25 Healthy Snacks For People With Diabetes
Who doesn’t love a good snack? Whether you’re team sweet or savory, reaching for a nutritious snack can help you combat mid-morning hunger or power through that afternoon slump. And if you’re living with diabetes, choosing the right snacks can also help you manage your blood-sugar levels.
While refined and ultra-processed snacks like sugary candy, fried potato chips, or pretzels can be delish, these foods don’t have the staying power of snacks that contain fiber, protein, and/or healthy fats – factors that may help promote satiety and reduce the risk of a blood sugar spike.
Thankfully, there are plenty of snacks that check the “diabetes-friendly snack” criteria boxes, which include:
- Snacks that contain protein, fiber, and/or healthy fats
- Snacks made with whole grains if it’s a grain-forward snack
- Snacks that are low in added sugar
- Snacks that are low in sodium and unhealthy fats to support heart health (since those with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease)
Of course, your best bet is to meet with a registered dietitian to learn exactly what you should be looking for in snacks in order to meet your unique nutritional needs.
While homemade snacks like apple slices and peanut butter, a handful of berries with yogurt, or avocado toast made with whole-grain bread and a drizzle of EVOO can be excellent choices for people with diabetes, sometimes you need prepackaged snacks you can grab as you’re running out the door. For those busy days when convenience is the highest priority, keep these healthy, grab-and-go snacks on hand.
Best Overall Healthy Snack For Diabetes
Nuts, seeds, and fruit are a winning combination when it comes to a diabetes-friendly snack. This snack mix, which is a delicious combination of raw walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews and raisins, is made with no added sugars, salt, or oils – a feature that isn’t always common when choosing pre-made nut mixes. This one is packed with ingredients that contain fiber, healthy fats, and plant-based protein to help support healthy blood sugars.
Best Complete Protein Snack For Diabetes
Wonderful Pistachios, Roasted & Salted ($8 for 16 ounces)
Wonderful Pistachios Roasted and Salted are one of the highest-protein snack nuts, containing six grams of plant protein per serving. Pistachios are a complete protein source, meaning they provide all of the essential amino acids. They’re also rich in fiber and healthy fats, making these nuts a super-satisfying snack. A happy bonus of buying pistachios that are still in the shell: the effort required to crack open the nuts can help you eat more mindfully.
Best Snack For Chip Lovers With Diabetes
Chips that taste totally delish and provide 10 grams of protein per serving are a dream come true for snackers who follow a diabetes-friendly diet. These mega-crunchy Wilde chips are made from quality ingredients like chicken breast, egg whites, and bone broth (no potatoes) and are the perfect anytime snack. Each serving provides less than 1 gram of sugar, too.
Best Portable Protein Snack For Diabetes
Having a portable protein source to pair with a carbohydrate is helpful for people with diabetes to help manage their blood sugars. Whisps Parmesan Crisps contain a whopping 13 grams of protein per serving, along with zero added sugars and only one gram of carbohydrates. These crisps are made from 100% cheese and are shelf-stable, making them a perfect protein source to keep on-hand when hunger strikes.
Best Deli Meat Protein Snack For Diabetes
Turkey breast roll-ups are a protein-packed snack that’s simple to create. This turkey from Applegate Naturals is also low in sugar, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Plus, the turkeys are “humanely raised.” Each serving has 250 mg of sodium, which is lower than many other deli meat options out there.
Best Fruit Snack For Diabetes
Organic Envy Apples ($7 for 2 pounds)
Apples (with the skin on!) are packed with fiber, a nutrient that is an important component of diabetes management. Data shows that including enough fiber can result in improvements in blood sugar, body weight, and inflammation. Apples are also a natural source of antioxidants.
Envy apples make for an ideal apple choice for snack time, because their flesh stays white for longer, reducing the risk of having pre-cut apples that turn brown. It also has a balanced sweetness that pairs well with a nut butter (which is something that would be a great addition to your apple-forward snack to add some healthy fats and protein to the mix).
