0 carb snacks for diabetics

An energy bar with protein, fat and the right carbohydrates can keep you going between meals, or give you needed energy for an exercise routine. However, with so many options for bars out in the market, which ones are good for diabetes?

In this article, we will review 10 different energy bars that can work for you when you have diabetes without giving you excess carbohydrates in a serving that raise your blood sugar. There are certain things that you will want to look for in these snack if you have diabetes.
We will go over what should be in the one you opt for if you have diabetes. Carbohydrate content is going to be an obvious issue. We will look snacks that have natural lean proteins, unsaturated fats as opposed to saturated fats and the right kinds of carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index.


Hailey’s story

When Hailey came into diabetes education, she couldn’t understand why her blood sugars were so high. She was eating healthy, she thought. She was taking her medication for her Type 2 Diabetes. After a quick diet recall, all was revealed.

Hailey was eating what she thought were healthy bars. They were high in sugar and had over 45 grams of carbohydrates. No wonder Hailey’s A1C and blood sugars had spiked so high.

We reworked her options and picked the ones that were made with whole grains, natural sugars, high in protein and healthy fats, such as nuts. Those also contained around 10-15 grams of carbohydrates.

The next week, Hailey called in to report that her blood sugars were in her target range once again. She was glad we had been able to figure out what was causing her blood sugars to increase.

Previously, while Hailey was eating the right amount of carbohydrates during her meal times, she was overdoing it with high sugar granola bars, and so that’s all it took to raise her blood sugars out of her target range. Taking them away was all it took to get her diabetes control back.

Options for you when you have diabetes?

When you need something quick in between meals, or before a workout, it’s a convenient choice to reach for an energy bar. When you have diabetes, you don’t want to reach for products that are high in glycemic level, and raise your blood sugar.

There are products on the market that will foot the bill for low glycemic levels and natural sugars. Let’s look at some of the best ones out on the market for you when you have diabetes.

1. Elan Granola Shot 2. Better Than Chocolate 3. RXBAR 4. Pegan Thin 5. Kind Bars
Ingredients Nuts, seeds, natural 70% Cacao, maca, guarana 100% Cacao, egg whites Monk fruit, tapioca fiber, seeds Least expensive, peanut butter, dark chocolate, almonds, coconut
Net Carbs 4 grams 8 grams 19-22 grams 2 grams 21.5 grams
OK for Ketogenic


Yes- top choice for keto dieters May be ok for keto diet depending on carb levels; good for ADA diet No, but good for ADA diet Yes – top choice for keto dieters No, but good for ADA diet
6. Solo Bar 7. Paleo Thin 8. Go Energy 9. Atkins Meal 10. Fiber One Protein
Ingredients Sunflower oil natural fruit sweeteners Sunflower seed powder, egg whites, monk fruit Fruits Sugar alcohols may upset stomach Fruits, natural sweeteners
Net Carbs 22 grams 5 grams 22 grams 7 grams 12 grams
OK for Ketogenic


No, but good for ADA diet Yes, good for keto or ADA diets No, but ok for ADA diet Yes, a good choice for keto diet, and can be used with ADA Yes, for maintenance keto diet or ADA

10 Healthy energy bars for diabetes

Our top picks for healthy energy bars with diabetes all contain no more than 15 to 25 grams of carbohydrates. Once you figure the fiber in these, net carbohydrates are lower.

This means that they are low glycemic, and won’t affect your blood sugars so much. They contain natural ingredients and natural sweeteners.

They are boasted with powerful antioxidants, healthy fats and proteins to help your muscles work at maximum potential. They are great when you need a boost before a big workout.

The recommended amount of carbohydrates for a snack on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet is 15-30 grams. The ones we have listed here will come in at or around this range, but net carbohydrates may be much lower due to the high fiber contents.

ADA and Keto Diet energy bars are covered here

If you are on a ketogenic diet, where you eat very little carbohydrate-containing foods, we then have some options for you as well. Even if you are following an ADA diet, and not a keto diet, you can still use these high protein, low carbohydrate snack bars between meals.

We will list the best options for our keto dieters, and which are best for an ADA diet. That way you can choose one no matter which diabetes friendly diet that you are on.

I recommend reading the following articles:

  • Glucerna Products Review
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  • Juicing and Diabetes: Is Juicing Good for Diabetes?
  • How Do Others Live With Diabetes?

ELAN Granola Shot Paleo Mix

ELAN is made with over 80 percent seeds and nuts, including brazil nuts, flaxseed and cashews. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut are the other ingredients. It’s only got 4 grams of net carbohydrates per serving. The nuts and seeds make the granola in this bar, therefore there isn’t any wheat used in making it.

What are net carbohydrates?

Net carbohydrates are the number of carbohydrates that are in food once you take into account the fiber in the food. To get the net carbohydrates for a food, take the total carbohydrates and subtract grams of fiber.

Fiber helps to keep your blood sugar steady. It’s a carbohydrate, but it is not digestible, so it won’t raise blood sugar at the same rate. Therefore, it is low glycemic. Fiber in food matters. Eating high fiber foods can help your blood sugars.

Good for diabetes?

This snack option is loaded with healthy nuts, as listed above.

It contains 4 grams of protein, and only 7 grams of total carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber, bringing it to eight net carbohydrates. It has the lowest carbohydrates numbers in comparison to the other products reviewed here. It does have 15 grams of fat: 5 grams from saturated fat, 4 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and the remaining from 6 grams of monounsaturated fats.

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with ELAN?

This product offers a low glycemic and low carbohydrate option that works for ketogenic diets. It’s our most ketogenic diet-friendly option here.

People who want to use the ADA method can still use this energy bar as a snack. High in protein and loaded with fiber, it provides good fats (coconut) and Omega 3s. The product also provides iron.

It fits in the categories of vegan, paleo and contains no gluten, as well. It’s sweetened slightly and naturally with maple syrup.

