Snacks: A Healthy Necessity in a Diabetic Diet

Written by Bonnie Sanders Polin, PhD, Frances Towner Giedt

Snacks play a very important role in the daily life of a person with diabetes, particularly those with type 1 diabetes and insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes. For these people, between-meal and bedtime snacks are essential to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible and to help prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Wherever you go you should always carry a supply of snacks to eat in case of low blood sugar (low blood glucose)—we keep snacks in our purse or briefcase, in the glove compartment of our car, in our office desk drawer, and in the sports bag that we carry to the gym.

Here's a list of snacks that can be purchased at most supermarkets.  The serving suggestions supply 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrate or 1 carbohydrate (1 bread/starch) exchange:

Seasoned Popcorn
We love popcorn and wish to share some interesting ways to season it without adding calories or fat. You'll need a hot-air popper to make the popcorn (or you can use a popper that calls for 1 teaspoon of canola oil—but that adds a fat exchange).

Using 3 cups unseasoned popped corn, which is 1 carbohydrate (1 bread/starch) exchange, you can make these diabetic snacks.

Asian Popcorn

Italian Popcorn

Mexican Popcorn

Orange Popcorn

Spicy and Sweet Popcorn

Remember, always have a quick snack with you to help counteract hypoglycemic events (low blood glucose).  If you have type 1 diabetes, this is especially important, which is why we provided this quick list of diabetic snacks.