50 ideas for snacks suitable for people with diabetes

healthy snacks for diabetic people

What is diabetes?

Many people in the world suffer from a disease that will be with them during their entire lives, and that radically changes their lifestyle and what they can eat: diabetes.

Over the years, medicine has made significant progress in the treatment of this disease and, although it is not yet possible to fix diabetes definitively, it is possible to keep it under control with drug therapy and still be able to eat almost any foods.

In this article, you will discover which snacks can be eaten by diabetics, and you will also find excellent recipes as well.

Before we dig into this topic, let me first clarify one thing. What is diabetes?

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a chronic and currently not a wholly curable disease, characterized by high blood glucose levels (a phenomenon called “hyperglycemia“) which are the consequence of an altered production or functionality of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which allows glucose to enter the cells and be used as an energy source. If insulin cannot give glucose access to cells, then glucose accumulates in the bloodstream, causing significant health problems and, in the worse cases, even death.

There are two forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, plus a third form that affects pregnant women called gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

snacks for people with diabetes

Type 1 diabetes affects about 10% of diabetics and usually occurs during the teenage years or even in childhood. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, which must be injected into the patient’s body every day for life.

An interesting hypothesis is that a genetic alteration could lead to a malfunctioning of the immune system, which would end up treating the pancreas cells that produce insulin as an enemy. However, other environmental, but unknown, causes could exist. In any case, researchers are working to find an answer to these questions.

Type 2 diabetes

snacks for people with diabetes

Type 2 is currently the most common form of diabetes and affects almost 90% of people who suffer from this disease. In this variant, the pancreas can produce insulin without any problems, but the body is unable to use it.

This disease can manifest itself at any time, although usually during the third or fourth decade of age, and the underlying causes are still unknown. However, several risk factors are worth listing:

  • Genetic predisposition (almost 40% of people who have type 2 diabetes have a first degree relative who has the same disease, such as a father, mother, or grandfather).
  • Low physical activity.
  • Being overweight or obese.

The above risk factors can lead to the onset of type 2 diabetes, although the disease occurs very slowly and is often diagnosed only after taking blood tests.

You can live with diabetes by using medications (if prescribed by your diabetologist), by changing your lifestyle and, particularly, your diet.

Snacks are often a problem for diabetic people since most snacks on the market are high in sugar. Therefore, I have selected several ideas for healthy snacks that are suitable for people who have diabetes (but also for those of you who do not have diabetes). Below, you will also find some delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes that I’m sure you will like.

Before we start, let me clarify a few things:

  • If you have type 1 diabetes, you probably don’t have any weight problems (or maybe you are even slightly underweight). Therefore, your priority is to keep your blood sugar under control.
  • On the contrary, if you have type 2 or gestational diabetes, you probably need to lose weight and monitor it regularly. You must eat snacks and foods that can quickly satisfy your appetite without providing too many calories.
  • Regardless of the type of diabetes you suffer from, you are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, you must eat healthy fats (such as those provided by the following foods: olive oil, avocado, nuts, salmon, bluefish, mackerel).
  • It is best to avoid snacks based on cereals and refined flours, such as crackers and focaccia, and those rich in sugars, such as breakfast cereals, fruit yogurt, white yogurts with added sugar, vegetable milk with added sugar, and dehydrated fruit added with sugar. As a good habit, read carefully the nutritional information of the products you buy, and I can guarantee that you will discover things that will surprise you.
  • If you also suffer from high blood pressure, you should also pay attention to salted dried fruit, such as roasted and salted peanuts or pistachios. Salt is usually used “generously” on nuts to enhance their taste, but excess salt intakes can increase your blood pressure. It is ok if you eat food that has a little salt, there is no need to eliminate it since sodium is an essential element for the human body.
  • My golden rule, the one I always recommend to my patients, is “to not eat if your hunger is not real.” Often, people eat out of boredom, to kill some time, by gluttony or simply out of habit (such as snacking while watching a movie). If you are not hungry, there is no need to eat because the body does not need nourishment at that precise moment. I don’t mean to wait to eat until you have stomach cramps, and you are about to pass out, but snacks make sense when your hunger is real and not emotional, otherwise, this is just the best way to put on weight quickly. Try to resist the temptation to buy sweet foods, snacks, chocolate bars, and unhealthy snacks, and choose instead to distract yourself by doing sports or hobbies.

