12 'Grab-and-Go' Healthy Snacks That Taste Good
When you have diabetes, the daily task of watching your sugar and carbohydrate consumption can feel burdensome at times. But it's never a good idea to reach for processed snack foods. Even so-called "healthy" snacks (i.e. yogurt that contains syrupy fruit) can be loaded with sugar and carbs. Sticking with whole foods is a good rule of thumb and with a little advanced planning, it's not difficult to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy options that won't cause your blood sugar to spike.
Admittedly, some healthy snacks need prep to make them convenient but your blood sugar will thank you for the effort. Here's my list of low-carb, low-sugar snacks to keep you going between meals. I’ve also included a recipe for a fan favorite—Cashew Kale Chips. To fight the impulse to eat that gooey brownie, be sure to keep these goodies at eye level in your pantry or in the front of the fridge so they’re the first thing you see when hunger strikes.
How to Feed a Snack Attack
- Olives are a wonderfully portable snack to eat when you're on the run! I recently discovered Gaea olives. They come in a sealed, ready-to-go pack so there's no watery mess. I find them incredibly fresh tasting and delicious and so do my kids! Plus, they have 0 carbs, 0 grams of sugar and are only 35 calories per serving of 6 tasty olives.
- Wholesome, sliced deli turkey breast. For a quick protein boost, this snack is hard to beat. Add a small amount of cheese to the center for an extra protein boost and eat as a roll up.
- String cheese cut into small cubes or a few slices of the good-quality stuff. Cheese has protein and fat, which will satisfy your hunger for longer than empty carbs. But remember cheese also contains saturated fats so don't reach for it daily. Enjoy as an occasional snack instead.
- Red peppers, snap peas, and carrot coins, washed and cut up for dipping. To extend their shelf life and keep them crunchy, store prepared veggies in cold water in your refrigerator.
- Hummus made from edamame, chick peas, lentils or any other legume you like. Yes, these foods contain carbohydrates but they’ll leave you feeling satisfied longer and won’t cause your sugar to spike.
- Eggplant dip (aka babaganoush). This delicious option is often made with protein-rich tahini so you’ll get a bit more nutrition with each bite.
- Homemade kale chips (see link to my recipe, below). I like baked kale regardless of how it's prepared but this version makes them irresistibly crunchy! My recipe is easy to prepare, inexpensive to make and gives you a crunch that rivals even the best quality potato chip.
- Hard boiled eggs. Often touted as the perfect food, hard boiled eggs don’t require additional fats for cooking which is good for the waistline and have a nice mix of protein and fat which of course helps keep hunger at bay. [inline-related]
- Deviled eggs—the fancy first cousin of the hard-boiled variety. Bring a batch of these crowd pleasers the next time you attend a party and that way you'll have something you can eat, too!
- Cashews and almonds. Perhaps the simplest snack around. They’re non-perishable so ideal for the car or to tuck into your work bag and a great way to stave off hunger until your next meal. Best options: dry roasted or raw. Many packaged nuts are soaked in unhealthy oils.
- Avocados. I just can’t get enough of these healthy fruits. (Yes, I said fruit. Avocados are a member of the single-seeded berry family.) To ward off hunger, enjoy a few slices or turn couple of ripe ones into a creamy guacamole. It's a great way to use up those carrot and celery sticks already in your fridge.
- Almond butter by the spoonful. Sunflower seed or cashew butters are also quick, delicious ways to get a boost of energy without unwanted carbs. Be sure to read the label for hidden sugars though. Many contain surprisingly high amounts, so choose the varieties that don’t.
Click here for Alma's delicious homemade kale chip recipe.