Snacks to Help Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

These quick bites stave off hunger, too.

Medically Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on September 20, 2015
From the WebMD Archives

Do you stick to three healthy meals per day but still have a hard time keeping your blood sugar under control? You might try eating more frequently. Snacking between meals can help you avoid major peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels, and it can also make you less likely to overeat at mealtimes.

Ideally, your snack should pair a high-fiber carbohydrate with a bit of protein. Need some examples? Take a look at these pairings that are easy to prepare and perfect for an on-the-go snack:

Veggies and hummus. A dip traditionally made of chickpeas, olive oil, and sesame seed paste (tahini), hummus is rich in heart-healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs. Pair a couple tablespoons of it with crunchy, high-fiber veggies like cucumbers, carrots, or celery for a tasty midday snack.

Greek yogurt and fruit. It's a great way to kick a sweets craving without sending your blood sugar through the roof. Due to its unique straining process, Greek yogurt tends to be higher in protein and gut-healthy bacteria than other types.

But many Greek yogurts on the market are sweetened with syrups or sugar-laden preserves. Avoid an unnecessary sugar rush -- opt for plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with a handful of fruit.

Apples and nut butter. Apples with the skin left on are a good source of fiber. Pair your favorite kind with a couple tablespoons of natural nut or seed butter, and you have a terrific energy-boosting snack. Avoid any nut butter with a lengthy ingredient list -- it may contain added sugars or oils that are not heart-healthy. The ingredients should be as simple as possible -- just nuts or seeds and salt.

Tuna fish and whole-grain crackers. Canned tuna is an inexpensive way to get in a dose of protein with the added benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Lighten up traditional tuna salad by replacing calorie-dense mayo with plain Greek yogurt. Or squeeze fresh lemon juice on your tuna and add freshly cracked pepper. Serve on high-fiber, whole-grain crackers for a good mix of complex carbs, healthy fats, and filling protein.

Homemade energy bars. Many seemingly healthy bars on store shelves rack up as many grams of added sugar as a typical candy bar, or they have long lists of processed ingredients. Make your own by mixing nuts, dried fruits, or oats. Look for bar recipes that don't contain added thickeners, sweeteners, or processed protein powders.

Ask Your Diabetes Doc or Dietitian

Can you help me make a list of healthy snacks that include my favorite foods?

What's a reasonable portion size for snacks?

How often can I add them to my daily meal plan?

Which snack foods should I avoid entirely?

What should I look for on food labels?

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