Here are 50 ideas for healthy snacks for people with diabetes!

snacks for people with diabetes
  1. Fruit. This is the best snack for anyone, although you may want to limit the ones that contain a lot of sugar, such as bananas and persimmons. However, eating a banana once in a while is not a problem; your real enemy is the added sugar contained in many industrial snacks, juices, and soft drinks.
  2. A glass of juice (choose one without added sugar), or a homemade fruit juice (without sugar). Avoid using a juice extractor because it eliminates all the fiber that fruit contains. It is better to use a blender or a food processor if you want to make a smoothie.
  3. Unsweetened dried fruit. You can find it at the supermarket or at organic shops or greengrocers who sell it at retail.
  4. Nuts, such as walnuts or almonds. Don’t go overboard with this snack because they are high in calories, although they work well to kill your appetite between meals.
  5. Lupins. Since these are often in brine, eat them after removing the excess salt by washing them under running water.
  6. A piece of coconut, either fresh or dried.
  7. Unsweetened dried ginger. An excellent snack that you can easily find at the supermarket. Pay attention to the sugar content and read the label carefully to avoid buying the one with added sugar.
  8. A hard-boiled egg. A simple and very nutritious snack that you can prepare in a few minutes.
  9. A piece of hard (aged) cheese. Rich in protein, this snack can quickly kill your appetite between one meal and the other without raising your blood sugar levels.
  10. Roasted chickpeas. Just put some chickpeas in the oven for about half an hour, turning them from time to time and then mix them with aromatic herbs and grated garlic. It’s a healthy and very nutritious snack.
  11. A vegetable salad. A classic healthy and dietetic food that should also be on the menu at both lunch and dinner. A salad has the great advantage of making you feel satisfied without giving you too many calories but, instead, lots of healthy fiber. You can season your salad with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Any type of vegetables works fine, as long as it is fresh.
  12. Milk. A good source of calcium, useful for your bones. If you want to opt for vegetable milk (such as soy or oat milk), make sure you choose one that is without added sugar (check the label).
  13. Shaken coffee. A perfect summer drink and an excellent alternative way to have your usual espresso. Use espresso, ice cubes, and a natural sweetener such as stevia instead of sugar or brown sugar. To prepare it, just use a shaker, first put the ice inside, then the sweetener, and coffee last. Close the shaker and shake for about twenty seconds with energy. You can garnish your shaken coffee with vegetarian whipped cream.
  14. A small piece of dark chocolate, possibly without added sugar.
  15. A cup of low-fat yogurt with cereals. As usual, carefully read the product labels and choose the one with no added sugar.
  16. A porridge made with vegetable milk (or orange juice), 2/3 tablespoons of oat flakes, raisins, and walnuts. 2/3 tablespoons is a small amount, but it is enough for a snack. If you prepare porridge for breakfast or as a main dish, then you should increase this amount to half a cup. A nutritional bomb with very few sugars!
  17. A wholemeal crouton or a slice of wholemeal bread stuffed with an almond or hazelnut cream (not Nutella, bear in mind!).
  18. Raw vegetable sticks with hummus as a dip. Here is my recipe for preparing hummus:

Recipe for chickpea hummus

snacks for people with diabetes


400 g of chickpeas

The juice of half a lemon

1 clove of garlic

Parsley to taste

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Various spices


Put in a blender chickpeas, garlic, oil, and spices. Blend adding oil until you obtain a homogeneous mixture. At this point, add salt, lemon, and pepper and keep blending at maximum speed until the ingredients have thoroughly mixed.

Let the mixture rest in the fridge for a few minutes and then use it as a side dish. You can also personalize it with different spices.

19. Raw vegetable sticks with fava bean cream as a dip

Here is the recipe for preparing fava bean cream:

Recipe for fava bean cream

snacks for people with diabetes


100 g of fava beans

25 g of grated pecorino cheese

1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste


Clean the beans and cook them for 8 minutes in plenty of hot water.

Drain them and remove the various cuticles, they will make the cream better and free of lumps.

Blend with the pecorino cheese, oil, salt, and pepper.

Stop whipping when you get a very delicate, foam-like cream.

You can season the vegetables with this cream. Avoid this recipe if you or a family member suffer from favism.

20. Vegetables with guacamole, the latter to be used as a dip

Here is my guacamole recipe:


1 cherry tomato

50 g of avocado pulp

1 clove of garlic

1 onion

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Chilli powder

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste


Cut one avocado in two halves and extract 50 grams of pulp. The rest of the fruit can be frozen.

Make a creamy mush from the pulp.

Add finely chopped garlic and onion to the avocado pulp.

Add the chilli powder, lime, salt, pepper, and oil. Mix well until all the ingredients are mixed.

