14 diabetes-friendly snacking tips

Managing your blood sugar is key to controlling diabetes. Small, regular snacks and meals are crucial to keeping blood sugar stable. Here are some diabetes-friendly snacking tips to keep your belly full and your diabetes in check.

14 diabetes-friendly snacking tips

1. Limit snacks to 150 calories or less

The danger of snacks is that they can become more like extra meals if you go overboard. First, make sure you're truly hungry — and not just bored, stressed or craving chocolate — before reaching for a snack. Then limit yourself to 150 calories per snack. That should keep you from indulging in unnecessary sweets.

2. Beware of low-fat snacks

People tend to eat more of a snack when it's low-fat because they think they're saving on calories. But low-fat snacks such as cookies only have about 11 per cent fewer calories than their full-fat counterparts. Stick to the same amount you'd eat if you thought the snack was full-fat.

3. Plate your snacks

Eat straight out of the bag and you're guaranteed to eat more, whether it's chips, pretzels or cookies. Instead, put a small portion on a plate, then sit down and enjoy your snack. When you have finished your plate, you won't feel the need to keep eating.

4. Grab the whole bag

A single serving bag, that is. You're much more likely to stop after one serving because the entire bag will be empty. You can also separate your snacks yourself into reusable single-serving containers. That way they're ready to grab when you're ready to eat them.

5. Pour a handful of nuts

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts and cashews contain the healthy monounsaturated fats that lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. And because they're packed with protein and "good" fat, they won't raise blood sugar as much as crackers or pretzels do. Because many nuts are high in calories (almonds are the lowest), stick to the amount that will fit in the palm of your hand.

6. Eat crackers with peanut butter

A snack of a few whole-grain crackers topped with peanut butter delivers more protein and fewer carbs than if you have a bigger pile of crackers with no peanut butter. And your blood sugar won't rise as much.

7. Spread some salsa

Spread some homemade black bean salsa over eggplant slices. The salsa has only about 15 grams of carbs, 80 calories and one gram of fat. Plus, it's a delicious snack that tastes just as good as the nacho version.

8. Sip a cup of vegetable soup

Cook non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, onion, celery, green beans and squash in some vegetable or chicken stock. It's filling, full of veggies and low in carbs.

9. Indulge in a few decadent bites

Have a snack of some dried apricots, a small piece of dark chocolate, and a few walnuts or almonds. Most of the snack is very healthy. And the little bit of chocolate can satisfy a sugar craving without affecting your blood sugar much. It may even satisfy a craving enough to prevent you from binging on chocolate later in the day.

10. Blend a fruit smoothie

Combine half of a chopped banana, 3⁄4 cup non-fat plain yogourt, and a sugar-free sweetener. Blend until smooth. This is a filling, nutritious, and absolutely delicious snack.

11. Freeze grapes and peeled bananas

Seal them in a sandwich bag and throw the bag into the freezer. Once frozen, they're a refreshing and healthy treat. You can eat 20 red seedless grapes and still consume only 100 calories.

12. Eat an apple—with skin

An apple with the skin contains about three grams of fibre. The skin packs a double whammy. It carries healthy soluble fibre that helps to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Plus, it contains antioxidants that fight free radicals and lower the risk of diabetes complications.

13. Try low-fat string cheese

Each one contains only 80 calories. These are one of the few portable goodies rich in sugar-steadying protein.

14. Have your chocolate frozen

By that we mean enjoy a frozen fudge pop. They taste delightfully chocolatey but contain only about 80 calories.

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