15 Best Snack Foods for Diabetics

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15 Best Snack Foods for Diabetics
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15 Best Snack Foods for Diabetics

Raw Almonds or Cashews

Lori Kenyon, certified nutritional consultant, says that raw almonds and cashews are high in protein and fiber, making them a very satisfying treat.

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Kenyon also recommends jicama to her clients. Jicama is a root vegetable that is super tasty raw or cooked.

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Edamame are also a favorite of Kenyon's. She says one 1-ounce serving of this tasty snack has only 34 calories, 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 2 milligrams of sodium, and 3 grams of protein.

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Veggie Slices with Dip

Kenyon says that similar to jicama, zucchini and yellow squash can be sliced like french fries, chilled, and then dipped in salsa or hummus for a tasty treat that satisfies cravings.

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Stella Metsovas, certified clinical nutritionist, recommends olives of all varieties as they are perfect options when combined with vegetable sticks.

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Shredded Coconut

Metsovas says that shredded coconut works very well mixed into smoothies, as well as combined with fresh blueberries.

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Whole-Wheat Pretzels

Angela Shelf Medearis, author of The Kitchen Diva's Diabetic Cookbook, recommends staving off hunger with this low-calorie snack.

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Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

So you've made a diabetic-friendly, low-calorie salsa with fresh ingredients. Medearis recommends scooping it up with baked tortilla or pita chips, which are lower in fat than their fried counterparts.

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Rice Cakes

Medearis says rice cakes are delicious with low-fat toppings like spicy mustard or salsa.

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Air-popped popcorn is a healthy alternative to regular popcorn. Medearis recommends spicing up air-popped popcorn with a little cayenne or garlic powder.

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Cottage Cheese

Lisa DeFazio, R.D., celebrity diet expert, suggests combining ½ cup cottage cheese with one piece of fruit such as a small banana or nectarine for the perfect combination of carbs, fiber, and protein.

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High-Fiber Cereal

DeFazio also suggests high-fiber cereals such as bran flakes or shredded wheat with ½ cup of low-fat milk, perfect for quelling mid-morning hunger pangs.

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Greek Yogurt (Pops)

Stacie Castle, R.D., CDN, suggests a one 6-ounce container of nonfat Greek yogurt combined with ½ cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon agave syrup for a hint of sweetness without going over the top on calories.

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Whole-Wheat Graham Crackers

Got the munchies just before bed? It happens to all of us. Castle suggests dipping 1 ½ sheets whole-wheat graham crackers into 4 ounces of 1-percent milk (instead of cookies, of course).

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Black Bean Salad
If you are hankering for a mini meal, make yourself a salad with plenty of greens, and be sure to add black beans for the filling combination of fiber and protein. Half a cup of the this recipe, added to mixed greens, has 57 calories and 11 grams of carbohydrates.

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Figuring out the right snack foods in between meals is hard enough for most people, but what if you're one of the 18.8 million people in the United States who have been diagnosed with diabetes? The options may seem even more limited. That's why we've put together a list of 15 diabetic-friendly snacking options based on advice from a few experts.

Click here to see the 15 Best Snack Foods for Diabetics Slideshow

Lori Kenyon is a certified nutritional consultant, personal trainer, and co-founder of Ritual Cleanse. She was diagnosed early on in her life with a disorder that prevented her from consuming animal protein and has since had to adapt her diet to compensate. Kenyon advises clients to consume snacks which contain no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates and 140 milligrams of sodium per serving, in accordance with American Diabetes Association guidelines.

Stella Metsovas is a certified clinical nutritionist who specializes in food science and human nutrition, with more than 23 years of experience in the field. She is a strong believer in the Paleo-Mediterranean diet and runs a private practice in Los Angeles.

Angela Shelf Medearis is the author of The Kitchen Diva's Diabetic Cookbook and has been featured frequently on The Dr. Oz Show as a guest chef, where she is known simply as The Kitchen Diva. She offers some great general snacking advice from her cookbook:

Portion sizes are key. Keeping the glycemic load down (a measurement of how much food spikes blood glucose levels) means cutting down on portion sizes, since the measurement accounts for the number of grams of carbohydrates per serving of a food item, which of course will increase with portion sizes. Eating huge portions of even healthy snacks can quickly turn them unhealthy.

Snacks between meals can help you reduce portion sizes at main meals and also keep blood sugar levels more stable throughout the day. This can keep you feeling energized and in a good mood as you go about your day.

To help control portion sizes, Medearis suggests using small plates, consuming plenty of water while snacking or during meals, and limiting snacks to 100-calorie portions, when feasible, and otherwise just avoiding the habit of eating out of the package.

It's not just about portion sizes, though. Lisa DeFazio, R.D., host of the diet- and nutrition-focused talk radio show on VoiceAmerica.com, says that a little protein is also key. DeFazio says that "At each snack, protein is critical to slow down blood glucose absorption and prevent sugar spikes."

Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.

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