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Top 25 Diabetic Snacks

Stomach grumbling or blood glucose a bit low? Reach for one of our top 25 consumer-tasted and dietitian-approved snacks. Diabetic Living's dietitians scoured the supermarkets to find the most nutritious packaged snacks, and a panel of taste-testers (including people with diabetes) ranked the treats. From chips and dip to cookies and popcorn, see which snacks were awarded the Diabetic Living What to Eat Seal of Approval.

 

Please note that product information, packaging, and availability may have changed since our story first appeared. 

Best Savory 100-Calorie Pack

Winner: Sun Chips Harvest Cheddar 100 Calorie Mini Bites (fritolay.com)

Why it won: The chips' portion-controlled pack provides a satisfying one carb serving (12 grams of carbohydrate) full of cheesy flavor. Plus, each crisp, mini bite packs the goodness of whole grain corn, wheat, and oats.

Taste-tester's quote: "Love these. Some spice; lots of crunch."

Nutrition facts per 1 package (about 20 chips):

  • 100 cal.
  • 12 g carb.
  • 4.5 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat)
  • 2 g pro.
  • 110 mg sodium
  • 1 g fiber

 

Honorable mention:

  • Emerald Natural Walnuts and Almonds
  • Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Baked Snack Crackers, Cheddar

 

Get Your FREE Snack Attack Card Pack!

Best Savory 100-Calorie Pack

Winner: Sun Chips Harvest Cheddar 100 Calorie Mini Bites (fritolay.com)

Why it won: The chips' portion-controlled pack provides a satisfying one carb serving (12 grams of carbohydrate) full of cheesy flavor. Plus, each crisp, mini bite packs the goodness of whole grain corn, wheat, and oats.

Taste-tester's quote: "Love these. Some spice; lots of crunch."

Nutrition facts per 1 package (about 20 chips):

  • 100 cal.
  • 12 g carb.
  • 4.5 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat)
  • 2 g pro.
  • 110 mg sodium
  • 1 g fiber

 

Honorable mention:

  • Emerald Natural Walnuts and Almonds
  • Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Baked Snack Crackers, Cheddar

 

Get Your FREE Snack Attack Card Pack!

Best 100-Calorie-Pack Cookies

Winner: Honey Maid Cinnamon Roll Thin Crisps (nabiscoworld.com)

Why it won: The calorie- and carb-controlled packaging of these cinnamon-infused, bite-size cookies helps you keep your hand out of the cookie jar. Plus, one serving meets 10 percent of your daily calcium needs.

Taste-tester's quote: "You get a good quantity per serving, plus they have a nice flavor and texture."

Nutrition facts per 1 package (about 18 cookies):

  • 100 cal.
  • 16 g carb.
  • 3 g total fat (1.5 g sat. fat)
  • 1 g pro.
  • 115 mg sodium
  • 0 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • South Beach Living Fiber Fit Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  • Murray Sugar Free Cookies, Chocolate Bites

Low-sugar dessert recipes

Best Popcorn

Winner: Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop!, 94% Fat Free Butter (orville.com)

Why it won: Although this microwave popcorn has fewer calories and less fat than typical movie theater popcorn, it has the same buttery, crisp taste that will make you want to pop in your favorite movie. Plus, you can check off 16 percent of your daily fiber requirement with one serving of this whole grain popcorn.

Taste-tester's quote: "Reminds me of movie-style popcorn without the greasy feel!"

Nutrition facts per 3 1/2 cups

  • 120 cal.
  • 25 g carb.
  • 2 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat)
  • 4 g pro.
  • 240 mg sodium
  • 4 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Vic's Gourmet Lite White Half Salt (50% less salt)
  • Newman's Own All Natural Old Style Picture Show Microwave Popcorn

How to read food labels

Best Savory Snack Mix

Winner: Quaker Snack Mix, Baked Cheddar (fritolay.com)

Why it won: With a snack mix as cheesy and crunchy as this, you no longer have to trick your family into eating healthy. No one will be the wiser. Plus, this mix is an excellent source of iron, which helps your body use oxygen.

Taste-tester's quote: "The crunch is great, and there is good variety in the mix."

Nutrition facts per 3/4 cup:

  • 130 cal.
  • 19 g carb.
  • 4.5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat)
  • 2 g pro.
  • 230 mg sodium
  • 1 g fiber

Honorable Mention:

  • Good Sense Savory Snacks, Margarita Party Mix

Best Canned Meat

Winner: StarKist Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water (starkist.com)

Why it won: Perfectly portioned, easy-open cans make it simple to get a protein-rich snack with some serious staying power. Plus, tuna is a natural source of heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

Taste-tester's quote: "This has a good tuna flavor and texture."

