The best snacks for diabetics
Do you have diabetes and are wondering what the best bedtime snacks for diabetics are? If your answer is yes, this post is for you. In this post, I list 16 healthy quick, and easy bedtime snacks for diabetics that won’t spike your blood sugar levels for guilt-free bedtime snacking.
You know it’s important to have healthy snacks because you never know when you will need a snack at night and you don’t want to be scrambling for the next best thing.
When you are prepared, and that diabetic hunger strikes at bedtime, as it will for sure, then you won’t worry about spiking your blood sugar by eating the wrong snack.
Making the right choices when you have diabetes is very important because chronic high blood sugar has dire consequences.
And with diabetes numbers being as high as they are so many people need to what no only what to eat for better glucose control and that includes what to snack on as well.
According to the American diabetes association of America, in 2019, 37.3 million Americans, or 11.3% of the population, had diabetes.
And according to the CDC, diabetes is estimated to affect 537 million adults worldwide, with a global prevalence of 10.5 percent among adults aged 20 to 79 years. So diabetes affects many people worldwide and the numbers are climbing. One common thing all these people experience is hunger, a diabetes symptom.
Hunger at bedtime is the worst though because you are tired and you are also more likely to choose the wrong snack especially late at night because your hunger hormones take over.
But whether you are type 1 diabetic, type 2, or have gestational diabetes, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important to prevent many major problems like kidney disease, and cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke later on.
And that means everything you do from exercising to choosing the right food matters a lot.
You may find that you always have to pause before selecting a particular food because the stakes are high for your health.
Therefore, that also requires that when nighttime hunger hits, you must be careful to choose healthy nighttime snacks that are rich in essential nutrients and a snack that will provide a steady blood glucose level through the night.
So, if you need to find some good ideas for bedtime snacks for diabetics this post is for you.
Because if you live with diabetes, you know the struggle with nighttime hunger is real.
I know this hunger and it is undeniably so strong that you have to eat something even before bed no matter what.
And that is why I make sure to include a bedtime snack as part of my bedtime routine every night.
But before you reach out for that snack check your blood sugar on your glucose meter first.This provides a great guide in your diabetes management.
Why you need a smart bedtime snack as a diabetic
But first, before getting on to the best bedtime snacks for diabetics, it is important to understand that your blood sugars fluctuate especially at night and so we must be prepared for this by eating foods that will not make these fluctuations even worse.
It is important to know what nutrients make the best bedtime snacks for diabetics. For individuals with diabetes, it’s important to choose diabetes-friendly snacks that are low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and rich in fiber to curb the impact of the smoggy effect and the dawn phenomenon.
This helps to keep blood sugar levels from spiking or getting too low during the night.
How blood glucose levels fluctuate throughout the night
Your blood sugar fluctuates throughout the night and this can cause low blood sugar levels in the middle of the night or morning hyperglycemia.
There are two causes of blood sugar fluctuations through the night and these are:
These phenomena that cause changes in blood sugar levels during the night are the Somogyi effect and the dawn phenomenon.
Somogyi effect (Rebound hyperglycemia)
This phenomenon occurs when blood sugar levels drop too low during the night, triggering the release of hormones that raise blood sugar levels.
The body responds to low blood sugar by releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can stimulate the liver to produce more glucose.
As a result, blood sugar levels may rise significantly by the morning.
The dawn phenomenon refers to the natural rise in blood sugar levels in the early morning, typically between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m.
This occurs due to the body’s release of certain hormones, such as growth hormone, cortisol, and glucagon, which increase insulin resistance and stimulate the liver to release stored glucose.
In individuals with diabetes, this can lead to higher blood sugar levels upon waking.
It’s important to note that these phenomena can vary from person to person, and not everyone experiences them.
Monitoring blood sugar levels and working with a healthcare professional or diabetes educator can help identify and manage these nighttime fluctuations effectively.
Treatment options may include adjusting medication dosages, modifying meal plans, or considering alternative insulin regimens.
So, that said, what are the best bedtime snacks for diabetics?