Better than Coffee Energy Bars

Caffeine in moderation and at least 70 percent cacao chocolate are good for you. They both provide powerful antioxidants. The “Better than Coffee Energy Bar” comes in at just 110 calories. It provides an ample 5 grams of protein, and once you consider the fiber in this energy bar, it provides just 8 grams of net carbohydrates.

Good for diabetes?

The coconut in it provides some good fats. One thing to watch out for is the caffeine content. It contains 100 mg of caffeine, so you should start with only one-half of a portion if you are sensitive to caffeine to see how it may affect you.

The “Better than Coffee Energy Bar” contains two South American plants, maca and guarana. The guarana plant is from Portugal, and it’s similar to a maple. Seeds from the guarana plant with caffeine inside the seeds. As a dietary supplement, the seeds are high in caffeine and serve as a stimulant.

The Maca plant comes from the mountains of Peru, and the root is used as an herb for medicinal purposes. It is supposedly good for sexual function, increasing sperm count and for menopausal symptoms, although there isn’t any research to support this.

When starting to eat bars that contain dietary supplements and herbs, always consult with your healthcare provider first to ensure that any herbal ingredients will not interact with your other medications or cause you health concerns. Speaking with your pharmacist is helpful to reduce interactions with your medication with herbal and dietary supplements.

The makers of this product state that the Maca they use is scientifically proven to give a physical and mental boost, and stamina.

Customer reviews of this bite state that it provides a boost of energy, for up to four to six hours.

This energy goodie can be used to provide a burst before activity, or between meals for extra energy.

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with this energy bar?

Yes, this is keto dieter friendly, and for those on an ADA diet. High-fat dieters may also like this nibble. The manufacturers state that this munchie is useful to keep the body in a state of ketosis, which is the goal for keto dieters. It can also be used on a Paleo diet.

RXBAR Whole Food Protein Bar

For an option which is clean and wholesome, try RXBAR. The whole food ingredients are clearly labeled on the front, so you know what you are getting. Ingredients include proteins, including egg whites and nuts. Dates and either 100 percent cacao chocolate or blueberries provide natural sweetness to the taste. Both ingredients are powerful antioxidants.

Good for diabetes?

Made with all natural and whole food ingredients, RXBAR contains a full 12 grams of protein per piece. There are 4 grams of fiber. It doesn’t contain dairy products, gluten or soy products. They are good for the ADA diet only, and not for keto dieters. It comes in a little high at about 22-25 grams of total carbohydrates, with 19-22 grams of net carbohydrates when you subtract the 4 grams of fiber in the product.These make great for someone with diabetes to use before a workout. It will provide lean protein for your muscles to utilize during your workout, as well as needed carbohydrates for energy

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with this energy bar?

It contains too many carbohydrates for a ketogenic diet. However, it works well for the ADA diet, with the right amount of carbohydrates recommended when on this diet with diabetes.

Pegan Thin Protein Bar

Pegan is a good choice when you require vegan protein and no added sugar in a very low carbohydrate energy bar.

Good for diabetes?

For diabetes, it packs 20 grams of protein from seed sources. Seeds included are pumpkin, watermelon and sunflower seeds. They provide for the building of lean muscles, which can help you to lose weight with diabetes.Total fat comes in at 11 grams, with 1 gram of saturated fat. With 26 grams of total carbohydrates and 24 grams of fiber, that’s just 2 grams of net carbohydrates in this bar. High protein foods with some fat in them and few carbs can suppress appetite for up to five hours or time for the next meal.The product is non-GMO, vegan and paleo-friendly as well. Monk fruit extract is one key ingredient, which is good for diabetes.

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with this energy bar?

Yes, it is perfect for a keto diet. Ketosis will happen if you are on a ketogenic diet, or you can use this energy break as part of your between meal or pre-workout routine on an ADA diet.

Kind Bar

These are made with all-natural ingredients, including almonds, honey and coconut. They are high in fiber and they pass every taste test.

Good for diabetes?

Besides being a delicious and nutritious way to curb sweet cravings, 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber satisfy until the next meal. Sweetened naturally with whole fruits and honey. It comes in at a low 13 grams of carbohydrates and 9 net carbs. There is some saturated fat, about 2 grams. Total fat for this snack is 17 grams. When you give up carbohydrates, they are usually replaced with fats and proteins. Its proteins are from all plant and whole food sources, so it’s a good choice for diabetes on an ADA diet.

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with this energy bar?

It is best used with an ADA diet. It may be useful for a keto diet depending on how many carbohydrates you consume in a day on your keto diet.

SoLo Energy Bar

Another great low glycemic option is the SoLo bar. Athletes use it, due to its balance of proteins and fats, carbohydrates and fiber. It provides energy for performance-related sports and reduces the “crashing” experience from high carbohydrate options with little fiber.

Good for diabetes?

They are low glycemic. Made for diabetes, you can be sure that you will get a slow release of carbs into your system, ample protein, healthy fats, and dietary fiber to help slow digestion and curb hunger pangs. These energy bars were formulated to release sugar into your blood slowly, and prevent increases in blood sugar as well as crashes from too low blood sugar. Foods low on the glycemic index come out under 55 on a scale. They are so low glycemic that they come in at 22 to 28 on the glycemic index. This is good for diabetes. At 6 grams of fat, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and a full 19 grams of added sugar, these bars do contain 11 grams of protein to hold off hunger. Subtract the fiber, and it’s got 22 grams of carbohydrates, so it’s on the high side and could increase blood sugars.

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with this energy bar?

It is on the high end for carbohydrates for an ADA diet. It wouldn’t work to keep you in ketosis if you prefer to be on a keto diet. 1

Paleo Thin energy bars

While these munchies have a peanut-buttery taste, they don’t contain nuts.

Good for diabetes?

