12 Quick Snacks for People with Type 2 Diabetes (2024)

Living with type 2 diabetes means it’s important to be mindful about what you snack on. Try to choose options that help you manage your blood sugar. And because everyone responds to certain foods differently, there’s no one-is-size-fits-all snacking guide.

But this doesn’t mean snack time has to be complicated or boring! Here are some grab-and-go snacks that can be healthy picks when you have type 2 diabetes.

Nuts are excellent sources of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins. Plus, they’re super easy to grab when you’re in a rush. Some great nut choices include:

  • pecans
  • cashews
  • peanuts
  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • macadamia nuts

While nuts are low in carbs, they’re also higher in calories, so it’s a good idea to be mindful of portion sizes. For instance, a 1-ounce serving of almonds is about 23 nuts, and comes in at 6 grams (g) of protein, 14 g of fat, and 164 calories.

Adding more nuts to your daily diet may have another benefit: Weight management. According to a 2019 research review, increasing your daily nut consumption may lead to less weight gain over time.

Carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and celery sticks are great for dipping into hummus. These colorful veggies are also full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Hummus is made from chickpeas, making it high in both protein and fiber. Chickpeas also have a low glycemic index, which means that there’s less of a chance of blood sugar spikes.

Celery contains very few calories and is also very low in sugar.

Dip some celery into 1 or 2 tablespoons of nut butter for extra protein to help keep you feeling fuller for longer — just make sure the nut butter you use is not overly high in sugar.

Greek yogurt is high in protein and a good source of calcium. Make sure you choose plain, unsweetened yogurt. Avoid any flavored or sweetened yogurts, as they likely contain a lot of added sugar.

Top your yogurt with a few raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries to add some sweetness. These berries are high in antioxidants and fiber, but surprisingly low in sugar.

Popcorn is a great snack option for people with type 2 diabetes. The amount of fiber in popcorn can help keep you fuller for longer, which may help prevent cravings for sweets.

Keep in mind that most of the calories in popcorn come from carbohydrates, so be sure to watch your serving size. Aim for about 3 cups of popped popcorn, which contains roughly 19 g of carbohydrates and about 177 calories.

You can buy pre-popped popcorn, but make sure to check the nutrition facts. Avoid hydrogenated oils and added sugars. Stay away from movie-theater style popcorn, too, as it can contain a lot of saturated fats and salt.

You can purchase packaged low fat string cheese for when you’re really in a rush to get out the door. Many string cheeses are high in protein and contain few carbs. Cheese can be high in sodium in general, however, so make sure to read the label.

A high sodium diet can elevate blood pressure and lead to heart conditions over time. Try to choose a low sodium option when possible. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you eat less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day.

Boiling eggs takes just 10 to 15 minutes, and you can prepare them ahead of time for your busy week.

Eggs wonderful sources of protein and contain only about 1/2 g of carbohydrates.

One can of tuna packs a whopping 62 g of protein and only 3 g of fat. There’s also no sugar.

Mix it up with a little bit of mayonnaise and some chopped celery, carrots, and pickles, and you have a tasty tuna salad that will go great on whole-grain crackers or a piece of whole-grain bread

Try to limit or avoid pre-made tuna salads, as they can sometimes contain added oils and ingredients.

Olives contain a nice dose of healthy fats, along with iron, fiber, and vitamin E. Olives are also abundant in phytonutrients, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A 1-cup serving of black olives contains 8 g of carbs, 0 g of sugar, and 8 mg of iron.

If eating olives by themselves doesn’t sound appetizing, try putting them on top of some hummus, and enjoy them with vegetable sticks or crackers.

Avocados are low in carbs and loaded with healthy fats and fiber. In fact, the monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat present in avocados may help raise your HDL (good) cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Avocados are also low in carbohydrates, which means the risk of a blood sugar spike is quite low.

For a satisfying snack, mash up half of an avocado, spread it on a piece of toasted wheat bread, and sprinkle a little bit of sea salt and crushed red pepper on top.

