How to Plan Snacks with Diabetes
Planning meals for type 2 diabetes can seem overwhelming and complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Keeping in mind some of the key ideas that the CDC recommends in their plate method (1), we can come up with some seriously delicious snacks. The plate method suggests filling half our plates with vegetables and splitting the second half with lean protein and whole grains. One important thing to keep in mind when planning meals and snacks for type 2 diabetics is how they’ll affect blood glucose levels.
How does food affect blood glucose?
By combining macros, and making sure to get a variety of protein, fat, and carbs into your snacks and meals, you are less likely to have blood glucose spikes in comparison to meals that are mainly carb focused. Fats play an important role in keeping you full and feeling satisfied. One of the most important factors fat plays in type 2 diabetics, is its power to decrease blood glucose spikes post meal. This means adding fat into your meals and snacks can decrease the blood glucose spike you might typically see after eating. By tweaking some of your favorite treats, and adding extra virgin olive oil you can create a snack that is beneficial for your health as well as your taste buds.
Below are some ideas for balanced snack foods that incorporate variety and all macros. These snacks are supposed to be suggestions and ideas of healthy recipes, they are not meant to be a strict or prescribed diet. Always consult your doctor or registered dietitian when changing your diet, or to manage your diabetes.
- Grilled savory peach: 1/2 peach grilled and served with 1 Tbsp goat cheese and a drizzle of Olivaio
- Avocado toast: a piece of whole wheat toast topped with 1/4 avocado, garlic, salt, pepper, and drizzled of Olivaio
- Roasted parsnips: oven roasted parsnips, tossed with Olivaio and topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and fresh parsley
- Caprese salad: tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella topped with a drizzle of Olivaio and a pinch of salt and pepper
- Zucchini chips: thinly sliced zucchini, coated in Olivaio, and baked in the oven at 450 F for about 20 minutes
- Summer salad: a bed of spinach, 1/4 cup chopped strawberries, and 1 Tbsp feta cheese dressed in Olivaio and white wine vinegar
Written by Isabelle Hammack
Reviewed by Kelly Powers, MA, RDN, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who takes a holistic approach to nutrition and health. Kelly is a recipe developer with a food blog highlighting whole foods, simple recipes, and her life in San Francisco. She’s the creator of 52 Weeks, a weekly meal plan program that helps users get back in the kitchen and feed themselves well. Kelly is also a co-founder of Olivaio.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the diabetic plate method?
A: The plate method suggests filling half our plates with vegetables and splitting the second half with lean protein and whole grains.
Q: Should diabetics avoid eating carbs?
A: No, carbs are an important part of a healthy diet. You should try to focus on unprocessed carbs, whole grains, fruit and vegetables (think brown rice, oats, quinoa, whole grain bread, veggies, and fruit).
Q: How does a balanced snack help blood glucose levels?
A: By combining macros, and making sure to get a variety of protein, fat, and carbs into your snacks and meals, you are less likely to have blood glucose spikes in comparison to meals that are mainly carb focused.