They use sunflower seed powder, egg whites for protein and monk fruit for natural sweetness. The manufacturers claim to use “organic prebiotic fiber” to curb cravings and hold you over until the next meal. They also claim that it doesn’t make you feel bloated, as fiber sometimes does. At 11 grams of fat, but only 1 gram of saturated fat, 23 grams of total carbohydrates and a large amount of fiber at 18 grams, this bar comes in at just 5 net carbohydrates.

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with this energy bar?

This product may be OK for keto diets where maintenance of weight is desired, and carbohydrates are not reduced quite so strictly.


Made with whole fruits and foods and used by athletes for training and events, GO ENERGY has a moist texture to it. You will have to try it to see if you like the texture and taste.

Good for diabetes?

It is a bit on the high side for total carbohydrates at 25 grams total. At only 2.5 grams of fiber, it’s not much counterbalance. It’s made with whole fruits and natural ingredients and can be part of a vegetarian diet. Though sweeteners from natural fruits are healthy, this energy bar scores lower on carbohydrate versus fiber content.

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with this energy bar?

Since it contains high carbohydrates. it cannot keep someone on a keto diet in ketosis, and may raise blood sugars. If combined with exercise, it may be sufficient as a good choice. To be sure it’s not raising your blood sugars, check then at about two hours after eating a bar. Combined with a thirty-minute walk should make it work with an ADA diet.

Atkins Meal

Atkins has been around since the early 1990s. The Atkins diet was one of the first diets that were ketogenic that became popular.

Good for diabetes?

Atkins Meal is high protein and low carbohydrate, which can be helpful for maintaining satiety and for controlling blood sugars. Its taste is so-so. It’s nothing to write home about. At only 16 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fiber, yielding 7 grams of net carbohydrates, the bar also packs 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat (3 from saturated fat).

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with this energy bar?

Yes, you will be in ketosis with this low carbohydrate, high protein version. It is also useful on an ADA diet. It’s a bit high on sugar alcohols and may cause stomach upset.

Fiber One Protein

These energy snacks combine 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein in a 17-gram total carbohydrate bar (12 net grams of carbohydrates).

Good for diabetes?

It’s not too ridiculous on the carbohydrates, so it shouldn’t raise blood sugars too much. Some people like the taste and some don’t. You will just have to try one to see. It’s a bit high in saturated fat at 3.5 grams.

Will I be able to stay in ketosis with this energy bar?

Probably with a maintenance keto diet you could fit this nibble in, but it’s a little high in carbohydrates. For ADA, it should work well. 2

Things to know about energy bars

There are many different varieties of the same energy bar, so be sure to check your nutrition labels for different flavor combinations.

Taste is an issue. Some are gooey and may taste bland. Try several out until you find one with a flavor that entices you.

If one seems to have too many carbohydrates for you, and it runs up your blood sugar, try another lower carbohydrate option. It may take several tries before you find the right bar for you. Check your blood sugar before and two hours after eating one to get an idea of how it affects your blood sugars. Strive to keep your blood sugars in your target range.

Allergies to ingredients

Make sure to check your ingredients labels for any allergies to any of the ingredients in the products listed. Some allergies of note, when related to these products, include nut, soy, dairy and egg allergies. If you have allergic reactions of any type to any of the ingredients in these products, do not consume them.

Don’t use keto diet energy bars to treat a low blood sugar

One thing to remember is that the products that are good for a keto diet are not going to bring up a low blood sugar. Don’t use them to treat a low blood sugar. Low blood sugars should be treated with 15-20 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates.

Glucose tablets, juice, or hard candies will do the trick, but it takes too long for a carbohydrate-containing energy bar to break down into sugar in your stomach. Low blood sugars come on fast, so you must treat them quickly.

Over to you

Let us know what you think about each energy bar as you try them and determine which ones are best for you. You can add to our reviews in the comments section below.

TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Sergii Vasyliuk MD on September 02, 2018

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Last Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2018 Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Worst Carbs to Snack on if You Have Diabetes

Keeping snacks on hand is a smart idea for people with diabetes. “Eating on a consistent schedule, with roughly the same amount of carbs in each meal and snack, can help keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day,” says Brittany Poulson, RDN, CDE, with Your Choice Nutrition in Grantsville, Utah. “If done properly, snacking may prevent unnecessary lows or highs in blood glucose levels.”

That’s the good news for snackers with type 2 diabetes. The bad? Snacks of the high-carb variety can actually backfire. “If you’re eating carbs all day long, your blood sugar is going to be high all day,” says Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, RD, CDE, based in New York City. “You’ll never have a chance to have normal blood sugar.”

There’s another reason you should be wary of eating too many carbs: They won’t help your waistline. According to a study published in September 2014 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, cutting back on carbs was a better weight loss method than going on a low-fat diet. That’s important for people with diabetes because maintaining a healthy weight can help you gain control of the disease.

This will help reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications, such as diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage; diabetic retinopathy, or vision loss; and heart disease or stroke, according to the American Diabetes Association. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body weight — equal to 10 to 14 pounds (lbs) for a person who weighs 200 lbs — can help someone with prediabetes avoid diabetes altogether.

All of this is not to say you have to completely cut out carbs if you have diabetes, but it is important to pay attention to how much and what kind you’re taking in. So how many carbs can a person with diabetes have? You ideally want to have no more than 15 grams (g) of carbs in each snack, Malkoff-Cohen says. Be sure to read nutrition labels, noting the carb and sugar counts rather than putting too much faith in what the package says, Malkoff-Cohen advises. Oftentimes, foods are marketed as healthy or high in protein, when in reality they could qualify as junk food.

But we get it: Sometimes it can be just too tempting to grab a bag of chips from the vending machine when you’re hungry for a snack. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and always have healthy snacks for diabetes on hand. Poulson recommends planning snacks into your meal plan for that reason. “Otherwise it is all too easy to grab for those less-than-healthy options,” she says.

