Diabetic snack on the go is a fact of life for a type 2 diabetic. Working, running errands, taking kids and grandkids to games and school events, even waiting in doctor’s offices, all of this means you’ll probably need to eat away from home.
If you did not bring any diabetic snacks along, there’s a chance you’ll have to pick up something fast. But do not worry. When you know what to look for, you can find diabetic friendly snacks everywhere.
Fast Food Snacking
If the children in the back seat want to get a Happy Meal on the way, you do not have to do without. One of those fruit and yogurt parfaits makes a great diabetic snack. It has yogurt and berries, and if you leave off the super sweet granola topping you’ll be diabetic snack while they eat french fries.
On a diet and shopping hungry? It can happen. Here are some super low calorie foods you can snack on at the grocery store or deli: apples and pears, carrots and celery, broccoli and cage. All of those take nearly as many calories to digest as there are in the foods themselves.
A bag of strawberries or blueberries has very few calories. And you can find yogurt smoothies at the grocery or convenience store. Just read the label and make sure it’s a low calorie smoothie without lots of added sugar.
Snacking On Something Crunchy
Want a salty pretzel? Try Newman’s Own Organic Pretzels. There are 120 calories in 22 of them, and they have 4 grams of fiber and 5 of protein, along with 22 grams of carbohydrates. Not bad for a crunchy snack. But if what you really want are some chips, the baked ones are best, and there are even whole grain ones.
The best cracker I’ve found is made by Wheat Thins. Read the labels and watch for added sugar in some of the flavored types. Buy a snack size bag and add some string cheese, and the whole grain, protein and fat will keep you going for hours without the low you might get later if you eat a high carb snack.
Granola bars are notorious for being high in sugar of all kinds, but fiber bars can be good if you read the label and pick a low carb one. Low carbohydrates counts mean there is less sugar added.
Nuts of all kinds make great snacks. But trail mixes have sweet things added. They are made for hikers who need lots of carbohydrates to keep them going. We diabetics definitely do not need them. So buy snack bags of plain nuts without sugared coating.
For something sweet try FiberOne 90 calorie brownies. The fiber and fat slow down the glucose reaction to the sugar. You could also try some Weight Watchers candy. They are really good, but they have sugar alcohol.
If you do not like the stomach issues caused by sugar alcohol, try some dark chocolate. There are 40 calories in one piece of Dove brand, and dark chocolate is very good for you, in small amounts of course.
If You Get Thirsty
Beside water, the lowest calorie drink you can find without artificial sweetener is V8. It’s a vegetable drink, and one 11.5 ounce can give you a serving of vegetables. If you do not mind artificial sweeteners, the diet green tea drinks taste good.
All fruit juices have more calories than whole fruits do (and no fiber), and many of them have added high fructose corn syrup. If you’d like to see a comparison of pure juices, here’s a short list. It gives the calorie count of 8 ounces (one cup) to make it easier to compare, even though most of them come in bottles of 11 or 12 ounces.
V8 vegetable juice 50; V8 Splash 70; V8 Diet Splash 10; orange juice 112; apple juice 117; pineapple-orange-banana 100; grapefruit 96; cranberry (sweetened) 130.
Your best choice may be flavored or plain bottled water. A squeeze of lemon makes water taste better, and lemon juice lowers the impact of carbohydrates on your blood sugar. Water slows down digestion of carbs too.
Where’s the Protein in Diabetic Snacks?
Aside from nuts, cheese and yogurt (Greek yogurt has the highest protein), it is difficult to find protein proteins that are not wrapped in high glycemic white flour. But a lot of stores carry hummus, a Middle Eastern food made from puree of chickpeas and sesame seeds. That makes it a high protein food.
It can be used like a dip, or spread on wheat crackers and flat bread. If you’re on the go and want more protein for diabetic snacks, it works well. Comparing it to Fritos bean dip which has 2 grams of protein for every 5 grams of carbs, I found a hummus that has 1 gram of protein for every 1 gram of carbs.
There’s also deli sliced meat. Read the labels and find low fat ones. It takes three slices of smoked turkey breast to add up to 90 calories, and it’s nothing but protein. Open the package, roll one up to make a finger food, and it satisfies the need for protein. It does have nitrites, though.
Do not Let Type 2 Diabetes and Snacking Stress You
The extra stress that type 2 diabetes adds to your daily life will do much more harm than eating too many carbs now and then. This advice on diabetic snack is meant to make your life easier.
If you are away from home and it’s time to eat, being prepared with some ideas can make decisions about eating choices less stressful. But if you are in a situation with limited choices, do the best you can and try not to worry.
It helps to remember that your life is your relationships, not type 2 diabetes. The author of Alice in Wonderland said, “One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” Lewis Carroll was right. I wish you well.