Best Low Glycemic Snacks for Diabetes

Medically Reviewed By: DR. HARDIK BAMBHANIA, MBBS, MD November 2, 2023

Last updated on November 2nd, 2023

The number of diabetes patients in 2021 was expected to be around 53.7 lakhs worldwide. This number is expected to inflate to 63.4 lakhs by 2030. When talking of diabetes management, eating habits play a big role in it. Snacking is often contemplated as an ill habit and linked to unnecessary food cravings. But in reality, it’s simply not true. Snacking, if done in a healthy manner, bridges the gap between two full meals. This keeps your blood sugar in control and also satisfies your taste buds. Healthy snacks for diabetics can keep their energy levels intact, and it’s also a good weight loss tool. Now, let’s know about some healthy snacks for diabetic patients.

Snacks for Diabetic Patients

Snacks for sugar patients provide an additional source of nutrition. And the best snacks for diabetics will have low carbs and high protein content. Eating snacks satisfies your hunger and keeps your cravings at bay. The important thing is you eat diabetes friendly snacks. In friendly diabetes snack recipes, carb content will be low. Eating too much carbs will cause a rapid blood sugar spike, which is not desired for a diabetic. High sugar levels can also cause diabetes complications like diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, diabetic nephropathy, etc. Good snacks for diabetics will have low to medium calories. It will have a good mix of nutrients like complex carbs, proteins, dietary fiber, and healthy fats. And eating snacks high in dietary fiber also helps lower postprandial sugar levels, according to a study. Diabetes-friendly foods like nuts, low-GI fruits, lentils, etc., can be included in snacks for diabetes recipes.

11 Best Snack Ideas for Diabetes

Here are some flavourful ideas for diabetic-friendly snacks that you could try:

1. Air Popped Popcorn

Popcorn is among the great snacks for diabetics. You could try plain unsalted popcorn without adding much oil or butter. You could even air-pop them at home in a microwave or pressure cooker. It’s a whole grain and has a good amount of fiber. Eating popcorn doesn’t disturb your sugar levels much, and it has been proven in many studies. This is among sugar patient snacks because it has just 31 calories per cup, according to USDA

2. Oats with fruits

Now, on the list of snacks for diabetics type 2 comes oatmeal. Oats are a great grain source you could opt for in diabetes. Oats have rich fiber content and are full of other nutrients as well. Oats have a low glycemic index. A half cup of plain cooked oatmeal of water just has 78 calories, 2.9 g of protein, 1.1 g of fat and 13.8 g of carbs. Studies have also found consuming oats helps lower blood sugar. A study in 2018 studied the effect of oatmeal in diabetes patients. They gave 2 days of oatmeal to subjects and found it decreased the insulin dosage in the given patients. Diabetes patients should stick with traditional rolled oats and steel-cut oats with nothing added. 

You can add a little sweetness to your oatmeal by adding some fruits like berries, apples, pears, etc. These tasty snacks for diabetes patients will be a healthy option they could go for. 

3. Besan Cheela

Talking of the best snack foods for diabetics, recipes of lentil flours top this list. Chickpea flour is called besan, and by using this besan, you can make besan cheelas. A single besan cheela is 105 calories. It has 4 gm of protein, 5 gm of fat and 2.2 gm of fiber. It is very healthy as it has low calories and is made of low-GI chickpea flour. Food made of chickpeas helps in managing postprandial sugar levels. These are snacks for diabetics type 2 and can also be used as gestational diabetes snacks. Besan cheela is easy to digest and keeps you fuller for longer.

Read More: Are Peanuts Good for Diabetics?

4. Moong Dal Idli

Talking of healthy snacks for diabetics, now comes another lentil flour dish. Green gram or green moong dal is grinded and prepared as batter for moong dal idli. These moong dal idli are tasty and, at the same time, very healthy. Moong dal idli has plenty of nutrients but is calorie-dense. Therefore, condition portion control when consumed as snacks with gestational diabetes. Eating green moong dal and its products is good for diabetes patients. Consume 2 dal idli with a small Katori of sambar as a snacking option. You can also consume this dish as a complete whole meal too.

5. Hummus and Wheat Crackers

In the evening snacks for diabetics, hummus, and wheat crackers can be a tasty option. Hummus is a chickpeas recipe that is creamy in texture and super yummy. It is mixed with Tahini paste, which is made of sesame seeds. When combined, they give a beautiful mix of flavours. As hummus is made of chickpeas, it’s high in dietary fiber and has a low glycemic score. Therefore, these low glycemic index snacks are an excellent option to vouch for.  

