Linked Reference: American Diabetes Assn-"Including Walnuts in a Low-Fat/Modified-Fat Diet Improves HDL Cholesterol-to-Total Cholesterol Ratios in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes"
8. Greek Yogurt-*
Research shows Greek yogurt could play a role in appetite suppression and glucose control. There are plenty of choices in the yogurt case of your local supermarket. Look for a Greek yogurt that is less than 12gm carb/serving and add in low carb toppers like nuts or seeds for added crunch.
Try my Blueberry and Yogurt Freezer Bites for a family friendly snack idea.
*Linked Reference: Diabetes Self Management Choosing the Best Yogurt for You
9. Sugar free fudge bars or juice bars-*
Once again be careful to check labels for your lowest carb choices in this category. Also consider sugar free ice cream in pre-portioned cups for a total carb count of 10-15gm carb.
Here's a sugar free Fudgesicle you can make at home!
*Linked Reference: American Diabetes Assn. Diabetes Superfoods
10. String cheese-*
Cheese is very low in carbs-but can be high in fat! Choose low fat varieties for snacking String cheese is lower in fat so enjoy this snack either with or without a few wheat crackers for a total carb count of 12-15 gm depending on your choice of crackers.
*Linked Reference: American Diabetes Assn Diabetes Superfoods
Looking for more info on diabetes control?
Check out my post on 30 Easy Low Carb Snacks!