Whether you need late morning energy, an afternoon pick-me-up, or post-workout fuel, snacking can be the key to holding you over until your next meal. However, if you have diabetes, prediabetes, or another condition that requires you to watch your blood sugar levels, opting for blood sugar-stabilizing foods is essential.
If you fall into any of the categories mentioned, you have probably been advised to avoid many foods. Fortunately, there are still a range of options that will not only satisfy your hunger, but also control your blood sugar. According to Molly Hembree, Medical Expert Council Member, MS, RD, LD, the best snacks for blood sugar management include both a source of protein and a fiber-rich carbohydrate.
“Protein and fiber work to moderate the spike in blood sugar at snack time, rather than the sharp spike in blood sugar you might experience with refined grains, high added sugars, and/or no protein. “, she says.
Looking for snack inspiration? Here are five snacks that can help you manage your blood sugar. And for more, check out Effortless Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar, Says a Nutritionist.
“The apple is a good source of carbohydrates in the form of natural sugar (fructose),” says Hembree. “Dip it in peanut butter to add protein to help manage blood sugar.”
A medium sized apple has 4.8 grams of fiber. This nutrient helps slow digestion, which prevents your blood sugar from rising rapidly. Besides being packed with vitamins, apples are also packed with polyphenols. These antioxidants have been shown stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. This helps cells in the body absorb sugar, ultimately lowering blood sugar levels.
Plus, peanut butter is packed with healthy fats, making this classic snack super satisfying.
“Cottage cheese, especially low-fat versions, is an excellent source of protein which, when paired with fruit like a peach, can help increase fiber intake and stabilize blood sugar,” says Hembree.
Additionally, although known for their sweetness, peaches are considered a low glycemic index fruitscoring a 42 on the glycemic index (GI) – the system that classifies how foods containing carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels. Foods that have a rating of 55 or less are considered low glycemic.
Rich in potassium, vitamins A and C, this summer staple fruit also has many health benefits, including supporting heart health, decrease in inflammationand improve digestion.
While they are On the sweeter side, carrots are a low carb, non-starchy vegetable, which means they do not have a significant impact on blood sugar.
In addition to providing a source of protein, chickpeas – the star ingredient in hummus – contain healthy fats. These fats help slow the absorption of carbohydratesallowing sugar to be released into the bloodstream at a more regular rate.
“using [hummus] as a dip for a high-fiber vegetable, like carrots, will help maintain blood sugar levels,” says Hembree.
Indeed, a study published in Nutrition review found that white bread released four times more blood sugar than hummus, despite both foods containing the same amount of carbohydrates.
Not sure which hummus to choose? Here are the best and worst hummus brands ranked!.
While yogurt can be a sneaky source of added sugar if you opt for a flavored variety, consuming plain, fat-free, or Greek yogurt can actually help keep your blood sugar levels at bay because they’re high in protein and low in fat. carbohydrates.
According Health lineThe blood sugar-friendly properties of yogurt can be partially attributed to probiotics, which could increase the body’s ability to metabolize sugar-containing foods. These probiotics have also been suggested to help reduce inflammation.
And what better fruit to top your yogurt than berries American Diabetes Association refers to a “superstar food?” Filled with antioxidants and fiber, blueberries have many health benefits, such as promoting heart health, lowering blood pressure, and helping to process glucose.
Oranges are yet another fruit that makes the American Diabetes Association’s list of superstar foodsthanks to their weak glycemic index and high fiber content. Rounding out the nutritional profile of this snack, almonds also provide fiber, as well as protein and healthy fats.
In a 2011 studythe researchers found that participants who ate 60 grams (0.46 cups) of almonds daily for 12 weeks had lower insulin and fasting blood sugar levels than those who followed the control diet.
Brianna is the editorial assistant for Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she earned a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. Read more