When consumed as evening snacks for diabetic patients, you can consume 2 to 3 tablespoons of hummus with 2 whole wheat crackers (rusk). Consume with raw tomatoes to also get vitamin C. 

6. Handful of Nuts

Nuts are great low carb snacks for diabetics. Nuts have healthy fats, and many studies have found their positive effects on diabetes. Higher dry fruits or nut consumption lowers blood sugar, insulin resistance, etc. Moreover, nuts have good fiber content, which makes them ideal snacks for prediabetes and diabetes. Nuts have protein and healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They also lower LDL cholesterol, minimising the risk of severe heart ailments.   They can be consumed as evening snacks for diabetics. Take a mix of nuts like 6 almonds and 6 walnuts. However, only choose unsalted, plain nuts.

7. Diced Cucumber, Bell Pepper and Tomatoes

Considering sugar free snacks for diabetics, we present you a salad of non-starchy veggies. A cup of cucumber, colourful capsicum and tomatoes garnished with some salt and lime is a flavourful good snacks for diabetics. This salad will complete your total vitamin C requirement for the day, as per USDA. You can also sprinkle some black pepper for spiciness.

8. Nut Butter and Multigrain Bread

Next on the list of snacks for diabetic patients is nut butter and bread toast. Including peanut butter as a mid-day meal or breakfast reduces hunger and promotes satiety throughout the day. Nut butter helps enhance insulin and improve glucose levels. Use one tablespoon of peanut butter on one slice of multigrain or whole wheat bread. One tablespoon will have around 95 calories, and the bread slice will have about 100 calories. Please don’t make it into use daily, but once or twice a week is fine.

Read More: 16 Best Fruits Juice For Diabetes.

9. Fresh Seasonal Fruits

When considering snacks to eat for low blood sugar, a freshly chopped bowl of seasonal low-GI fruits is good to go. These low GI fruits help lower diabetes and the risk of heart disorders. Fruits like apples, pears, peaches, berries, papaya, etc can be cut and served in a bowl. These fresh fruits are snacks diabetes can eat.

10. Avocado and Lime

Talking of diabetic snack ideas, now we have America’s favourite fruit, the avocado. Avocado fruit has good, healthy fats and is low in sugar. All these make it a superfood, and it is also recommended by the ADA (American Diabetes Association). Slice the avocado and add some lime and salt. Remember to exercise portion control. These avocado snacks for diabetes can be made from half a cup of the fruit. A half avocado has around 120 calories and 5 grams of dietary fiber.

11. Low-Fat Greek Yogurt with Fruits

Lastly, we’ll suggest some sweet snacks for diabetics. A cup of plain low-fat or no-fat yogurt with some diced fruits is the best snack foods for diabetics. Yogurt has healthy nutrients like proteins, carbs, vitamins, etc. While adding fruits to it adds antioxidants and various flavonoids. Choose Greek low-fat plain yogurt over regular yogurt and mix it with fruits like berries, pears, apricots, peaches, apples, papaya, etc. A cup of Greek yogurt has around 24 g of protein. Yogurt also regulates digestion and keeps your gut healthy. These low sugar snacks for diabetics are to have for diabetics following a weight loss diet.

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Name some late night snacks for diabetics.

Some bedtime snacks for diabetics can be a few roasted nuts, a few slices of fruit or 1 teaspoon of peanut butter. However, you shouldn’t develop a habit of daily midnight snacking, or else you could exceed your daily calorie threshold.

Mention some no sugar snacks for diabetics.

Some suitable diabetes and prediabetes snacks can be:

Slices of fresh fruits
Handful of nuts
Greek yogurt
Beans and sprouts
Vegetable salad

Which Indian snack is good for diabetes?

High fiber snacks for diabetics are good options to go for. You could go for vegetable soups and salads. Or opt for nuts having high fiber content, like walnuts and almonds. You also try lentil recipes like the ones suggested above; these have low calories and high fiber.

Can diabetic eat pani puri?

No pani puri does come in the list of snacks for low blood sugar. Pani puri is made of refined flour and contains rava, which makes high-glycemic food—eating this kind of food can shoot up your sugar levels.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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