Add the diced cherry tomato and stir.

The cream must rest in the fridge for at least an hour before being served.

You can store the leftover sauce in the refrigerator for a few days.

21. Chia seed pudding. A fresh and nutritious dessert, which brings many benefits to the gut microflora and which is rich in calcium and other nutrients.

Recipe for chia seed pudding:

snacks for people with diabetes


200 ml of rice or almond milk (pick the one that has less sugar)

30 grams of chia seeds (found in bio shops or supermarkets)

1 pinch of vanilla powder or cinnamon

1 handful of berries

1 teaspoon pumpkin or sunflower seeds

1 tbsp lemon juice


You can prepare this pudding inside a glass or a glass jar, to creatively serve it.

Pour milk and chia seeds alternately into the chosen container, first one and then the other, until the mix reaches the top of the jar. The seeds will float and tend to stay on the surface. To make the result more homogeneous, mix with a spoon from time to time.

You can now add some vanilla flavor or some cinnamon.

Let it rest in the fridge and garnish with the berries just before serving.

The minimum resting time is one hour, but the more you rest, the creamier it will be. You can also garnish the pudding with pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

22. Edamame. Unripe soybeans, typical Japanese dish. You can find them in organic stores.

23. Chickpea “farinata“. A typical dish from Liguria, a demonstration that with a few “poor” ingredients, you can create a delicious meal. In Tuscany, they call it “cecina.” Here is my recipe for preparing chickpea farinata:

Recipe for chickpea farinata:


180 grams of chickpea flour

600 grams of water

6 spoons of extra virgin olive oil



1 pan 26cm in diameter


Heat the oven to the maximum possible temperature.

Put all the chickpea flour in a bowl and pour 3 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon of salt, and progressively all the water, continually stirring to mix the ingredients well. The compound obtained must be smooth and without lumps.

Oil the pan with the other 3 tablespoons of oil and pour the mixture.

Bake at maximum temperature for 15/20 minutes, or at least until a crust appears on the surface.

Eat hot or warm, with a sprinkling of pepper on top.

24. Homemade cereal bar. A tasty and genuine variant of industrial cereal bars.

Recipe for making cereal bars

snacks for people with diabetes


200 g of organic oats

30 g of dried almonds

30 g of goji berries

40 g pumpkin seeds

3 dried plums

1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 pinch of salt

2 teaspoons of honey


Soak the goji berries in lukewarm water.

Cut the plums into pieces and chop the almonds.

Mix the berries, oats, plums, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and salt together.

Add a spoonful of oil and a teaspoon of honey.

Mix well to mix everything.

Pour into a pan lined with baking paper and then compact everything with the help of other baking paper because the dough can be sticky.

Bake at 140°C for half an hour or until the oats appear toasted.

Cut the mixture into a series of bars.

Let them cool before eating them.

25. Vegetable muffins, a healthier alternative to industrial dessert. Here is a recipe for making delicious ones:

Recipe for making a vegetable muffin


200 g of mixed vegetables (courgettes, peppers, aubergines, carrots, etc.)

180 g of wheat flour

3 eggs

100 ml of milk

100 ml of extra virgin olive oil

50 g of grated Parmesan cheese

Onion to taste

1 packet of yeast for savory pies

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste


Slice the diced vegetables (if you also use peppers, it is better to cut them in sticks).

Sauté the onion with oil in a non-stick pan and then add all the vegetables.

Sauté them in a pan for 10 minutes, adding salt and pepper.

Let the vegetables cool down.

In a bowl, beat the eggs together with the milk and olive oil. In the absence of a whisk, two forks are also suitable.

Add the cheese and flour.

Add salt and pepper, and mix everything with a kitchen spatula.

Add the yeast and the vegetables, but keep a part of it to decorate the muffins.

Take some muffin molds and fill them just over half with the mixture (the molds must be buttered and floured).

Add the remaining vegetables as a decoration (instead of the chocolate chips used in traditional muffins).

Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes, checking the cooking with the toothpick method.

Allow the muffins to cool before serving.

26. A courgette pancake. Here is an excellent recipe:

Recipe for preparing courgette pancakes


200 g of courgettes

1 egg

1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese

Parsley to taste

Onion to taste

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Rice flour to taste




Wash the courgettes, then grate them and add them to the chopped onion.

Add the egg, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Thicken the mixture with 1 tablespoon of flour.

Heat a non-stick pan with a tear of extra virgin olive oil.

Put 1 tablespoon of mixture on the pan giving it the shape of the pancake.

