Good Snacks for Blood Sugar Control

Steph Wagner

July 31, 2013

It’s funny the questions you receive when people hear you are a dietitian/nutritionist. Some are more serious questions:

What do you think of Body Bi Vi/Adkins/Paleo/Raspberry Ketones/Fat-Flush Diet/Gluten-free/etc.

And some are just plain funny:

Is it better to have nothing for breakfast…or 5 pounds of bacon?

Does drinking wheat beer count towards a serving of whole grains? 

Some are serious question, and yet so odd:

What one food should I always eat?

What one food should I never eat?

I always get a good laugh at the questions that come my way. Some by texts, some email and some in conversation with someone I just met. It’s always fun for me.

I would like to answer some of the more honest questions I get on a consistent basis. Just like in school when my teacher said “if you have a question, chances are someone else has the same question.” Except she bugged me a little when she said that. Also, I was too insecure to admit I didn’t understand something. Thankfully I’ve grown out of that. Truth is- I’m full of questions!

This past week I asked for some questions on FaceBook and combined them with questions I just received naturally. Some of the questions included:

1. Carrots- good or bad?

2. What’s a good snack for someone with diabetes? Someone with low-blood sugar struggles?

3. What should I avoid on labels?

4. What to do with my picky eater?

5. What foods to eat or avoid with IBS? 

6. What do you think about Raspberry Ketones?

7. What are your thoughts on Weight Watchers?

It’s hard for me to know where to start, but I do want to pick one question each week. If any of these other questions spark your interest, vote for that question to be discussed next week by commenting below!

I want to address #2: What’s a good snack for blood sugar control?

I’m going to start with a list of good protein snacks. Protein is slow to digest and slow to raise blood sugars. This is great if you struggle with spikes or drops in your blood sugar. Some examples:

  • low-fat cheese sticks or baby bell cheese
  • 2% cottage cheese
  • 0% fat Greek yogurt, plain (but add some sweetener unless you really like sour cream)
  • Eggs (hard-boiled or deviled is great for a snack)
  • Beef jerky (flat ones, not the stick kind)
  • low-sugar protein drink (EAS carb control or Atkins shakes are good)
  • low-sugar protein bars (this is a good option if your blood sugar is already low and you need to bring it up- more on that in a bit)

Foods to avoid/be mindful of:

  • Fruit. If you do want fruit, chose a low sugar fruit such as berries and always eat your protein first. Anything listed above will work, but always start there. Putting protein in your stomach will slow down the sugar spike response from fruit.
  • Nuts/Peanut Butter. It’s a very, very common belief that nuts and peanut butters fall into the protein category. They do contain protein but not nearly as much as they do fat. If you are trying to maintain or lose weight- be incredibly mindful with nuts and nut butters.
  • Juice. When blood sugars drop many people have been instructed to drink juice or have some icing or candy to bring up their sugar. Concentrated sugar like this will bring up your blood sugar too fast and what goes up must come down…so you end up with “Reactive Hypoglycemia” meaning you get another low blood sugar. Again, put some protein with your carbohydrate. A protein bar or fruit with cheese is a better option.

As always, be sure to consult your dietitian for a more personalized plan or recommendations depending on your preferences and goals. If you don’t have a dietitian, read more about what I can offer on the services page.

Continue to submit your questions! I’m currently gathering more information from parents of picky eaters to address that issue soon. If you want to partake in a quick survey on a picky eater in your life: email me at steph@foodcoach.me

Happy Eating!

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