Now you may be wondering, what are the best low-carb snacks for diabetes? It’s pretty simple: Snacks that are primarily made up of protein and a small amount of healthy fat can be more effective at keeping your blood sugar steady than carb-based foods, Malkoff-Cohen says. Pairing healthy carbs, such as those from fruit, whole grains, or legumes, with protein and a bit of healthy fat makes for a satisfying and healthy snack. Poulson recommends veggies with hummus, an ounce of nuts and a piece of string cheese, or an apple with a tablespoon of nut butter.

As for what to stay away from, here are seven of the worst carb-heavy snacks for people with diabetes.

There’s a perception of snacking as being inherently bad. Any eating done between meals, people think, should be a great source of shame, particularly for people with diabetes.

We disagree. If you make healthy choices, a bit of between-meal munching is no problem at all.

Here are 11 of the most convenient, quick-to-make low-carb snacks around.

1. Turkey in lettuce

Those packs of thin turkey slices aren’t just for sandwiches. You can wrap a slice up in a piece of lettuce to make it low-carb. To make it more interesting, add a bit of mustard.

2. Celery and peanut butter

Celery’s boring. We all know it. But it can be a vessel for things that aren’t boring, like peanut butter. Slices of celery covered in peanut butter is a quick, convenient low-carb snack.

3. Unsalted nuts

Nuts are great for people with diabetes. They’re low-carb and full of good fats that protect you from heart disease. Just avoid the salted varieties.

4. Apple and cheese

Your average apple contains roughly between 10 and 15g of carbohydrates. Cutting half an apple up into slices and adding cheese makes for a convenient low-carb snack. It’s genuinely delicious, too.

5. Olives

If you just want something to pick at, olives are an excellent low-carb option. 100g of olives contains around 6g of carbs – that’s around 40 olives.

6. Avocado

An excellent low-carb snack is a bowl of avocado and strawberries with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

7. Full-fat yoghurt

Full-fat yoghurt, on its own or with some berries, is a lovely low-carb snack. Just avoid the “low-fat” varieties. Manufacturers usually fill them with sugar to make up for the lack of fat.

8. Berries

Of all the fruits, berries are one of the most low-carb. You can combine them with some full-fat yoghurt for a great low-carb snack, or just eat them in a bowl on their own.

9. Cherry tomatoes

Six cherry tomatoes is about 4g of carbohydrates. A dozen or so make for a great low-carb snack – and they’re full of fibre, too.

10. Boiled eggs

Nice and simple – a couple of boiled eggs can be a great low-carb snack.

11. Dark chocolate as an occasional treat

Of all the different kinds of chocolate, dark chocolate has the lowest carb content. We recommend it as an occasional treat. The odd bit of dark chocolate is much better for you than diabetic chocolate, which doesn’t do much for your blood glucose levels and can have unfortunate laxative effects.

Low-carbers: what are your snacking strategies? Let us know.

Know someone who could benefit from this blog? Share it and spread the low-carb love.

In the shop

We do our best to bring you relevant diabetes products that we believe in. Everything is as competitively priced as we can make it. If you liked this blog post, you might be interested in:

  • Triple Zero Stevia: The 100 per cent natural, zero-calorie alternative to sugar, Triple Zero Stevia ranks 0 on the glycemic index. That means it won’t spike your blood glucose levels at all.
  • Carbs & Cals: The comprehensive guide to calorie- and carb-counting. Understand what you’re eating and how it affects you.
  • Diabetes awareness button pin badge: Spread a little diabetes awareness with these funky button pin badges.


28 Guilt-Free Healthy Snacks For Diabetics

Healthy snacks for diabetics don’t have to be boring and flavorless.

In fact, the American Diabetes Association says it’s a myth that diabetics have to eat restrictive diets filled only with highly specialized foods. Diabetics, like everyone else, just need to eat healthy foods low in fat, salt, and sugar.

To manage blood sugar levels, diabetics do need to be careful when it comes to carbohydrates, including starches and sugars. That’s why we’ve curated a list of nutrient-rich recipes that keep refined sugars and unhealthy carbohydrates to a minimum.

Anyone, including non-diabetics, can use this list to achieve a vibrant and healthy snacking life.

1. Tuna Cups

Protein-rich and super lean, albacore tuna makes the perfect centerpiece for this healthy diabetic-friendly snack from Diabetes Self-Management.

Nonfat greek yogurt, Kalamata olives, red onions, lemon juice, fresh cucumber, and garlic salt top off the ingredients that go into making this snack so flavorful and satisfying, you’ll want to eat it every day.

Tip: Munch on these tuna cups to stop sushi cravings without eating any sticky, refined white rice.

SnackNation Suggestion: Chicken of the Sea Tuna

2. Sweet Potato Toast

Via Nutrition Stripped: Sweet Potato Toast Five Ways

Even if you’re avoiding sugary refined bread, you can still enjoy all the incredible gourmet toasts everyone is buzzing about. This recipe from Nutrition Stripped is deceptively simple. Who knew you could pop sweet potato slices into a toaster to achieve a crispy breadless toast that is primed for toppings?

When the sweet potato slices are crisped to perfection, top them with avocado, tahini, almond butter, mustard, or anything else you like.

Sweet Potato Snack Alternative: Spudsy Bangin BBQ Sweet Potato Puffs

3. Vegan Doritos

Via Emilie Eats: Easy Baked Vegan Doritos

Feeling deprived can make eating healthy challenging for diabetics, especially when brightly colored packages and loud commercials implant us with cravings on a daily basis. This recipe from Emilie Eats lets you stick to your special meal plan while getting the flavors you crave.

Sprouted grain tortillas, healthy oil, and a variety of spices give you a flavor package that’s even better than anything hiding inside a vacuum-sealed bag.

Vegan Doritos Alternative: Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

4. Jica Chips Real Jicama Slices

We’re so glad someone is finally making fiber-filled jicama into a chip! These amazing chips have fewer calories, less fat, and way more fiber than the average potato chip.

Jicama is naturally low in sugar and carbs, so it makes a delightful chip that won’t send blood sugar skyrocketing.