Cook both sides until brown and serve hot.

27. Cherry tomatoes seasoned with oil and oregano.

28. A glass of tomato juice seasoned with salt and pepper. Choose the brand you like best; not all of them have the same taste.

29. Pancake made with chickpea flour. Similar to chickpea farinata, but flavored with saffron. Here is my recipe:

Recipe for 6 chickpea flour pancakes

snacks for people with diabetes


100 g of chickpea flour

Ice water

1 sachet of saffron

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil



Mix the chickpea flour with salt in a bowl.

Melt the saffron in 3.5 deciliters of ice water and slowly pour it into the flour.

Heat a non-stick pan with a tear of extra virgin olive oil.

Pour a spoonful of mixture onto the pan.

Cook for a couple of minutes on the side, or until they are golden brown.

Cook all the dough.

30. Fruit compote. Below is my recipe to prepare it without sugar

Recipe for a fruit compote


500 g of very ripe fruit

1 apple with the peel

Half a glass of water

Juice of half a lemon

Spices to taste


Wash and cut the ripe fruit into small pieces

Cut the apple into pieces but also keep the peel and add it to the fruit.

Add the lemon juice, mix and leave to macerate for 1 hour.

Put the macerated fruit in a saucepan and cook 45 minutes.

Gradually add half a glass of water.

Add the spices.

If you want a more homogeneous compote, you can blend it after cooking.

Eat it cold. It can be kept closed in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

It can also be kept for three months if closed still hot in a glass jar and kept upside down for 48 hours.

31. Homemade corn crackers. Make them this way:

Recipe for preparing 20 crackers


2 deciliters of cornflour

½ deciliter of sunflower seeds

½ deciliter of pumpkin seeds

1 deciliter of flax seeds

½ deciliter of oil

2 deciliters of hot water


Heat the oven to 150 ° C

Mix all the ingredients.

Place the dough on a baking tray covered with baking paper.

Roll out the dough to make a thin layer.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Divide the cooked dough into many crackers.

32. Crackers with chickpea flour and sunflower seeds. Here are the instructions to make them at home:

Recipe to prepare 25 crackers

snacks for people with diabetes


2 deciliters of chickpea flour

½ deciliter of sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons of flax seeds

½ teaspoon salt

2 spoons of extra virgin olive oil

½ deciliter of hot water


Heat the oven to 150 ° C.

Pour all the ingredients except water and oil into a bowl and mix them.

Add water and oil and stir until everything is well blended.

Pour the dough onto a baking sheet.

Cook on the lowest shelf for half an hour.

Cut the mixture into many crackers after it has cooled.

33. Pumpkin and flaxseed crackers.

Recipe for 25 crackers


1.5 deciliters of sunflower seeds

0.75 deciliters of whole flax seeds

0.5 deciliters of sesame seeds

1 deciliter of pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon of almond flour

1 tablespoon of psyllium flour

½ teaspoon salt

2.5 deciliters of water


Heat the oven to 160 ° C

Mix the seeds and flour in a bowl.

Add the water and salt, and mix until you obtain a thick mixture.

Leave the dough to rest for 1 hour.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper on a baking tray.

Remove the top sheet of baking paper and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool and then cut the crackers.

34. A bowl of avocado and pear cream. Here are the ingredients to prepare it without sugar:

Recipe for the avocado and pear cream


50 g of avocado pulp

75 g of pear pulp

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Half orange

1 tablespoon of dark chocolate 90%


Put the avocado and pear in the fridge.

Cut the pulp of the fruit into chunks and blend them with the lemon and orange juice until you obtain a homogeneous cream.

Put the mixture in a bowl and decorate with a sprinkling of grated chocolate.

35. Homemade banana cookies. This is also a recipe for a sugar-free cookies:

Recipe for Sugar-Free Banana Cookies


3 ripe bananas

2 glasses of oat flakes

1 glass of chopped dates

1/3 full glass of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of vanilla flavoring


Heat the oven to 200 ° C.

Mash the bananas and mix them with all the other ingredients.

Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.

Spread it on a baking sheet lined with baking paper forming biscuits.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

36. Homemade flour and sugar-free biscuits.

Recipe for the biscuits


50 g of oat flakes

50 g of puffed rice with no added sugar

1 ripe banana

2 spoons of raisins

1 tablespoon of chocolate chips

2 tablespoons of chopped almonds

2 spoons of chopped hazelnuts


Mash the banana until creamy.

Add all the other ingredients and mix.

Put spoonfuls of mixture on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, forming biscuits.