Nutrition facts per 3-ounce can:

  • 110 cal.
  • 2.5 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat)
  • 21 g pro.
  • 240 mg sodium
  • Honorable mention:

    • Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna in Water, Low Sodium
    • Hormel Breast of Chicken in Water, No Salt Added

    Diabetes menus: What's for dinner?

Best Vegetable Snack

Winner: Disney Garden Carrots For Your Lunchbox with Ranch Dip (disneygarden.com)

Why it won: Carrots and ranch dip will never go out of style, and with the help of these pre-portioned bags of carrots and cups of dip, it's easier than ever to eat your vegetables. Plus, each snack provides 90 percent of your daily vitamin A needs to promote healthy eyes.

Taste-tester's quote: "You can't go wrong with this classic crunchy and creamy option."

Nutrition facts per 1 package carrots with 1 container dip:

  • 45 cal.
  • 8 g carb.
  • 1.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat)
  • 4 g pro.
  • 135 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Grape tomatoes (fresh)
  • Just Veggies, The Original Veggie Blend

8 ways to eat more veggies

Best Dairy Drink

Winner: Dannon Activia Dairy Drink, Strawberry (activia.us.com)

Why it won: Your whole family will get hooked on this rich and creamy, nutrition-packed smoothie. Plus, each bottle provides 20 percent of your daily calcium needs and 12 percent of your protein needs.

Taste-tester's quote: "Yum! Love the fruity yogurt taste."

Nutrition facts per 5.75-ounce bottle:

  • 160 cal.
  • 27 g carb.
  • 3 g total fat (2 g sat. fat)
  • 6 g pro.
  • 60 mg sodium
  • 1 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Promise Activ Supershots Mixed Berry
  • Glucerna Shake, Creamy Chocolate Delight

Yummy smoothies, shakes, and drink recipes

Best Sweet Trail Mix

Winner: Planters Harvest Dark Chocolate Forest Blend (planters.com)

Why it won: Get the best of both worlds with this delicious almond and dried cranberry trail mix. Not only will you satisfy your hunger, you'll also satisfy your sweet tooth with the dark chocolate-covered almonds. Plus, a serving provides 15 percent of your daily vitamin E needs and a good dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

Taste-tester's quote: "Very nice mixture of flavors and textures. And you can't beat the chocolate!"

Nutrition facts per 1/4 cup:

  • 170 cal.
  • 18 g carb.
  • 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat)
  • 4 g pro.
  • 45 mg sodium
  • 3 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Good Sense Organic Raw Trail Mix
  • Good Sense Trail Mix, Feel'N Healthy Mix

Best Dried Fruit

Winner: Sun-Maid Mediterranean Apricots (sunmaid.com)

Why it won: No sweetener is added to these flavorful dried fruits -- toss them in yogurt or on a salad for a sweet touch. Plus, they're a good source of antioxidant vitamin A, potassium, and fiber.

Taste-tester's quote: "Nice texture. Sweet but not too sweet."

Nutrition facts per 1/4 cup:

  • 100 cal.
  • 23 g carb.
  • 0 g fat
  • 1 g pro.
  • 15 mg sodium
  • 3 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Sunsweet California Pitted Dates
  • Melissa's Dried Peaches

Fabulous fruit salad recipes

Best Flavored Yogurt

Winner: Dannon Activia Light Nonfat Yogurt, Raspberry (activia.us.com)

Why it won: This super creamy, fruity yogurt provides a good hit of sweetness in an easy-to-tote, portion-smart carton. Plus, each serving provides 12 percent of your daily fiber and 15 percent of your daily calcium needs.

Taste-tester's quote: "This tastes the most like fresh fruit and has a little tang."

Nutrition facts per 4-ounce carton:

  • 70 cal.
  • 13 g carb.
  • 0 g fat
  • 5 g pro.
  • 75 mg sodium
  • 3 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Yoplait Light Fat Free, Strawberry
  • Weight Watchers Strawberry

Best Flavored Crackers

Winner: Triscuit Thin Crisps, Quattro Formaggio (triscuit.com)

Why it won: Romano, Parmesan, cheddar, and Asiago cheeses flavor these festive, triangle-shape crackers that feature a light and crisp woven texture. Plus, they're baked with 100 percent whole grain wheat and are a good source of fiber.

Taste-tester's quote: "Like the size; easy to eat."

Nutrition facts per 15 crackers:

  • 140 cal.
  • 22 g carb.
  • 4.5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat)
  • 3 g pro.
  • 160 mg sodium
  • 3 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Triscuit Whole Grain Wheat Crackers, Garden Herb Baked
  • Kashi TLC Crackers, Mediterranean Bruschetta

Dip, salsa, and spread recipes

Best Novelty-Shaped Cookies

Winner: Leclerc Praeventia Dark Chocolate Chip heart-shape cookies (praeventia.com)

Why it won: These heart-warming cookies are rich with flavor from dark chocolate chips and cocoa, plus antioxidant-rich red wine extract. Plus, they're a good source of whole grain oats and supply 16 percent of your daily fiber needs to support digestive health.

