What are the right snacks to choose when you have diabetes

What are the right snacks to choose when you have diabetes

What are the right snacks to choose when you have diabetes
What are the right snacks to choose when you have diabetes
What are the right snacks to choose when you have diabetes

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We've all been there, that peckish feeling where you just want to snack on something. For those with diabetes, that almost seems like a sinful act! It is still possible to include snacks as part of a diabetes meal plan. Read on for some helpful tips on snack choices – as always, do speak to your dietitian for further advice on your specific dietary requirements.

Snacks to avoid when you have diabetes


Nuts are packed with protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E and minerals like magnesium and zinc. While relatively high in fat, nuts contain primarily unsaturated fat (or ‘good’ fat), which is helpful in the management of blood cholesterol levels.

Nonetheless, nuts are high in calories and should be consumed in moderation. A guide for the appropriate amount is about a handful – for an even healthier option, go for unsweetened and unsalted nuts.



All yogurts are good sources of protein, calcium and several other vitamins and minerals. Plain yogurt is a healthier option; you may want to consider Greek yogurt, which has a thicker, creamier texture. You can choose to enjoy yogurt as it is, use it as a dip for vegetable sticks, or toss in some berries for more nutritious goodness. Take note that yogurt contains naturally-occurring sugars and thus contributes to your carbohydrate intake.



Kamote or sweet potato is a root crop commonly used as a rice substitute. It is rich in carbohydrates and has a low glycemic index (GI), making it ideal for diabetic patients to regulate blood sugar levels. The low GI of this root crop means it takes time for our stomach to break down the food to glucose, thus preventing the need for insulin1. In addition, it is cheaper and readily available in rural areas. You can enjoy it steamed or cut into slices and baked in the oven for a crunchy snack.

Fried Favorites

From “empanada” to “turon”, these common deep-fried indulgences are often high in calories, carbohydrates, and fat. Frequently including these as snacks in the diet could have a negative impact on blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels, as well as affect weight management. For example, consider this: just one “turon” provides 34 g carbohydrates and 4 g fat2.


Sweet Treats

Sweet treats, from cakes and ice cream to local delights such as “kakanin” and dessert, are not an ideal snack choice for people with diabetes. This is because these food items tend to have plenty of added sugars and may compromise blood sugar control. For example, a slice of banana cake has 19 g of sugar (nearly 4 teaspoons), while a bowl of mango sago pomelo dessert contains 31g of sugar (more than 6 teaspoons).


Stir-fried noodles

Pancit is a staple at Filipino parties, symbolizing long life. However, it should not be taken lightly when you have diabetes. The noodles are high in carbs that are easily broken down to become sugar, and the meal is high in sodium or salt.3 Opt for the thinner rice noodle version, the pancit bihon guisado, which has less carbs than the canton noodles.

Consider a diabetes-specific formula

Such formulas are specially designed for people with diabetes to help manage blood sugar levels, and at the same time provide complete and balanced nutrition to meet the needs of your body. They taste delicious too! Consult your dietitian to find out how you can incorporate a diabetes-specific formula as a snack option in your meal plan.

1 Camote and Diabetes - All About Diabetes

2 turon calories, carbs & nutrition facts | MyFitnessPal

3 Pancit and Diabetes - All About Diabetes

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