Protein Snacks For Diabetics

If you are somebody who suffers from diabetes, then you will be more than aware of just how important it can be to incorporate healthy snacks into your daily diet. With the main aims being to control blood sugar, engage in weight management, stay away from saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats and keep an eye on your carb count, something that people with diabetes can focus on in their snack foods is protein.

Christine Zalnieraite

2022 Sep 23

10 min read

If you are somebody who suffers from diabetes, then you will be more than aware of just how important it can be to incorporate healthy snacks into your daily diet. With the main aims being to control blood sugar, engage in weight management, stay away from saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats and keep an eye on your carb count, something that people with diabetes can focus on in their snack foods is protein.

Is Protein Good For People With Diabetes?

protein snacks

The positive thing about protein concerning diabetes is the fact that it has little to no effect on blood sugar levels. Of course, that doesn’t mean that any snack foods containing protein automatically aren’t going to raise blood sugar levels. It just means that the protein portion of those foods in question isn’t going to contribute to the issue.

If something is full of sugar and saturated fat to start with, then it isn’t going to be considered a suitable and filling snack despite its protein content.

In general, people who have diabetes don’t strictly need more protein than people who don’t have it, but since it can keep your blood sugar levels stable compared to added sugar and even healthy fat, lots of people with diabetes tend to opt for high protein-filled foods for their go-to healthy snack fix.

Of course, as with any kind of tasty snack, the trick is to stick to a small handful’s typical serving and not go overboard.

As long as you snack in moderation and try to incorporate healthy fats for the best health benefits, blood sugar control, and heart health, snacks for diabetes can be found in pretty much every supermarket and your own pantry.

With all of this in mind, we have put together a list of the best snacks that are protein-packed and can help to keep your blood sugar levels steady. As a diabetes patient, you should be doing everything that you can to manage blood sugar levels, lower blood sugar, keep a healthy diet and avoid developing heart disease.

All of the snacks for diabetes listed below are packed with things like heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that will be able to stabilize blood sugar and keep all of your nutrition stats in a positive and healthy range.

What Are the Best Snacks For People With Diabetes?

protein snacks

Here we list some snacks you can make from the ingredients you will usually have in your kitchen or are available in any grocery store. Preparation is minimal.

Apple Slices And Nut Butter

If you want to combine a sweet treat with fresh fruit, then there is nothing better than some apple slices spread with the nut butter of your choice.

Almond butter is something that a lot of people with diabetes opt for, and the American Diabetes Association even recommends it as a good alternative to dairy butter.

If you want to enjoy the peanut butter without the apple slices, you can always spread it on something like whole grain crackers, which are also great for people with diabetes. They can come in the form of packaged snacks which makes them easy to eat on the go, and they can be a real alternative to foods like potato chips that contain a lot of saturated fat.

Whether you have apple slices or whole grain crackers, it will satisfy a want for a crunchy snack.

Super Healthy Hard-Boiled Egg

Hard-boiled eggs are a perfect snack for people with diabetes for several reasons. They are very high in protein, they are a zero-carb food, and they will not do anything to cause or encourage high blood sugar levels.

Eggs on their own can be a bit boring if you eat them regularly, so one of our favorite ways to make them more exciting is to devil them!

This can be done by adding the yolks to some low-fat mayo and horseradish and then putting the mixture back in place. If you want things extra spicy, you can sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top.

This kind of snack will keep you nice and full until your next meal.

Dark Chocolate To Keep Blood Sugar Levels Stable

If you have a sweet tooth and don’t want to settle for dried fruit every time you want a snack, then dark chocolate is a sensible option.

Compared to white chocolate and milk chocolate, dark chocolate is lower in sugar and higher in protein, which is very much what we are looking for in terms of helping your blood sugars.

A few squares of dark chocolate combined with a few berries make for snacks rich in protein and antioxidants.

Edamame Beans Full Of Healthy Fats

Something a little bit different than the usually sliced veggies is delicious edamame beans. Forget a half-cup serving. You can have a whole bowl of these moreish beans, taken directly from the pod.

Edamame beans also contain a small amount of Vitamin E, which is good for improving diabetic health and is recommended by anyone undertaking nutrition therapy to try to manage their condition.

Greek Yogurt For Ideal Blood Sugar Control

Both Greek yogurt with flavoring and plain yogurt are great substitutes for more fatty types of yogurts. High in protein and low in fat, you can add things like pumpkin seeds and chia seeds to a bowl of Greek yogurt to turn it into a protein-filled snack that will keep you feeling full and satisfied until dinner time.

Cottage Cheese Is the Best Kind of Cheese

Cottage cheese won’t give you a savory hit like cheese crisps or parmesan cheese, but it is a much healthier alternative than most other low-fat cheese you see on supermarket shelves. Low-fat cottage cheese is great with salads as well as a dip for raw veggies.

It’s a classic example of snack food with high protein, low fat, and low sugar all at the same time.

Tuna Salad for Omega-3

Tuna and other kinds of fish and seafood are great for someone looking to maintain a high protein diet. You also get some super-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Some good-quality tuna with cucumber slices, crunchy lettuce, tomatoes, and a splash of olive oil is a healthy snack. Add tuna to cottage cheese if you want to increase the protein content.