5. Ranch Radishes

A Sweet Life covers simply nutritious radishes with dill, parsley, garlic powder, and avocado oil and bakes them to create a snack as craveworthy as any less-healthy junk food.

The peppery flavors of the radish compliment this robust blend of spices perfectly, and the vegetable base of this snack tastes fresh and flavorful instead of heavy and fattening.

One serving has only 52 calories.

6. Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Beets

Freeze dried beets have all the spectacular crunch of potato chips, and they include far more beneficial nutrients. These pure and simple, conveniently packaged beets are ready to snack on. Just reach into the bag to start crunching.

The beets have been dried, so they won’t make your fingers all red, but they still have all the good stuff in the fresh veggies, including fiber and iron.

The snacks are USDA organic and non-GMO Project Verified, and they are healthy enough to snack on any time, or even all day long.

7. Almond Macarons

Almond flour, egg whites, and healthy sugar substitute have the power to create a delightful Italian macaron that makes the perfect treat when you need it. Just mix up all the ingredients, roll the dough into balls, and bake the macarons until they’re delicately crisp, just like the ones from your favorite bakery.

Get the recipe from Diabetes Daily.

8. Barley Salad

Low on the glycemic index, barley is an ideal grain for people with diabetes. When it’s added to a salad of lentils, tomatoes, feta, capers, and green onions, it takes on Mediterranean flavors as well as any couscous. Just 1/2 cup of barley has 16 grams of fiber, making it a perfectly filling base for a variety of diabetic-friendly snacks.

Check out the recipe from Kalyns Kitchen.

9. Fermented Vegetables

Via An Oregon Cottage: Easiest Fermented Pickled Vegetables Ever

Fermenting is the perfect way to add tons of flavor to any vegetable without adding a lot of sugar, fat, or salt. Fermented vegetables are also full of probiotics that are good for digestion. It’s not as hard as you might think to ferment your own vegetables.

This method from An Oregon Cottage calls for a few simple ingredients and some special lids. Once you have all those items, the rest of the process couldn’t be easier.

10. Stuffed Endives

Flavorful endive leaves have refined crackers beat any day. Topped with a simple mixture of roasted garlic, black pepper, and goat cheese, the leaves transform into something that qualifies as a true flavor experience.

Without a too-salty cracker blocking all that amazing flavor in your goat cheese, you might just detect flavors that you’ve never noticed before. Get the recipe from dLife.

11. Rice Cracker Trail Mix

Diabetic Living Online uses healthy rice crackers, cashews, dried apricots, and crystallized ginger to make an unforgettable trail mix you’ll want to keep everywhere. (You never know when the need to snack might strike!)

The simple dried apricots and spicy ginger provide plenty of sweetness without any added sugar. One serving has only 102 calories and counts as one starch on the diabetic exchange system.

12. Coconut Secrets Ungranola Bars

These diabetic-friendly snack bars are made with coconut and sweetened with low-glycemic coconut nectar. The bars don’t have any oats, grains, or genetically modified ingredients, and they’re vegan, kosher, and organic.

In addition to all these incredibly desirable features, the bars also taste amazing—rich, yet wholesome, with just the right amount of sweetness.

13. Honeydew Melon with Yogurt Sauce

Swap out vanilla yogurt for plain yogurt to further reduce the sugar content in this snack, a snack that feels like way more of a treat than a simple piece of fruit.

Take a cue from the Diabetic Foodie and slice up wholesome honeydew melon, drizzle it with yogurt, and sprinkle it with pistachios and lime zest to experience flavors worthy of a classic gelateria.

14. Saverne Artisanal Kraut Curtido

Get your daily dose of probiotics and flavor with Saverne’s convenient, gourmet-level pouches of handcrafted kraut.

The unforgettable curtido flavor features fermented cabbage, carrots, onions, jalapenos, and a variety of salty spices. And you can snack on all this incredible flavor straight out the bag.

15. Garam Masala Eggplant Chips

Via All Day I Dream About Food: Garam Masala Eggplant Chips

Avoid the blood-glucose spikes that come along with processed potato chips and make your very own chips out of eggplant, an unsung healthy-eating hero that is too often relegated to cheesy Italian dishes. When you sprinkle eggplant with garam masala and bake it until crisp, it makes a delicate chip with an unbelievable amount of flavor.

Get the recipe from All Day I Dream About Food.

16. Hubs Salted Peanuts

Pure and simple peanuts make an incredibly healthy snack any day, any time, and Hubs is a brand passionate about keeping peanuts pure and simple.

Hubs sources only the very best extra-large Virginia peanuts. Then they cook the premium nuts with just a touch of salt to bring out their natural flavors.

17. Turkey Veggie Snacks

Skewer reduced sodium turkey breast, low-fat mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and basil leaves to get all the flavor you want in a wholesome sandwich without the carbohydrate-dense bread.

These flavorful skewers from Diabetic Gourmet Magazine have enough flavor to stand alone, and you can even dip them in healthy balsamic vinegar if you want an extra kick of flavor.

18. Mediterranean Organic Green Pitted Olives with Fresh Herbs

Rich and flavorful olives make satisfying diabetic-friendly snacks. And thanks to brands like Mediterranean Organic, we can snack on fresh olives straight from handy portable pouches. The brand fills every snack bag with freshly picked olives grown in the fabled soils of the Mediterranean.

Plus, there’s no liquidy brine in the bag, so you don’t have to worry about any greasy spills spoiling your favorite shirt while you snack.

19. Kefir Frappe

This diabetic-friendly snack from Diabetics Rejoice! is part smoothie, part milkshake, and entirely delicious. Strong chai and creamy kefir taste incredible when blended with coconut cream and ice.

This frappe is perfect when you need a snack that’s fast and not too heavy. It has only 3 grams of sugar and 2.7 grams of net carbohydrates per serving.

