04 Jun The Best Diabetes-Friendly Summer Snacks
If you have diabetes, choosing a healthy snack can be difficult, especially in the summer. You want something that fills you up and tastes good, but that doesn’t shoot your blood sugar up too high. Of course, you also want something that tastes delicious.
Over time, high blood sugars can lead to kidney disease, heart disease, vascular disease, amputations, blindness, and many other medical problems. And blood sugars are often directly associated with what you are eating. So by choosing healthy foods to eat, you can make a tremendous impact on your overall health.
PREPARATION: If you are not prepared to make a healthy choice, you may choose something that is too sweet or too salty, just because it’s convenient. Think of the cookies you grabbed from the pantry, the candy you took out of the jar, or the ice cream you pulled from the freezer. However, with a little preparation, you can choose a nutritious and nutrient-dense snack that tastes delicious, fills you up, and maybe helps keep you from eating too much at your next meal.
1. HUMMUS: Hummus with some freshly cut or steamed veggies is a perfect and tasty diabetes-friendly snack. Start with some store-bought hummus and dip fresh summer vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, or peppers. And then, when you get adventurous, make hummus at home. My absolute favorite recipe is from Chef Mike Solomonov. (NOTE: If you have kidney disease, and need a low potassium diet, choose cucumbers and peppers instead of tomatoes and stick to ¼ cup of hummus).
2. POPCORN: If you are looking for something to replace your bagged chips, try freshly popped popcorn with spices. The great news is you can customize the spice to whatever you like. This parmesan, rosemary, and garlic combination is outstanding. Try picking some fresh basil or dill from your garden as well.
3. FRESH FRUIT: This sounds boring, but nothing beats fresh fruit. A small peach or plum, or a handful of berries can hit all the right flavor spots in your mouth and keep you refreshed on a hot summer day.
4. UNSWEETENED TEA or FLAVORED WATER: When choosing a snack food, pay close attention to your drink choice as well. The key is to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages like soda or juice. Water is always a great option but you can try homemade iced tea with orange and fresh mint leaves or flavored water.
5. NUTS: Lower carbohydrate snacks are also a great choice for people with diabetes. Nuts and trail mixes often hit all the right spots. Try this lower-carb trail mix from Very Well Fit. (NOTE: Stick to 1-2 tablespoons if you are on a low potassium diet.
6. CHOCOLATE COVERED BANANA POPS: If you are craving a sweet snack, stay away from the cookie and candy aisle. Try this chocolate-covered banana pop recipe from Ellie Kreiger. Sure, they have some carbohydrates in them, but stick with half a banana and it surely beats a few cookies from the store or a candy. If you need to be on a low potassium diet, stick to half a banana as well or try strawberries instead of bananas.
7. GRILLED PEACHES: Lastly, if you’re having a barbeque, try grilled peaches. They’re simple to make and I guarantee you that you’ll be blown away from the end result. Here’s my favorite, simple recipe.
Keeping your diabetes under control is key to protecting your body for the long term. Making smart and healthy snack choices can help you do this.