Shrimp Cocktail Is Not Just an Appetizer

Another fish-based snack great for a protein punch without damaging blood sugars is a shrimp cocktail. You can snack on as many shrimps as you wish, along with the classic lettuce accompaniment.

The only thing to be aware of is how much full-fat mayonnaise you use to create your cocktail sauce. A simple way to eliminate this worry is to use low-fat or completely fat-free mayonnaise.

Roasted Chickpeas Are Good For Blood Sugar

Among the best snacks for diabetes that you can buy are roasted chickpeas. Thanks to a huge increase in the number of products to address various dietary requirements, roasted chickpeas in various flavors are available.

Chickpeas are one of the most nutrient-dense foods. A wonderful source of protein, and they make for a really filling snack that can help keep your blood sugar stable. On their own, they can run the risk of being a little bit bland or boring, but when you pair them with bold flavors like chili and lime juice, they make for a great snack.

Half a cup (or one cup if you are particularly hungry) of roasted chickpeas can boost your much-needed protein. A crunchy snack with a satisfying flavor and a ton of healthful fats to boot!

Popcorn for Some Whole Grains

It isn’t just people with diabetes who should eat more whole grains. The good news is that one of America’s favorite snacks is whole grain. We’re talking about popcorn. In this case, however, you do need to avoid the sweet versions. It is better to air pop your own and leave the prepared packs on the shelf because they usually contain trans fat (saturated fat), salt, and other unhealthy ingredients

Regular popcorn is very low in calories and delivers a nice hit of fiber.

Kind Bars – A Snack Bar You Can Buy

So many people love the convenience of grabbing a snack bar on the go, and there is a massive range available, but are they suitable for people with diabetes? Yes – some are. As with all processed foods, you must read the nutrition label carefully to avoid added sugar and saturated fat.

A recommended bar is the Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Bar from Kind. As well as being a good source of protein, it contains a lot of fiber to keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel and keep you fuller for longer. It contains 4 grams of added sugar, so can be included in a diabetic diet.

Spanish Olives for a Hit of Oleic Acid

Oleic acid is known to help cells absorb sugar from the blood, and green olives are a prime source of this important nutrient. They are also high in monounsaturated fats. Be sure to buy Spanish olives or Manzanilla olives.

Make Your Own Protein Snacks

protein snacks

The significant benefit of making your own healthy snack from a recipe for people with diabetes is knowing exactly what ingredients go into it. Sometimes, even when you read the nutrition label, what you think is a healthy snack may well not be. For example, there are 56 names for sugar, and impossible to know and recognize them all. There’s no such issue with added sugar when you make your own healthy snacks.

Browse online, and you will find plenty of recipes for snacks for diabetes. Here’s a selection.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

An excellent snack that is simple to prepare can be made in a respectable amount and lasts for some time. These peanut butter protein balls are all those things and are also low in carbohydrates. An added bonus is that they take 10-12 minutes to make, and there’s no baking involved. You know the peanut butter will not impact your blood sugar adversely, and as well as the protein, you’ll get a nice hit of healthy fats and fiber. Plus, you get that hit of chocolate that so many people with diabetes crave. With this versatile recipe, swap in dried fruit and chopped nuts for the coconut and chocolate.

Strawberry-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark

A great snack for a sweet tooth that won’t make you worry about heart disease is like a candy bar for people with diabetes, and being frozen is ideal for a hot day. Just like regular chocolate bark, it is creamy thanks to its yogurt base but is studded with healthy fruit and the treat of dark chocolate chips. Add some pumpkin seeds for extra crunch.

Chia Seed Protein Bites

Chia seeds are one of the trendiest superfoods. They have been lauded for their appetite-taming qualities, healthy fats, and fiber. These little balls of deliciousness also contain peanut or almond butter, so they’ll fill you up without upsetting your blood sugar.

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are good for heart health because they are rich in magnesium. On their own, a handful can be a bit boring, so spice them up a bit. You can adjust the ratio of spices in this recipe to suit how hot you want them to be.

Coconut Banana Bread

Surely this isn’t a pathway to lower blood sugar. On the contrary, some clever person has used all different ingredients from those used in traditional banana bread. You can feel good about eating this bread because it contains absolutely no added sugar.

Closing Note

Being able to include snacks in your diabetic meal plan is about making sensible choices. It is equally important to know the nutritional value of the meal on your dinner plate as the sweet or savory food you choose to snack on. If you find yourself snacking too much or having too many cravings, review your overall diet because it means you are not eating properly in your three main meals.

Written by

Christine Zalnieraite

Christine is a registered and licensed dietitian (RD, LD) with more than eight years of professional experience. Christine is an expert in dietetics that includes human nutrition and the regulation of the proper individual diet. She alters patient's nutrition based on their medical condition and individual needs. Education: Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Food Safety and two Bachelors of Science - Bachelor in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, and Human Nutrition and Food Safety. Also, she continues to deepen her knowledge in Ph.D. studies of Medical Science and Dietetics.

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