Best Low Blood Sugar Snack For Diabetes
Brainiac Brain Squeezers Applesauce ($14 for 20 pack)
Sometimes people with diabetes need a “quick carb” (aka a carbohydrate) that will rapidly raise their blood sugar if they experience hypoglycemia. Keeping applesauce on-hand can help bring up your blood sugar back up if your body calls for it.
Brainiac Applesauce is not only made with real apples, but it also contains 160 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that may improve cardiovascular risk factors among those with diabetes. It also provides 120 mg of choline, a nutrient that supports brain health, as well as 25 mg of vitamin C.
Best Sweet Snack For Diabetes
If you need something sweet, Soom Snack Bites may fit the bill. These sweet treats contain 3 grams of both fiber and protein to help support blood glucose control. They also contain only 2 grams of added sugar, and they are made with antioxidant-packed ingredients, like dates, tahini, and dark chocolate.
Best Heart Health Snack For Diabetes
Individuals with type 2 diabetes often have conditions such as elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides, which can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. Research on the association between walnut consumption and heart health demonstrates the importance of walnuts as part of a healthy diet to help manage complications associated with diabetes.
With their low carbohydrate value (4g/oz), walnuts are a food that can fit into many styles of eating and they’re heart-healthy, too. Walnuts offer a mix of protein (4g/oz), fiber (2g/oz) and good fats (13g/oz polyunsaturated fat and 2.5g/oz monounsaturated fat), all of which can help you stay full and provide sustained energy throughout the day.
Best Diabetes-Friendly Dip
Edamame are young soybeans, often eaten while still in the pod. Lantana uses edamame to make a hummus-style dip, along with sesame paste, spices, and other diabetes-friendly additions.
Soy foods could have beneficial implications for individuals with diabetes. Soy contains a compound called isoflavones, which possess antioxidant properties that help to combat oxidative stress – a prevalent issue in diabetes.
This hummus pairs perfectly with fresh veggie sticks or whole grain crackers.
Best Creamy Snack For Diabetes
Daisy Cottage Cheese is made without any thickeners, stabilizers, preservatives, or additives, all while having an industry-leading shelf life. Plus, it’s made with just three ingredients: cultured skim milk, cream, and salt. Cottage cheese is packed with protein, a nutrient that is an important part of a balanced snack to help maintain blood sugar.
Best Bone Health Snack For Diabetes
Sunsweet Amazin Prunes ($12 for 2 pack)
People with diabetes often have poorer bone quality and an increased risk of fractures. Research suggests that eating five to six prunes daily may help to prevent bone loss, so keep your kitchen stocked with Sunsweet Amazin Prunes. They contain three grams of fiber per serving and are lower in naturally occurring sugars than other dried fruits.
Best Snack to Keep In Your Purse (or Desk) For Diabetes
Zing Plant-Based Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars ($27 for 18 bars)
Many protein bars are packed with added sugars, artificial colors, and other ingredients people with diabetes may be proactively avoiding. Zing mini bars are a perfect option for a lighter snack that only contains 3 grams of added sugar, along with fiber and protein. A great option to keep in your purse, desk drawer, or gym bag if you need a little pick-me-up during the day.
Best Grab-And-Go Snack For Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that eggs are a suitable food for people with diabetes. Eggs contain high quality protein, key nutrients, and it is free from any sugar. Data published in Food and Function suggested that daily consumption of one large egg may reduce the risk of diabetes without having any negative effects on lipid profiles among those with pre- and type II diabetes.
Eggland’s Best Hard Cooked Peeled Eggs make for an ideal grab-and-go protein-packed snack that is diabetes friendly, as eating it won’t raise blood sugars. Eggland’s Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat, 6 times more vitamin D, and 10 times more vitamin E than ordinary eggs. Plus, they contain more than double the omega-3 fatty acids vs ordinary eggs. Omega 3s have been linked to positive effects on diabetes management, including better fasting blood glucose.
