Not everyone needs snacks but they can help some people with diabetes to control their blood glucose levels. Eating starchy foods regularly and spacing your food intake evenly over the day can help to keep blood glucose levels stable.
If you are on basal bolus insulin, discuss snacks with your dietitian or diabetes specialist nurse.
Hints for choosing snacks:
- Look at the total carbohydrate content as this will affect your blood glucose levels.
- Check the portion size: a large snack may cause high blood sugars or weight gain.
- Try to choose slowly digested foods to minimise impact on blood sugar levels (these are listed as Low GI below).
- Some snack foods are higher in fat and salt: try to limit these to keep your diet healthy
- Healthy heart choices are highlighted by this symbol ♥ (image of a heart).
Always try to read the labels to see how much carbohydrate, fat and salt are in your chosen snack.
Snacks containing no or minimal carbohydrate
- ♥ Carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, celery, peppers, cherry tomatoes (Low GI), salad leaves (Low GI).
- Sugar free jelly (Low GI).
- Sugar free ice –poles (Low GI).
- Sugar free squash or diet fizzy drinks (Low GI).
- Tea or coffee with a dash of milk (Low GI).
- ♥ Eggs (Low GI).
- Canned, smoked or fresh fish such as tuna, mackerel or salmon (Low GI).
- Sliced cold lean meats such as chicken, turkey & ham.
- Cheese (small matchbox size).
- ♥ Half an avocado.
Snacks with 5g carbohydrate or less
- ♥ 100ml milk: Skimmed or Semi-skimmed (Low GI).
- ♥ 1 kiwi, 1 small orange, 1 plum, 1 Clementine / Satsuma (Low GI).
- Pickled vegetables (70g) e.g. gherkins, onions (Low GI).
- Seeds e.g. Pumpkin or sunflower (1 tbsp) (Low GI).
- Plain nuts (not sugared, honeyed or caramel) (2 to 3 tbsp) (Low GI).
- Low fat Houmous (3 tbsp).
- 1 mini scotch egg.
- 3 mini cocktail sausages or 1 peperami (22.5g).
- 130g mushroom soup, broccoli/stilton soup, chicken noodle soup.
- 115g Edamame beans.
Snacks with 10g carbohydrate or less
- ♥ A small apple (85g) or handful of berries, 2 pineapple rings or 10 grapes (80g) (Low GI).
- 200ml milk: Skimmed or Semi-skimmed (Low GI).
- ♥ Greek, natural, plain or diet yoghurt (125g) (check labels) (Low GI).
- ♥ Mini box raisins / sultanas (11g / 1tbsp).
- 2 Breadsticks.
- Plain popcorn (avoid sweetened, toffee & salted) (2 small cups).
- Some crackers, oatcakes (Low GI) or rice cakes (a single cracker only: check the labels)
- Some biscuits e.g. Rich Tea, plain digestive, Jaffa cake (a single biscuit only – check the labels)
- Some crisps e.g. Quavers (per 16g pack), Wotsits (per 16g pack), Skips (per 13g pack), (check the labels).
- 130g chunky vegetable soup, onion soup or tomato soup.
Snacks with 10 to 20g carbohydrate
- ♥ Medium apple (131-170g) or pear (104g) (Low GI).
- ♥ Small banana.
- ♥ 3 dried apricots, dates, apple rings or prunes (Low GI).
- 1 medium slice bread:– Wholemeal or Granary (Low GI).
- 1 crumpet.
- 1 mini pitta bread.
- Pringles (40g tub).
- Small bag of crisps (25g bag).
- 2 finger Kit Kat (20g bar).
- Some cereal bars (check the labels).
- Fruit yoghurt (125g).
- 100g quiche Lorraine.
- 1 scoop (40g) sorbet or ice cream.
- 1 slice malt loaf.
- Breakfast cereal: 1 wheat biscuit (Weetabix), wheat pillow (Shredded Wheat), oat biscuit (Oatybix).
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.