Bake for 20 minutes in the oven at 180 ° C.

37. Nuggets with peanut butter. Also, my “nuggets” are designed to make you taste a sweet taste without sugar:

Recipe for making peanut butter nuggets


Half a glass of unsalted peanut butter

3 tablespoons of milk powder

3 tablespoons of coconut flakes or grated coconut

4 tablespoons of oat flakes

3 tablespoons of sugar-free apple juice


Mix all the ingredients until you get a compact dough.

Form a series of balls.

Put the balls in the fridge and consume them cold.

38. A slice of sugar-free cake. Here is my recipe:

Recipe for preparing a sugar-free cake


2 glasses of raisins

3 glasses of water

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of natural sweetener (stevia, for example)

1 sachet of baking powder

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Half a tablespoon of salt

Half a teaspoon of nutmeg

2 glasses of semi wholemeal white flour

1 glass of chopped walnuts

150 ml of extra virgin olive oil

1 glass of sugar-free apple juice


Heat the oven to 200°C.

Boil the raisins in a small pan with water until they have absorbed all the water.

Let it cool down.

Put all the ingredients except the walnuts in a bowl and mix until you obtain a homogeneous paste.

Put the nuts and raisins and put the mixture in a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Cook for 1 hour, checking the cooking with a toothpick.

39. A refreshing artisan coconut ice cream. Excellent for cooling off in the summer, here’s how to easily prepare it at home without using sugar:

Recipe for homemade coconut ice cream


2 cups of coconut milk with no added sugar

¼ of coconut butter

2 tablespoons of the extract of an exotic fruit to taste

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 tablespoon of extract or coconut flakes


Mix all the ingredients and blend them.

Put the mixture in the fridge for 1 hour.

Put it in the ice cream maker and follow the instructions to create the ice cream.

Put it in the freezer and take it out 10 minutes before consuming it.

40. Fresh peach sorbet. An alternative to coconut ice cream:

Recipe for the preparation of a fresh peach sorbet


3 peaches



Cut the peaches into pieces and put them in the freezer for at least three and a half hours.

Blend them frozen with a little water to obtain a soft cream.

If necessary, extend it with more water.

Keep the cream in the freezer until ready for use.

Finally, an excellent snack suitable for diabetics can also a tasty drink, such as a smoothie! Smoothies are a variant of classic milk and fruit shakes, which are usually milk or yogurt-based, and they are only based on frozen fruit.

Here are some delicious ideas for smoothie suitable for people with diabetes:

41. Forest flavors: Ice, 150 g of blackberries and raspberries, parsley, and cabbage leaves.

42. Tonic: Ice, 2 carrots, an apple and lemon, and ginger juice.

43. Summer: 1 peach, spinach, and ice.

44. Green Island: Ice, 150 g of yellow melon, romaine lettuce.

45. Exotic: Ice, mango and pineapple, two carrots

46. Sprint: Ice, 150 g of kiwi, two tablespoons of orange juice, spinach.

47. Energy: Ice, Kaiser pears, banana, two tablespoons of orange juice, cabbage leaves.

48. Fresh Green: Ice, Kaiser pears and raspberries (150 g total), cabbage leaves.

49. Detoxifying: Ice, apple, celery, 1 teaspoon of flax seeds.

50. Remineralizing: Ice, cucumber, celery, parsley, two tablespoons of lemon juice, mint, and ginger.

Thanks to all the above snacks, you will be able to eat healthy and tasty food between one meal and another. The above ideas are great also for those who do not have diabetes. I hope I have given you new ideas. Often the diet recommended to people with diabetes is boring and tasteless, while in reality, it does not need to be this way. Send me a message or write a comment at the bottom of this post if you have questions about diabetes or if you need dietary advice.

Picture of Gianluca Tognon

Gianluca Tognon

Gianluca Tognon is an Italian nutrition coach, speaker, entrepreneur and associate professor at the University of Gothenburg. He started his career as a biologist and spent 15 years working both in Italy and then in Sweden. He has been involved in several EU research projects and has extensively worked and published on the association between diet, longevity and cardiovascular risk across the lifespan, also studying potential interactions between diet and genes. His work about the Mediterranean diet in Sweden has been cited by many newspapers worldwide including the Washington Post and The Telegraph among others. As a speaker, he has been invited by Harvard University and the Italian multi-national food company Barilla.

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About Me

I’m an Italian nutrition coach, speaker, entrepreneur and associate professor at the University of Gothenburg. I started MY career as a biologist and spent 15 years working both in Italy and then in Sweden.

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