20. Watermelon Chaat Masala and Mint Salad

Watermelon, mint, ginger, and chaat masala, an Indian spice, make an utterly interesting flavor combination. When the mixture is placed on healthy miniature wheat toasts, it creates a memorable snack that’s perfect for diabetics and anyone else who wants a little more flavor in their lives.

These rounds from Gita’s Kitchen are light enough to eat after dinner and before bedtime—or whenever you’re feeling just a little bit peckish.

21. Applesauce Muffins

My Bizzy Kitchen uses unsweetened applesauce to make rich, dense muffins. This recipe for anytime muffins uses whole wheat flour, oats, and fresh blueberries to make a nutrient-dense muffin that is better tasting, and better for you, than any bakery muffin with crystallized sugar caked on top.

And while this isn’t the biggest selling point, it’s worth noting that you can make these snacks in just one bowl.

22. Sugar-Free Microwave Brownie

A sugar-free brownie you can make in the microwave? Yes, it is absolutely as good as it sounds and better; the brownie is also vegan. This quick brownie recipe from Sweet as Honey calls for almond meal, crunchy peanut butter, sugar-free semi sweet baking chocolate, and a few sugar substitutes.

The result is a warm, gooey brownie you can feel good about eating.

23. Cumin Quick Bread

This cumin-flavored bread is diabetic-friendly and full of interesting flavors from cumin seeds, dry mustard, and picante sauce. Plus, it’s easy to make, with no bread maker required. Just mix up all the ingredients and bake the dough in a loaf pan.

When you see how easy it is to make your own bread, you may never want to buy the packaged kind again. Get the recipe from Health Magazine.

24. Oh Snap! Pickling Co. Carrot Cuties Pickled Carrot Sticks

Oh Snap! Pickling Co. is packing their expertly pickled fresh veggies into pouches for our healthy snacking convenience. The Carrot Cuties serve up way more flavor than baby carrots, but the flavor (from salt and vinegar) barely adds any calories.

Best of all, there’s no messy brine added to the pouch, so the carrots are perfect for mess-free snacking on the run.

25. Fruit Salsa and Chips

This Mayo Clinic recipe transforms cubes of fresh fruit into an incredible salsa with orange juice and a touch of honey. Whole-wheat tortillas, dusted with cinnamon and baked to perfection, will compliment the fruit salsa perfectly.

Together, these sweet chips and fruity salsa make a perfect snack or an ideal light dessert. One serving, which is about 8 chips and 1/3 cup of salsa, has only 3.5 grams of added sugar.

26. Cauliflower Rice Salad

What did we do before cauliflower rice? Low-carb cauliflower makes an ideal rice substitute for a diabetic-friendly snack. Many stores now sell pre-riced cauliflower, which is perfect if you need to make this snack in hurry.

Toppings of cucumbers, tomatoes, and kalamata olives, plus a dressing of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and mustard add plenty of interest to the mildly flavored cauliflower in this recipe from the American Diabetes Association.

27. Banana Fingers

To make this recipe from OnTrack Diabetes, mash up a banana and put it on some oatmeal bread. Throw the whole combination under the broiler to make a fiber-filled healthy snack that’s perfect for diabetics. The banana toast is just sweet enough to satisfy your cravings, but it won’t make your blood-sugar levels skyrocket.

28. Zego Just Fruit Bars

What’s in these Zego fruit bars? Just fruit of course; that colorful package wouldn’t lie. Each bar contains only the fruit noted on the label, no added sugars. The bars are available in flavors of pear, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, and raspberry.

They make ideal snacks when you want to treat yourself to some sweet fruity goodness but don’t have any of the

What’s your favorite diabetic friendly snack? Let us know in the comment section below!

(PS – Be sure to join our Dollar Snack Club and get 6 delicious & healthy snacks for only $1!)

Additional Resources:

  • 121 Easy & Delicious Healthy Snacks For Every Type of Snacker
  • 32 Tasty & Healthy Vegan Snacks to Fight Off Cravings
  • 31 Guilt-Free Healthy Sweet Snacks That Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
  • 23 Incredibly Tasty & Healthy Snacks to Buy Right Now
  • 25 Healthy Snacks That Are Perfect For When You’re On The Go
  • 35 Healthy Protein Snacks to Keep You Feeling Full & Satisfied
  • 30 Field-Tested Healthy Snacks for Kids
  • 31 Healthy Low-Carb Snacks to Keep You Full and Energized
  • 50 Healthy Gluten-Free Snacks That Taste Amazing
  • 28 Guilt-Free Healthy Snacks For Diabetics
  • 45 Super Easy & Healthy Low-Calorie Snacks
  • 33 Healthy Snacks for Adults Who Need to Refuel
  • Sweet, Salty, Sour, or Spicy: These 30 Healthy Snack Bars Cover It All
  • 37 Healthy Salty Snacks for When You’re Craving Something Savory
  • 30 Healthy Packaged Snacks You Can Feel Good About Eating
  • 30 Healthy Filling Snacks to Conquer Your Hunger
  • 80+ Healthy Crunchy Snacks Made from Fresh Ingredients
  • 20+ Healthy Late-Night Snacks You’ll Crave & Love
  • Sweet or Savory: Choose Your Healthy Party Snacks
  • 20+ Healthy Snacks for Weight Lose That Are Under 200 Calories
  • Here’s How to Enjoy Your Favorite Healthy Snacks on Any Diet
  • 20+ Healthy Road Trip Snacks for Feel-Good Traveling
  • 30+ Healthy Pregnancy Snacks with Essential Nutrients
  • 30+ Healthy Fruit Snacks That Will Change the Way You Look at Fruit

Once you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, the way you approach food completely changes. That’s because dips and peaks in your blood sugar can dictate how you feel throughout the day, and the foods you eat play a major role in that.

