Living with diabetes presents a little bit of a challenge when it comes to food. But the bottom line is… diabetics need some food love, too! One of the most devastating parts about being a diabetic isn’t finding out that you have the condition (because at least you can manage it), but thinking that all your delicious snacks will go right out the window. Thankfully, that’s not true. There are some extremely delicious snacks for diabetics that will have your mouth watering, all while keeping your blood sugar under control.
The key to finding or preparing great snacks is making sure they are low sugar and low carb, but also mixed with a little protein and fat. Combining carbs with other foods provides more balance in your body and makes maintaining blood sugar levels much easier. Still, many people believe that being a diabetic means no sugar at all, and that’s just not the case. Low sugar foods may still be very sweet; it just depends on how they’re made, and where they fit in the glycemic index. Here are some very flavorful low sugar and low carb snacks that either come your way completely by nature, or that may be produced in your own kitchen with a little creativity.
1. Peanut Butter and Green Apples
The combination of peanut butter and apples is a snack that gives you a little natural sweetness, but is one that also has enough protein and fat to balance out the absorption of the natural sugars. This is an all-around great snack because not only do you get a sweet and sour effect with the apples, you also get the satisfaction of the crunch – and the peanut butter adds just enough richness and flavor contrast to completely satisfy you.
2. Cucumber “Mountains”
This may take a little effort on your part, but if you just mix a little Italian seasoning with some cream cheese, you can make delicious little mini cucumber mountains that are both nutritious and delicious. Simply cut a fresh cucumber into slices ¼ inch thick and lay flat. Put about a teaspoon (or less) of the cream cheese/Italian seasoning mixture on each cucumber slice, then top with ½ of a grape, cherry or cherub tomato.
3. Homemade Desserts
Sometimes when you really need some bakery treats, what you cook up in your own kitchen is the most satisfying. You can try other’s recipes, like a low-calorie, no added sugar, sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon and walnuts; or, you may try sugar substitutes in any of your own favorite recipes, in place of refined white sugar. Sugar substitutes like Splenda or C&H Light have been said to have the best results with baked goods. So, if you really need some homemade cookies or cakes now and then, you can still have them and worry less about whether or not it will send your blood sugar into a frenzy.
4. Nuts and Yogurt
Nonfat plain or artificially sweetened yogurts may give you the creamy sweetness, you crave, plus a little crunch. You can add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed for a little added texture that is also chock full of a healthy dose of omega-3s, or try almonds or walnuts for a richer, crunchier variety.
5. Pudding Pops and Popsicles
We all know they sell sugar-free Popsicles, and they are great to pick up at the grocery store in a pinch. But, you can take your frozen treats to the next level by making some of your own at home. Turn your favorite flavors of sugar-free pudding into frozen desserts! Just pick up your favorite flavors, prepare as instructed, and then pour them into Popsicle molds or disposable plastic cups for freezing. If you use plastic cups, be sure to cover the top with plastic wrap (secure with a rubber band). This helps prevent freezer burn and allows for the stick you insert to stay in place.
Any time you combine crunch with savory, creamy flavors, or anytime you can create sweet, moist bakery treats that are low in sugar and contain a lower carbohydrate count, you will find that all your snacking taste buds are satisfied. Diabetes or not, there’s no reason that living with diabetes has to stop you from eating delicious snacks you love.
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