The best bedtime snacks for diabetes
Hummus and vegetables
When bedtime hunger strikes or you are concerned about your blood sugar dropping, having a serving of carrot sticks, baby carrots, cucumber slices, celery sticks, or bell pepper sticks with a serving of hummus is not only delicious and satiating but will keep your blood sugar levels even.
Humus is a great source of protein and also contains olive oil which is a healthy fat.
And the veggies are full of healthy nutrients, are plenty of vitamins plus the fiber in both the humus(chick please and the veggies will keep you full and also keep blood sugar from plummeting.
Also, blood sugar won’t spike because this food is of a low glycemic index.
Low-fat cheese and whole-wheat crackers
Pairing whole wheat crackers and cheese makes a good bedtime snack for diabetics.
Whole-grain crackers contain complex carbohydrates and are a good source of fiber as you may know, fiber prevents blood sugar spikes, so the carbs in crackers are slowly absorbed.
Paired with low-fat cheese provides fat and protein which will not only help you feel full but you won’t feel the need to reach out for other less healthy snacks.
For diabetics looking for a bedtime snack, a handful of seeds is a great option.
Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are particularly beneficial due to their high protein and fiber content, which can help regulate blood glucose levels throughout the night and prevent blood glucose spikes.
These seeds also contain magnesium, an essential nutrient for glucose metabolism and improved sleep quality.
Seeds also provide healthy monounsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Overall, incorporating sunflower and pumpkin seeds into your snack routine can provide a delicious and healthful option for managing diabetes.
Low sugar jello
A small portion of sugar-free gelatin is a low-fat snack and a sweet treat that won’t raise blood sugar levels.
Be sure to choose varieties that are labeled as sugar-free and low in carbohydrates.
This is a great snack for a diabetic to have before bed when you just need a very light snack that won’t raise your blood sugar.
Sugar free jello can feel decadent without causing blood sugar problems and that makes it a fun option. So yeah low sugar or sugar free jello is among the best bedtime snacks for diabetics.
whole-grain toast with avocado
Choose high fiber 100% whole-grain bread and toast one slice then top it with mashed avocado and you will enjoy a healthy and satiating bedtime snack that is good for anyone watching their blood sugar.
Avocado is rich in healthy omega-3 fats and fiber, and whole-grain toast has healthy carbs and fiber.
This combination of the essential nutrients in avocado and whole grain bread ensures a slow blood sugar release through the night.
This prevents blood sugar spikes and or low blood sugar, keeping your blood sugar stable.
So don’t go to bed hungry or choose the wrong food.
Avocado toast is a delicious filling and healthy diabetes bedtime snack.
When feeling hungry at bedtime as a diabetic, consider choosing low-fat plain Greek yogurt as a bedtime snack. It’s important to ensure that the yogurt you choose has no added sugar for optimal results.
Opting for sugar-free yogurt is beneficial for gut health, which in turn aids in controlling blood sugar levels.
As diabetes is an inflammatory disease, maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria helps to reduce inflammation and regulate blood sugar. For an extra boost of flavor and nutrients, try adding low-glycemic fruit like berries to your yogurt.
There are so many nuts to choose from. You can have almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pistachios.
They are all good choices for bedtime snacks for diabetes as they contain healthy fats, fiber, and protein.
And that means having a low impact on blood sugar levels and are the best choice when you are hungry before bed and you want to make sure your blood sugar won’t spike.
Air-popped popcorn is a light and healthy snack that won’t lead to sugar spikes because although popcorn has carbs it also contains fiber which slows absorption into the bloodstream.
Pair your air-popped popcorn with a handful of nuts or low-fat cheese to make this snack more satiating and provide a steady level of blood sugar through the night.
Choose low-fat cottage cheese and add some berries such as strawberries, blueberries, or any berry that you fancy.
You may also use tomatoes, or cucumbers to add to the cottage cheese if you fancy a savory snack.
Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
The berries add a bit of sweetness complementing the cottage cheese plus they contain many vitamins and phytonutrients.
Berries have a low glycemic index and that helps to keep blood sugar within the normal range.
The healthy fat, protein in the cottage cheese, and fiber in fruit will keep the blood usage even through the night.