Once you start taking medication or insulin to control your blood sugar, you have a greater risk of experiencing these fluctuations. But anyone can feel the effects of low blood sugar—even if you don’t have diabetes, explains Julie Stefanski, RDN, a certified diabetes educator for more than 15 years and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“Waiting too long to eat or picking the wrong combination of food can lead to a drop in blood sugar. Signs of a low blood sugar include feeling weak, shaky, or even sweaty,” she says. “Eating something with carbohydrates will raise your blood sugar level, but will not completely take away that awful feeing.”

So how do you choose a snack that will level out your blood sugar and keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal? Here’s exactly what to keep in mind (and the best snacks to consider!) when you’re reaching for that midday pick-me-up.

How to choose a diabetes-friendly snack

First thing’s first, ask yourself: Am I really hungry? “There’s a delicate balance between eating throughout the day and grazing at every opportunity,” says Stefanski. “Between meals only choose to eat if you are physically hungry; not bored, not stressed, but physically in need of food.” Then, keep these tips in mind when you head for the fridge:

✔️ Mind your macros

“Eating your macronutrients in a good balance to prevent a low blood sugar is a much better approach then constantly trying to correct it,” explains Stefanski.

  • Carbohydrates: Your body digests carbs quickly, which can spike your blood sugar. To avoid this, go for no more than a serving (roughly 15 grams) when snacking. Fiber-rich whole grains and vegetables are your friend, since your body digests those more slowly.

❗“Steer clear of counting net carbs when you have diabetes,” says Stefanski. “While net carbs subtract both fiber and sugar alcohols (like sorbitol or xylitol) from the carb count, some sugar alcohols can still raise blood sugar about half as much as a regular carb.”

  • Protein: Your body digests protein slowly as well, meaning you’ll feel fuller for longer. A serving of at least 7 grams should do the trick.
  • Fat: Steer clear of ultra-processed snacks, which tend to be high in saturated fats. If you are including fat within your snack (say, the unsaturated kind that has been linked to improved insulin resistance) you still need to watch your calories, as they can add up quickly.

✔️ Check your timing

“If it has been less than 2 to 3 hours since your last meal, look for a low-carb snack, ideally something with less than 15 grams of carbs, so focus on veggies, protein, and fat,” explains Lori Zanini, RD, certified diabetes educator, and author of the Diabetes Cookbook and Meal Plan for the Newly Diagnosed. If it has been longer than that, go for one serving of carbs and a serving of protein.

✔️ Cap your calories

This will vary depending on your size and activity levels, but Stefanski recommends staying within 150 to 250 calories.

The best snacks to eat if you have diabetes

“It’s important to realize that appropriate snacks for those with diabetes are simply healthy food pairings, and they are a great addition to anyone’s eating plan,” says Zanini. Here are 17 great options to consider—just remember to tweak the portion sizes depending on the timing of your snack:

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Greek yogurt with berries

Greek yogurt or Skyr offers a balanced (not to mention satisfying) protein-carb-fat trifecta, which helps keep your blood sugar levels stable, says Stefanski. Pro tip: “If you opt for full fat, watch the portion,” says Stefanski, who recommends capping it at 1/2 to 1 cup (or 4 to 8 ounces), depending on the calorie level you’re going for. “Choose plain Greek yogurt and add 1/4 cup of berries and some liquid stevia if sweetness is what you’re looking for. Add chia or flax seeds for crunch.”

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Beef or chicken jerky

What’s not to love about beef jerky? It’s easy to take on the go, requires no clean-up, and offers filling protein for very few carbs. Just be sure to double check the carb content, as it can vary depending on the flavor—and watch the salt if your doctor advises you to do so, says Stefanski.

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Hard-boiled eggs

Zanini recommends noshing on one or two eggs for complete (and filling) source of protein “It is also a carb-free option, so great to choose if you find yourself hungry between meals, yet your blood sugar levels are higher than desired,” she says. “If you find them bland, I like sprinkling them with some salt and pepper, or Trader Joe’s ‘Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning.”

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Cottage cheese with tomatoes

This is one of those snacks you would reach for if it’s been 2 or 3 hours since your last meal, says Zanini. Top 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with a whole sliced tomato for a healthy dose of protein, fat, and calcium. “Since it’s so low in carbs and hydrating, it will not raise blood sugar levels,” she says. What’s more, tomatoes contain lycopene, a disease-fighting phytonutrient that gives red tomatoes their vibrant red pigment.

Moon Cheese

Cheese crisps

If you need a quick grab-and-go option (and love crunchy snacks), opt for a crisp made of real cheese, suggests Stefanski. The parmesan crisps from Moon Cheese are a great choice, since they’re super low in carbs, offer some protein and calcium, and taste so much more satisfying. They also come in several different flavors, like Sriracha, mozzarella, pepper jack, and gouda.


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Veggies and dip

It’s hard to go wrong with veggies, but they can start to taste bland after a while. The fix? Switch things up often. “Instead of always turning to baby carrots with hummus or Greek yogurt dip, opt for some variety by trying of some of the lowest carb veggies like raw zucchini, cucumber, Daikon and typical radish, mushrooms, fennel, or peppers,” suggests Stefanski. Need a bit more flavor? Pair your favorites with diabetes-friendly dips, like guacamole, hummus, bean dip, or Greek yogurt dip.


Black olives

If you love savory foods but want to steer clear of junk (lookin’ at you, potato chips), try a single-serving pack of olives, like these from Gaea. “While olives are often criticized for their high sodium content, the high fat content of these fruits comes from monounsaturated fat, a powerhouse of the Mediterranean diet,” says Stefanski. Because they’re already pre-packed, you can easily watch your portion size.


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Pickled foods

Reach for fermented foods—like pickles and sauerkraut—when you’re craving something salty. Thanks to their concentration of probiotics (the good kind of bacteria), you’ll boost your gut health while you’re at it. “While the carb count of pickled carrots, sauerkraut, cauliflower, or traditional pickles can be fairly low, try not to include these on a daily basis if your doctor has recommended limiting sodium,” says Stefanski.

