We will show you a list of snacks for diabetics that are healthy and easy to make. If you have a problem with diabetes type 1 or type 2 these snacks can help you to not be hungry before going to bed.
Late-night snacking is usually frowned upon. After all, this habit usually results in weight gain or affects a person’s blood sugar.
But health experts suggest that it’s what you eat that matters, and enjoying nutritious snacks can help people with diabetes stabilize their blood sugar levels at night.
If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, the next time you’re craving a treat before you turn in for the night, you can eat healthy snacks like a hard-boiled egg or sugar-free Greek yogurt. Snacking on healthful foods not only helps you satisfy your nighttime hunger pangs but also helps in managing your blood sugar.
Effects of late-night snacking on blood glucose levels
Your blood sugar levels change throughout the night. If you have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, these fluctuations may result in high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) in the morning.
Fortunately, eating the right kind of snack before bedtime can help balance these levels.
Your blood sugar levels change during the night because of two processes:
The dawn phenomenon – Between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., your blood sugar levels increase as part of the process of waking up. This results in high blood sugar levels in the morning.
The Somogyi effect – Your blood sugar levels drop significantly from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. The body responds by releasing hormones that increase your blood glucose again. But it can release too much of these hormones, which also causes high blood sugar levels in the morning.
By having the right late-night snack, you can prevent your blood glucose levels from plummeting during the night.
This will also minimize the Somogyi effect. If you have diabetes, you can determine how your blood glucose levels change throughout the night by taking readings at various points.
For example, you can take it just before bed, between 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., then again after you wake up.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) warns that being overweight or obese increases the risk of diabetes-related complications. Knowing how your body processes glucose is essential if you want to choose healthier snacks before bed.
Related: Early Warning Signs Of Diabetes
Healthy late-night snacks that can lower blood glucose levels
The best snacks for each person will depend on how your body responds to the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect, along with other factors like personal preferences, health goals, and timing.
While there isn’t much data about the ideal bedtime snack, experts recommend options that contain healthy fats and limited carbohydrates. The snack should also be full of protein.
Foods that meet these criteria will help limit blood glucose spikes during the night and help keep lower blood glucose levels in the morning.
Salty: Dry-Roasted or Raw Nuts
Nuts do contain some carbs, but also a fair amount of fat, which means your blood sugar won’t spike too much.
A quarter cup of nuts, preferably dry-roasted or raw, as you won’t need the extra fat from processed oils. Steer clear of honey-roasted, chocolate-covered, or yogurt-covered nuts, which are loaded with sugar.
Instead, you can choose from a variety of nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and even cashews, to satisfy your late-night craving. To add a pinch of sweetness, consider adding 1 teaspoon (tsp) or so of dark chocolate chips.
Always pay attention to portion size, and try not to go over a handful, stresses Cara Lowenthal, RD, CDE, from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
“Nuts are healthy, but people don’t realize how calorie-dense they are,” she says. She notes that when you’re looking for low-carb snacks, that often means opting for higher-fat alternatives, meaning you have to pay attention to just how much you’re eating because the calories can add up fast.
If you’re allergic to nuts, consider swapping in seeds, like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, instead.
Just be sure to look for dry-roasted or raw seeds that are low in added oils and sugars.
Another smart salty late-night snack? Olives, which are low in carbs and high in fat.
Try to keep to about half a cup maximum for olives.
Olive oils pack a powerful health punch. They contain nutrients like copper, iron, fiber, and vitamin E, and they’re full of antioxidants. Some research even suggests that olive oil may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women.
A study published in August 2015 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed the association between olive oil intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers examined questionnaires from over 100,000 female participants who detailed their diets, updating the questionnaires every four years. After over 20 years of follow-up, the researchers found nearly 10,000 of the participants had developed type 2 diabetes.
The researchers’ analysis showed that women who consumed over 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of total olive oil per day were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with women who never consumed olive oil.
