Healthy Necessity in a Diabetic Diet

Snacks: A Healthy Necessity in a Diabetic Diet

Snacks play a very important role in the daily life of a person with diabetes, particularly those with type 1 diabetes and insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes. For these people between-meal and bedtime snacks are essential to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible and to help prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Wherever you go you should always carry a supply of snacks to eat in case of low blood sugar — we keep snacks in our purse or briefcase, in the glove compartment of our car, in our office desk drawer, and in the sports bag that we carry to the exercise gym.

We’ve provided 37 snack recipes in our James Beard Cookbook Award-Winning Joslin Diabetes Gourmet Cookbook (Bantam Books) which you can purchase in our bookstore or borrow from most any library. The recipes run the gamut from Bruschetta to Stuffed Bread Slices, Zesty Corn Chips, Quick Passaladière, Dilled Potato-Cheese Soup, and Soft Pretzels. We also offer creative ways to combine “free foods” for when you are especially hungry and don’t want to use your carbo exchanges.

Here’s a list of snacks that can be purchased at most supermarkets calculated to supply 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrate or 1 carbohydrate (1 bread/starch) exchange:

1small apple
8animal crackers
4medium fresh apricots or 7 dried halves
1/2of a banana rolled with 2 tablespoons Grape Nuts cereal
1cup cubed cantaloupe
12Bing cherries
2chocolate mousse bars (Weight Watchers)
1/2cup chow mein noodles
3dried dates
2small dried figs
2sugar-free fudgesickles
3gingersnaps
36Goldfish (adds 1 fat exchange)
3graham crackers (2 1/2-inch square)
1/2low-fat granola bar
15grapes
5kumquats
3Lorna Doones (adds 1 fat exchange)
12loquats
5slices melba toast
1small nectarine
1cup skim milk
3thin sliced Norwegian Kavli flatbread (2 thick sliced)
1small orange
1small peach
3peanut butter sandwich crackers (adds 1 fat exchange)
1small pear
16Mr. Phipps Tater Crisps (adds 1 fat exchange)
2small plums
24oyster crackers
3cups popcorn (popped by hot air, or low-fat microwave)
3dried pitted prunes
15fat-free potato or tortilla chips
3/4ounce pretzels
2tablespoons raisins
2rice cakes (4″ diameter)
7Ritz crackers (adds 1 fat exchange)
6saltine crackers
2Stella d’Oro Sesame Breadsticks (adds 1 fat exchange)
1tangerine
15Teddy Grahams (adds 1 fat exchange)
5reduced-fat Triscuits
6Vanilla Wafers (adds 1 fat exchange)
6Waverly Wafers (adds 1 fat exchange)
12Original Wheat Thins (adds 1 fat exchange)
13Reduced-fat Wheat Thins (adds 1/2 fat exchange)
1cup nonfat fruit-flavored yogurt (sweetened with sugar substitute)
1/2cup of either I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt or TCBY frozen yogurt or Baskin Robbins, Sugar-Free Ice Cream

Seasoned Popcorn

We love popcorn and wish to share some interesting ways to season it without adding calories or fat. You’ll need a hot-air popper to make the popcorn (or you can use a popper that calls for 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of canola oil — but that adds a fat exchange).

Using 3 cups (31 g) unseasoned popped corn, 1 carbohydrate (1 bread/starch) exchange, you can make these treats:

Asian Popcorn

Preheat oven to 250°F(130°C, Gas Mark 1/2). Spread popcorn on a nonstick cookie sheet and lightly coat with refrigerated butter-flavored cooking spray. Mix together 1 tablespoon (15 ml) low-sodium soy sauce, 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) five-spice powder, 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) ground coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) garlic powder. Drizzle over popcorn. Toss to coat evenly. Bake 10 minutes, tossing once. Serve warm.

Italian Popcorn

Preheat oven to 300°F(150°C, Gas Mark 2). Spread popcorn on a nonstick cookie sheet and lightly coat with refrigerated butter-flavored cooking spray. Mix together 1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed dried Italian herbs, 1/8 teaspoon (0.6 ml) cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over popcorn and lightly coat again with cooking spray. Toss. Bake for 10 minutes, tossing once. Serve warm.

Mexican Popcorn

Put the popcorn in a large bowl and lightly coat with refrigerated butter-flavored cooking spray. Combine 1 tablespoon (15 ml) dried Mexican spiced salad dressing mix with 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) crushed dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) crushed dried thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) garlic powder. Sprinkle over popcorn. Toss to evenly coat. Lightly coat with additional cooking spray. Toss again and serve.

Orange Popcorn

Put the popcorn in a large bowl and lightly coat with refrigerated butter-flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) orange-flavored powdered drink mix (already sweetened with sugar substitute) and 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried orange peel. Toss and coat again with cooking spray. Toss and serve.

Spicy and Sweet Popcorn

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C, Gas Mark 2). Spread popcorn on a nonstick cookie sheet and lightly coat with refrigerated butter-flavored cooking spray. Combine 2 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) spoonable sugar substitute, 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon (0.6 ml) ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) dried orange peel. Sprinkle over the popcorn and toss. Lightly coat again with cooking spray and toss. Bake for 10 minutes, tossing once. Serve warm.