Sugar-free gelatin is not nutrient-dense, but if you’re in the mood for something sweet and are really trying to watch your blood sugar, this is a good option.

Add a dollop of sugar-free whipped topping and some fresh berries for more flavor and added antioxidants.

Dehydration can spike your blood sugar, so staying hydrated is an essential part of managing diabetes. Because soda and most fruit juices can contain a lot of sugar, try incorporating no-sugar-added flavored waters and seltzers into your daily routine.

While these may not make you less hungry, they provide a pop of flavor, which may make them easier to drink.

When you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you can snack “smart” by aiming for items high in protein and fiber, and low in empty carbs and sugar. Know your portion sizes beforehand, and don’t forget to count the carbohydrates into your overall meal plan.

The American Diabetes Association advises that a diabetes-friendly snack has under 20 g of carbohydrates.

12 Quick Snacks for People with Type 2 Diabetes (2024)


12 Quick Snacks for People with Type 2 Diabetes? ›

Fruit and vegetables contain a good mix of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre. Other snacking options include unsalted nuts and seeds, oatcakes, rice cakes, wholegrain crackers, or unsweetened yogurts.

What are the best snacks for type 2 diabetics? ›

Fruit and vegetables contain a good mix of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre. Other snacking options include unsalted nuts and seeds, oatcakes, rice cakes, wholegrain crackers, or unsweetened yogurts.

What is the number one snack to lower blood sugar? ›

But there is one food that stands alone as the best snack for lower blood sugar: nuts. Nuts are delicious, nutritious and incredibly versatile as far as snack foods go. Plus, they can be stored at room temperature (or in the freezer for longer periods) and are great for grab-and-go snacks.

What foods can Type 2 diabetics eat freely? ›

Nonstarchy vegetables—such as leafy greens, peppers, carrots, or green beans—should make up half of your plate. Carb foods that are high in fiber—such as brown rice, whole grains, beans, or fruits—should make up one-quarter of your plate.

Can diabetics eat Chick-fil-A nuggets? ›

🍤 Diabetes-Friendly Entrees

Chick-fil-A offers some options with grilled chicken which have less total carbohydrates, fats, and calories than fried chicken. The grilled chicken nuggets or the grilled chicken sandwich with a multigrain bun are both very tasty options that are packed with protein.

Can a type 2 diabetic eat pizza? ›

If you have diabetes, pizza can be incorporated into a balanced diet, but consider the following options to better manage your blood sugar levels: pair your pizza slice with a fiber- and protein-rich side dish. be mindful of portion sizes. try out some healthy homemade pizza recipes.

What Chinese food can a type 2 diabetic eat? ›

Some lean protein choices include chicken, lean ground pork and fish. These proteins are often used in Chinese main dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken with Bell Peppers. Plant-based proteins, such as tofu, are also found in Chinese dishes. Tofu may be used as a meat alternative, providing protein from soybeans.

What is the one fruit that lowers blood sugar? ›

Although all fresh fruits make a healthy choice, certain fruits, like berries, avocados, citrus fruits, apples, and pomegranates, may offer specific health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, such as improving post-meal blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure.

Why should diabetics avoid eggs? ›

In addition, a diet enriched with egg yolk was associated with elevated plasma glucose compared with a control diet in rats (9). Data from the Zutphen Study (10) have indicated a positive association between egg consumption or dietary cholesterol and fasting glucose.

What kind of sandwich meat can a diabetic eat? ›

Other: Processed sandwich meats with less than 1 gram fat or less/ounce, such as: deli thin, shaved meats. chipped beef, turkey ham. egg whites (2)

Should diabetics go to bed hungry? ›

If you take insulin or other diabetes medications, you may sometimes need to snack before bedtime to treat or prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) during the night.

What should a Type 2 diabetic eat daily? ›

Include more nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and green beans. Include fewer added sugars and refined grains, such as white bread, rice, and pasta with less than 2 grams of fiber per serving. Focus on whole foods instead of highly processed foods as much as possible.


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