Know the Best Snacks For Type 1 Diabetes

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

Best Snacks for Type 1 Diabetes
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“To snack or not to snack, that is the question”

Planning your diet and choosing healthy snacks can be a challenging task if you have diabetes. When managing diabetes, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and weight control should go hand in hand. Here’s a list of snacks for Type 1 Diabetes that helps you do just that.

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    Diabetes and Snacking
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    Type 1 Diabetes Snacks
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    Snacks to Avoid with Type 1 Diabetes
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    Don’t Have Time To Read?
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Diabetes and Snacking

Type 1 Diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. It occurs when your body is unable to produce enough insulin (a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels) needed by your body.

With Type 1 Diabetes, choosing healthy snacks can be a challenging task, as anything and everything you eat can affect your blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar levels depend upon the macronutrients you consume, especially carbohydrates, so it is important to understand how many carbs you are consuming with your snack.

Your sugar levels may slightly vary throughout the day based on your diet. Usually, blood sugar levels spike up after every meal and slowly drop afterwards. A prolonged gap between your meals can increase the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and lead to symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, irritability, rapid heartbeat and hunger. Snacking can be a solution to this. 


Type 1 Diabetes Snacks

If you are a Type 1 Diabetic, make sure that any snack you pick contains about 15 to 20 g of carbohydrates.

The following is a list of some healthy snacks for Type 1 Diabetics:

1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs are a super healthy snack for diabetics. You can either choose to snack on two full hard-boiled eggs or three hard-boiled egg whites. You can also add your favourite spices to the eggs to improve their taste and flavour.

Eggs are a great antidote to sudden hunger pangs. They are rich in protein and are a filling evening snack option for diabetics. They are a good source of potassium and are also rich in nutrients like choline that helps in balancing your blood glucose levels.

Nutrition Facts: 2 Egg Halves – 156 calories, 4 g of total carbs.

2. Handful of Almonds

Nuts such as almonds are ready-to-eat nutritious snacks with the perfect balance of fibre, protein, and healthy fats. Regular consumption of nuts can help stabilise your blood sugar levels. Make sure to choose unsalted whole nuts as excess salt intake can lead to other health complications like high blood pressure.

You can opt for a mix of almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, and Brazil nuts for a snack. Go for raw or dry roasted nuts and also ensure that you limit the portion size to a handful as nuts are high in calories and can cause weight gain. 

Nutrition Facts: One ounce (28 g) of almonds – Roughly 180 calories, 7 g of total carbs. The exact number of calories depends on the nuts you choose.

3. Yoghurt with Berries

Yoghurtwith berries is an excellent diabetic friendly snack. Berries are rich in antioxidants that  help reduce inflammation in the body and lower the chances of damage to organs such as the pancreas that produce insulin. 

Berries are also a good source of fibre that helps control a rise in your blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion. Yoghurt contains probiotics that boost metabolism and regulate blood sugar levels. 

Nutrition Facts: One serving (75 g of yoghurt with 30 g of mixed berries) – Approximately 110 calories, 7 to 9 g of total carbs.

4. Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas are considered one of the healthiest legumes that also form a perfect evening snack option for diabetics. Roasted chickpeas add protein to your diet and keep you full for a longer time. They are low in carbohydrates and high in dietary fibre. 

You may use a small amount (around one teaspoon) of olive oil or peanut oil for roasting chickpeas. This will help to keep your blood sugar levels steady. You should, however, always watch the portion size while snacking.

Nutrition Facts: Handful (30 g) roasted chickpea – 170 calories, 20 g of total carbs.

5. Homemade Protein Bars

Protein bars form a tasty and healthy evening snack. Homemade protein bars are always a better option compared to the ones in the market as you can modify the ingredients according to your choice. Packed protein bars may contain high amounts of added sugar or other unhealthy ingredients. 

You can customise your protein bars by adding honey or dates instead of sugar and can also opt for other healthy ingredients such as rolled oats, chia seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, and cashews. They are high in fibre, healthy fats and proteins and thereby help keep your sugar levels in check. 

Nutrition Facts: The nutritional value depends on the ingredients you choose. Limit your intake to 1 or 2 finger protein bars.

Snacks to Avoid with Type 1 Diabetes?

Foods to avoid with Type 1 Diabetes include:

  • Refined and processed food
  • Foods that are high in added sugar such as cakes, biscuits, pastries
  • Fried foods and food high in saturated or unhealthy fats
  • Alcohol, soda or other sugary drinks
  • Refined grains, such as white bread, pasta, and rice.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • When it comes to snacking for Type 1 Diabetics, the key is to choose snacks that are high in protein, fibre and healthy fats. Also, make sure that the snacks you choose are dense in nutrients that can help keep your blood sugar levels in check.
  • A perfect snack should be a combination of appetite-satisfying protein with a good source of healthy fat and low in carbs. The calorie limit of the snack should be between 150 and 200 calories, and 15 to 20 g of carbohydrates.
  • Opting for healthy snacks will help prevent a drop in your blood sugar levels and will keep them stable between meals.
  • Some of the healthy snack options for Type 1 Diabetics include hard-boiled eggs, avocados, roasted chickpeas, yoghurt with berries, homemade protein bars, or a handful of almonds.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management Program which provides ‎360º care. Let’s treat diabetes together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Type 1 Diabetics are more likely to experience a drop in their blood sugar levels which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, irritability and an irregular heart beat. This can be prevented by having short meals at regular intervals or opting for healthy snacks in between your meals. This will help keep your blood sugar levels steady.

If you are a diabetic, you should choose a snack that is filling, low in carbs and rich in fibre,

which can keep you full and your blood sugar levels steady. For a good bedtime snack you can go for healthy options such as a handful of nuts, roasted chickpeas, celery sticks with hummus or a hard-boiled egg.

While choosing snacks like chips for Type 1 Diabetes, keep an eye out for added sugars and excess sodium, which are commonly added to chips with a sweet or salty taste. You can opt for chips that are baked instead of fried and also check for heart-healthy vegetable oils in the ingredient list. 

Type 1 Diabetics can consume cheese on a daily basis, it is one of the best snacks for Type 1 Diabetes. However, always remember that moderation is the key. An ideal recommendation would be one serving of low-fat cheese per day. You can opt for high protein and low-fat options such as ricotta or cottage cheese that will help in keeping your blood glucose levels in check. Also, make sure to avoid processed cheese as they have an extremely high fat and carb content.

The following snacks are good for Type 1 Diabetics:

  • Hard Boiled eggs
  • Yoghurt with berries or fruits
  • A handful of nuts or seeds
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Homemade protein or granola bars

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

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