Best Low Sugar Yogurt Snack For Diabetes
Two Good Greek Style Yogurt has 80 percent less sugar than average yogurts and is an excellent source of protein. To be more specific, each 5.3-ounce serving contains just two grams of sugar – hence the name Two Good (clever, right?). And like other yogurts, each cup contains live probiotics, which have been shown to improve fasting blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation in people with diabetes.
Best Snack for Chickpea Lovers With Diabetes
Hippeas Vegan White Cheddar Organic Chickpea Snacks contain four grams of protein and three grams of fiber per serving, all while being crunchy, tasty, and totally satisfying. Bonus? These satisfying snacks are made with the humble chickpea, giving this snack a boost of antioxidants too.
Best Zinc-Loaded Snack For Diabetes
Chomps Beef Sticks ($16 for 8 count)
Beef is a natural source of zinc, a mineral that may play a role in regulating blood sugar. In fact, studies show that lower levels of zinc are linked to poor glycemic control. To get more zinc in your diet, try Chomps Original Beef Sticks. They’re a convenient source of protein with zero added sugars. And while these beef sticks do contain more than 10 percent of the daily value of sodium per serving, that’s actually less than many others on the market.
Best Protein and Fiber Combo Snack For Diabetes
Best Spreadable Snack For Diabetes
Justin’s Classic Almond Butter ($13 for 10 pack)
Justin’s Classic Almond Butter comes in convenient squeeze bags you can toss into your bag so you’re never without a snack. Pair it with a piece of fruit or some whole-grain crackers – the protein and healthy fats in the almond butter will help slow digestion and reduce the chances that your blood sugar will spike.
Best Fancy Snack For Diabetes
Brami Lupini Beans ($12 for 8 pack)
Research suggests that the protein in lupini beans may be uniquely beneficial to people with diabetes. So consider stocking up on Brami Italian Snacking Lupini Beans. They are an easy snack and contain 50 percent more protein than chickpeas, 80 percent fewer calories than almonds, and zero net carbs – a win-win-win.
Best Antioxidant-Rich Snack For Diabetes
Chiwi’s Orange Chips ($42 for 6)
Fruit is a-ok on a diabetes-friendly diet, even though most options have natural sugars. Fruit is also a source of antioxidants, micronutrients, and fiber. Instead of snacking on potato chips when you need a crunch, a fruit-based chip, like Chiwis, can help satisfy that crunch craving while also giving your body a boost of key nutrients. Chiwis Orange Chips are made from real oranges, including the skin, which gives this snack a boost of fiber to support healthy blood sugars.
Plus, oranges naturally contain a compound called hesperidin. Intake of this compound is linked to some potential positive effects among those with diabetes.
Best Omega-3 Snack For Diabetes
Safe Catch Pacific Pink Salmon Pouches ($39 for 12 pack)
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid primarily found in marine sources, like salmon. This fatty acid may help some people experience better blood glucose control. Safe Catch Pacific Pink Salmon Pouches help include this important fatty acid in the diet during snacktime to pair with crackers simply on its own. Bonus, Safe Catch tests every salmon for its mercury content and the brand keeps their levels 25 times lower than the FDA’s action limit.
Best Healthy Fats Snack For Diabetes
A freshly diced avocado is a fantastic addition to snacktime for those with diabetes. But if you don’t have a knife handy, leaning on these pre-diced avocados can help you include this fiber and healthy fat-packed fruit in your diet too.
Best Balanced Snack For Diabetes
This snack consists of a combo of nuts, cheese, and fresh veggies and fruit, providing a boost of protein, fiber, healthy fats, carbs, and antioxidants in one satiating and delicious package. This is an ideal grab-and-go snack that can help you feel full while supporting healthy blood sugars, too.
Best Veggies To Your Snack Time For Diabetes
Poshi Artichokes ($23 for 10 pack)
Eating more vegetables is linked to improved blood sugar control. And while veggies are oftentimes reserved for mealtime, there is no reason why they can’t be enjoyed at snack time too. Poshi Artichokes are portable marinated artichokes that can be enjoyed on their own or as a part of a more robust diabetes-friendly snack.