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Chia pudding

Chia seeds may be tiny, but they’re loaded with fiber and even some protein. Stefanski recommends snacking on a chia pudding. The satisfying nutrients paired with the thick, gelatinous texture will keep you feeling full. Try this: Pour a few tablespoons of chia seeds into 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk and let it thicken for roughly 20 minutes (make this the night before if you don’t have time to wait around in the morning!). Sprinkle with a few berries on top or sweeten with a touch of stevia.

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Mixed nuts

“While macadamia nuts are the lowest in carbs and cashews are the highest, this is the kind of nutritional difference you don’t want to lose sleep over,” says Stefanski “All nuts—at a serving size of 1 ounce (roughly 1/4 cup or a handful)—are a great source of magnesium, a nutrient that many of us don’t get enough of that can have beneficial effects on blood pressure.” Jazz them up if you need more flavor: sprinkle with cinnamon if you have a sweet tooth (studies show it may help you manage diabetes overall), or add a bit of cayenne if you like a spicy kick.

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Avocado + turkey lettuce cup

If you’re hungry, but your blood sugar is running high, pair nitrate-free turkey or ham (for protein) with a few slices of avocado (for healthy fat) as a quick and filling low-carb option, suggests Stefanski. If you need something to wrap it all in, use a few pieces of crunchy lettuce.


Flavored pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds offer healthy fats, protein, and even some fiber. Bonus: they’re also a great source of vitamin E, an important nutrient for your skin and immune health, says Stefanski. While plain seeds are great, you can buy flavored varieties depending on your taste preferences, like this Somewhat Spicy option from SuperSeedz.


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Trail mix

Trail mix can be a great option if you include nuts, roasted chickpeas, or even a little bit of dark chocolate chunk in your mix for that extra bit of satisfaction. (Pro tip: you likely don’t need the extra carbs that dried fruit provides for an active person if you’re just snacking, so consider making your own!) But if you tend to mindlessly graze, it can easily add up. “Keep the portion at 1/4 to less than 1/2 a cup, or your snack will provide a lot of calories in a very small amount of food,” says Stefanski.

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“While corn is popular as a vegetable side dish, it’s actually in the grain group,” explains Stefanski. “As a whole grain it does provide benefits of added fiber with a generous portion.” In fact, 3 cups packs roughly only 100 calories and nearly 4 grams of fiber—just watch the butter and salt. Pop your own, or reach for pre-popped flavors like BBQ, sea salt, and dill pickle for a fun twist.

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String cheese

String cheese is the perfectly portioned protein. “I tell my clients 1 to 2 is fine, depending on how hungry you are. Eat alone if it has been less than 2 to 3 hours since your last meal, or with a serving of carbs if it has been longer than that,” says Zanini. Two crackers from Wasa are a great choice, since they are high in fiber.


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Roasted chickpeas

Munch on roasted chickpeas if you’re craving something like chips or crackers. They’re crunchy, high in filling fiber and protein, easily portable, and low in calories. You can switch up your seasoning as well; go for pepper, coriander and cumin in this spicy roasted chickpeas recipe.

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A small apple with peanut butter

Yes, this childhood favorite is diabetes-approved. Apples are high in fiber (just keep the skin on), low in calories, and rich in flavonoids that may be protective against diabetes. Peanut butter offers some protein and healthy fat, but cap your serving to one tablespoon if you’re aiming for a lower-calorie snack.

Alisa Hrustic Senior Editor, Prevention.com Alisa Hrustic has spent her entire career interviewing top medical experts, interpreting peer-reviewed studies, and reporting on health, nutrition, weight loss, and fitness trends for outlets like Women’s Health and Men’s Health, where she both interned and worked full-time.

Healthy Diabetes Diets: Why Atkins is the Best Diet for Diabetes

Going on a diet can be a great way to lose some weight and improve your general health, but sometimes there are more specific reasons why someone chooses a diet. It could be to lower cholesterol or blood pressure, decrease chances of heart disease or to improve energy levels.

While most diets can help to address a wide array of health factors, the Atkins diet is the best for targeting a specific and widespread medical issue in our world today: diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million people in the United States (8.3% of the population) have diabetes and 79 million people have pre-diabetes. With so many people currently at risk for diabetes and with the rate at which diagnosed cases is rising, this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously.

One of the most important factors in treating diabetes or improving health for a diabetic person is weight loss, and the Atkins diet is a great way to accomplish this. Even if you don’t have diabetes, the Atkins Diet is an excellent way to prevent it from developing. What challenges many people with type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance, or that their glucose levels don’t want to go down. The issue with insulin resistance is that the body is reluctant to respond to the drug that can help it the most. This resistance leads to diabetics being prescribed high levels of insulin and because insulin accelerates fat storage and synthesis, weight gain is a side effect of a high level insulin regimen. In short, the harder someone works to control their blood sugar using insulin, the more likely it is for them to gain weight.

What makes the Atkins diet the best diet for diabetes is that it reduces the amount of carbs consumed. While cutting calories will generally lead to weight loss, diabetic drugs still produce side effects and appetite stimulation, making losing weight on a standard diet difficult.

Studies have shown that for a person with type 2 diabetes, a low-carb diet can dramatically improve blood glucose control and blood lipids. These findings are important because they give diabetics a way to decrease their weight as well as treat their diabetes.

When on the Atkins diet, if you remove added sugar and cut your carb intake to primarily ‘foundation vegetables,’ insulin resistance improves along with blood glucose control. Many people consuming primarily foundation vegetables will find, under supervision of a physician, that they can stop or reduce their reliance on blood sugar lowering medication. In fact you should work closely with your doctor to adjust your dose when you begin Atkins. The need for blood sugar lowering medication will diminish rapidly.

Be proactive with your health and diet. There are plenty of diabetes diets, but the Atkins diet is the best diabetes diet. Whether you have diabetes, are at risk of diabetes or want to improve your general health and lose weight, switching to the low carb Atkins diet is a great way to improve your well-being.

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