Healthy snacks can be smart part of a diabetes diet

December 28, 2016

(HealthDay)—Healthy snacks are a part of managing diabetes, and it's best to avoid the vending machine, says the American Diabetes Association.

There are plenty of energy-boosting snacks that aren't loaded with sugar, salt and fat, the group advises.

For someone with diabetes, choosing the right foods and controlling portion sizes can help avoid unhealthy spikes in and weight gain, the association explains.

Doctors generally advise people with diabetes to limit the carbohydrates they eat. That's because carbohydrates make blood sugar levels rise.

Here are some healthy snack suggestions from the ADA listed according to their carb content. The following snacks contain less than 5 grams of carbohydrate, the association says:

  • 15 almonds
  • 3 celery sticks with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 5 baby carrots
  • 5 cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 cup cucumber slices with 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
  • cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup salad greens with 1/2 cup diced cucumber and a drizzle of vinegar and oil
  • 1 frozen sugar-free popsicle
  • 1 cup light popcorn
  • 2 saltine crackers
  • 10 goldfish crackers
  • cup sugar-free gelatin
  • 1 string cheese stick
  • 8 green olives
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin or sesame seeds
  • whole avocado

These healthy snacks contain about 10 to 20 grams of carbohydrates, according to the association:

  • cup dried fruit and nut mix
  • 1 cup chicken noodle soup, tomato soup (made with water), or vegetable soup
  • 1 small apple or orange
  • 3 cups light popcorn
  • 1/3 cup hummus with 1 cup raw fresh cut veggies, such as green peppers, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, celery or cauliflower
  • cup cottage cheese with cup canned or fresh fruit
  • 1 cheese quesadilla (made with one 6-inch corn or whole wheat tortilla, 1 ounce shredded cheese and cup salsa)
  • 2 four-inch rice cakes with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 5 whole wheat crackers and 1 stick of string cheese
  • turkey sandwich (made with one slice whole wheat bread, 2 ounces turkey and mustard)
  • cup tuna salad with 4 saltines

People looking to consume 30 grams or more of carbohydrates before exercise should consider the following snacks, the association says:

  • peanut butter sandwich made with 1 slice whole wheat bread and 1 tablespoon peanut butter. You can wash this down with 1 cup of milk.
  • 6 ounces light yogurt with cup berries, such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
  • 1 English muffin with 1 teaspoon low-fat tub margarine.
  • 3/4 cup whole-grain cereal with cup fat-free milk.
  • 1 medium banana with 1 tablespoon .

Stocking up on these healthy snack foods can help curb hunger and resist the temptation to fill up on fatty, sugary snacks, the association says.

But even healthy foods should be enjoyed in moderation. If you have diabetes, measure your food portions with measuring cups and spoons, the group says.

Also, remember that snacking in front of the TV or while reading or driving can lead to mindless eating.

Explore further: 2016-2017 Airline Food Study results revealed

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases offers more on diabetes and healthy eating.

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