Chia seeds pudding
Chia pudding is not only easy to make, it is also delicious and healthy. And although it is mostly consumed for breakfast it also makes a great bedtime snack.
Chia pudding is loaded with nutrients making it a great choice as a bedtime snack for diabetics.
Chia pudding is full of healthy fats and is high in fiber making it an excellent choice for a bedtime snack for diabetics.
Just mix chia seeds with almond milk and a dash of stevia, sprinkle some berries on top, and enjoy your snack.
Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats. Just one hard-boiled large egg can make for a satisfying and low-carbohydrate bedtime snack.
And if you know diabetic hunger, you know how hard it is to satisfy, but the fat and high protein content in eggs helps keep you full, and won’t raise your blood sugar.
This is the perfect snack to have when you are hungry and are afraid of a sugar spike during the night.
Apples and peanut butter
I love apples and peanut butter.
But you can use almond butter as well or any nut butter you like.
Apples and nut butter make a delicious and satisfying bedtime snack for anyone and are a healthy choice for someone with diabetes.
This is because nut butter contains healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
And that is the most balanced snack that will keep blood sugar levels from rising too much or dropping too much. Apples also provide more fiber and vitamins.
The combination of complex carbs, fiber, healthy fats, and protein makes apples and nut butter one of the best bedtime snacks for diabetics.
Nuts contain several other nutrients, especially magnesium that are needed to balance blood sugar levels.
Low-fat string cheese
Low-fat string cheese or cheese cubes make for a great bedtime snack for diabetes.
It’s low fat, low carb, and a good source of protein that will keep you full for a long time.
The calcium, as well as tryptophan in cheese, will also help you sleep better which is an added bonus.
This is a simple but great choice and is among the best bedtime snacks for diabetics.
Edamame are immature soybeans and belong to the bean family.
And like beans edema does not have a big impact on blood sugar.
Plus edamame is a great source of protein to keep you feeling full with one cup providing 18.4 grams of protein.
The protein and fiber also slow down glucose absorption preventing blood sugar spikes.
And the vitamins and minerals in edamame improve your health as well.
So this combination offers great glycemic control making it a perfect late-night snack and one of the best bedtime snacks for diabetics.
A protein shake is full of great nutrients including protein to control hunger at bedtime.
Choose a low-glycemic shake such as Boost Glucose Control or Glucerna.
You can even make your own at home by combining a scoop of protein powder, berries, nut milk, and ice and enjoy a delicious and satiating snack that will not raise your blood sugar.
This shake is also rich in minerals vitamins and fiber for added health benefits.
Chickpeas are delicious and healthy making them one of the best bedtime snacks for diabetics
And roasted chickpeas offer a simple healthy snack when you are watching your blood sugar.
Chick please provide protein healthy carbs and fiber.
And that is a great nutrient combination to keep blood sugars from spiking in the middle of the night or dropping too low. Choose non-starchy vegetables such as cucumbers, and carrots and you will have a great bedtime snack.
Final words on the best bedtime snacks for diabetics
As someone with diabetes, it’s important to be mindful of the snacks we choose when hunger strikes at night.
Picking the wrong snack can cause high blood sugar levels and affect our health including weight gain and uncontrolled diabetes.
However, selecting the right snack and being mindful of portion sizes can make all the difference.
Opting for low glycemic index, high protein, and whole grains complex carbohydrate foods rich in dietary fiber is key.
Foods with this combination are healthy choices that make the best bedtime snacks for diabetics and provide the best results in blood sugar control.
These are also great options for any other time you need a snack that is healthy and will keep blood sugar well controlled.
So I hope these bedtime snack ideas will help you choose a good snack- a healthy and satisfying bedtime snack next time you desperately need a snack at bedtime.
Keep in mind that maintaining stable blood sugar levels is essential to avoid spikes or drops, which can be harmful to your health.
Therefore, it is crucial not to go to bed hungry or make poor food choices that may affect your blood sugar levels.
So always choose the best bedtime snacks for diabetics that will control your glucose level for a long period and you will not only sleep better but you will maintain a steady blood sugar level as well.
Tell me in the comments, what is your best diabetic snack to eat at bedtime?