Furthermore, the researches estimated that subbing olive oil for mayonnaise could reduce type 2 diabetes risk by 15 percent (8 percent if you swapped olive oil for butter, and 5 percent if you swapped olive oil for margarine).
Savory: Raw Veggies and Spreads
If you’re looking for a savory snack that won’t spike your blood sugar, consider opting for raw, diabetes-friendly veggies and a wholesome spread, like hummus.
Portion size for the raw veggies is flexible, but you should pay attention to how much of the hummus you’re eating with those veggies — try sticking to about one-third of a cup.
If you don’t like hummus, you can also try something like celery and 1 tbsp of peanut butter, or eat a hardboiled egg with your veggies for protein.
Again, watch your portion sizes — 1 tbsp of peanut butter contains about 80 to 100 calories, while a hardboiled egg might range from 60 to 80 calories, depending on size.
The protein in these spreads or sides will help satisfy your hunger cravings, as protein sends a signal to your brain that says that you’re full. That might help prevent additional snacking later on in the night.
By contrast, carbs move through the stomach more quickly than proteins and fats. That means that if you have a carb-only snack, it will spike your blood sugar more, and won’t satisfy your hunger craving in the same way.
Savory: Cheese and Crackers
If you don’t have any veggies in the fridge, you can also choose cheese and crackers for a late-night snack.
You can pick any type of cheese, but try to grab real cheese versus processed.
Read the ingredient list: Avoid cheeses with long lists of ingredients like “pasteurized prepared cheese product,”.
Instead look for products with simple lists of ingredients like milk, culture, salt, and enzymes.
Also, seek out whole-grain crackers, but make sure that you’re limiting the portion size so that you don’t go over 15 grams (g) of carbohydrates total.
Skipp crackers that have enriched flour, or any chips that are fried — even healthy-sounding chips made from sweet potatoes, which in this form are not as nutritious, since the heated oils in these foods can lead to free radicals that promote inflammation in the body.
Baked chips are a better alternative.
You can also pair your cheese with vegetables, like carrots or celery sticks.
A final option is to swap the crackers for a single slice of whole-grain toast, which also solves any portion control issues.
Sweet: Sugar-Free Pudding
If you have a craving for sweet foods late at night, you can whip up a sugar-free pudding mix.
Many sugar-free chocolate pudding mixes are available in stores and have only about 15 g of carbs in half a cup.
You can make chia pudding mix from 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk, 1 cup of plain yogurt, ¼ cup of chia seeds, 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
If you need more sweetness, you can also add a little stevia to the pudding.
Mix it all, giving the fiber-filled chia seeds a few hours to thicken by absorbing the surrounding liquid.
If you’re looking to switch up flavors, the American Diabetes Association also has a recipe for chocolate–peanut butter chia seed pudding with 24 g of carbohydrates per half a cup.
Sweet: Plain Yogurt
Another potentially sweet option is plain regular or Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt has more protein than conventional yogurts, and you can also add lower-sugar fruits, like berries, for added sweetness.
Stay away from store-bought yogurts with ingredients like hydrogenated oils, monoglycerides, and diglycerides.
You can even add 1 tsp of honey for sweetness. If you must have a flavored yogurt, make sure that the serving size contains 15 g of carbs or less, or choose from one of the 100-calorie Greek yogurt packs that come in different flavors.
A large egg contains 6.29 g of protein. Eggs also contain very few carbohydrates.
Sliced apple and peanut butter
Peanut butter is rich in protein, as well as fiber and healthy fats. Apples contain various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Cut an apple and add a light spread of peanut butter on each slice. Alternatively, you can try other nut butter like almond or cashew butter.
Conclusion: These suggestions for late-night snacks for diabetics are easy to make and healthy. The best way to know which one is best for you you should check your blood sugar after every snack.
That’s how you will know how your body responds to various foods and portions.
Also don’t forget that stress or lack of sleep could affect blood sugar as well, so test out the foods on a few different occasions to be sure you have an accurate handle on how they’re affecting you.