Taste-tester's quote: "Authentic chocolate flavor."

Nutrition facts per 1 pouch (about 8 cookies):

  • 150 cal.
  • 21 g carb.
  • 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat)
  • 2 g pro.
  • 95 mg sodium
  • 4 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Teddy Grahams Chocolate Graham Snacks
  • Annie's Homegrown Bunny Grahams, Chocolate

Tasty cookie recipes

Best Fruit Snack Packs

Winner: Del Monte Fruit Naturals No Sugar Added Peach Chunks (fruitundressed.com)

Why it won: Pick up these Splenda-sweetened peaches in the refrigerated produce section, and you'll save 40 percent of the calories and sugar of peaches in extra light syrup. Plus, you get 100 percent of your daily vitamin C needs in just half a cup.

Taste-tester's quote: "Surprisingly flavorful; almost like eating fresh peaches."

Nutrition facts per 1/2 cup (half container):

  • 40 cal.
  • 12 g carb.
  • 0 g fat
  • 1 g pro.
  • 0 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Musselman's Healthy Picks Blueberry Pomegranate Applesauce, No Sugar Added
  • Dole Pineapple Tidbits in Pineapple Juice

Best Nut Butter

Winner: Simply Jif Creamy Peanut Butter (jif.com)

Why it won: Peanut butter is the quintessential snack, and this variety has less sodium and sugar than regular peanut butter and a really smooth, peanutty flavor. Plus, it's a good source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

Taste-tester's quote: "I like the creamy feel and good peanut flavor."

Nutrition facts per 2 tablespoons:

  • 190 cal.
  • 6 g carb.
  • 16 g total fat (3 g sat. fat)
  • 8 g pro.
  • 65 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter
  • Arrowhead Mills Almond Butter

Best Nutrition Bar

Winner: Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats 'N Honey (naturevalley.com)

Why it won: Each foil pouch holds two crunchy and sweet whole grain oat bars. Eat one to stay under 15 grams of carbohydrate. If they fit your carb allowance, two bars supply 16 grams of whole grain, which counts as one of your three daily recommended whole grain servings.

Taste-tester's quote: "Crunchy, toasty, and buttery."

Nutrition facts per 2 bars:

  • 180 cal.
  • 29 g carb.
  • 6 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat)
  • 4 g pro.
  • 160 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Kashi TLC Cherry Dark Chocolate

Best Plain Crackers

Winner: Kashi TLC Original 7 Grain Crackers (kashi.com)

Why it won: One bite and you'll know why TLC stands for Tasty Little Crackers. The seven whole grains, sesame seeds, and honey in these bite-size crackers fill your mouth with hearty crunch and a bit of sweetness. Plus, a serving supplies 8 grams of whole grains (that's half of a whole grain serving).

Taste-tester's quote: "They're thick, so I could eat fewer to get full."

Nutrition facts per 15 crackers

  • 130 cal.
  • 22 g carb.
  • 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat)
  • 3 g pro.
  • 160 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Wheat Thins Multigrain Crackers
  • Triscuit Thin Crisps Baked Whole Grain Wheat Crackers, Original

Best Plain Yogurt

Winner: The Greek Gods Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt (greekgodsyogurt.com)

Why it won: Don't brush off plain yogurt until you've tried this thick and creamy Greek-style version. Pair it with a serving of fresh fruit for a truly satisfying snack. Plus, a carton provides one-fourth of your daily calcium needs.

Taste-tester's quote: "This has good flavor and even has a hint of sweetness."

Nutrition facts per 6-ounce carton:

  • 60 cal.
  • 10 g carb.
  • 0 g fat
  • 6 g pro.
  • 105 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Stonyfield Farm Organic Lowfat Yogurt, Plain
  • Fage Total 0% Greek Strained Yogurt

Best Potato Chips

Winner: Kettle Baked Potato Chips, Hickory Honey Barbeque (kettlefoods.com)

Why it won: Bold crunch and natural hickory smoke flavor fill each bite of these low-fat, gluten-free potato chips. Plus, each serving provides 15 percent of your daily vitamin C needs and is a good source of heart-healthy potassium.

Taste-tester's quote: "Good crunch; great flavor. And I normally don't care for barbecue chips!"

Nutrition facts per 1 ounce (about 20 chips):

  • 120 cal.
  • 21 g carb.
  • 3 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat)
  • 3 g pro.
  • 160 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Corazonas Italiano 4 Cheese
  • Kettle Baked Potato Chips, Lightly Salted

Best Sweet Nuts

Winner: True North Peanut Clusters (truenorthsnacks.com)

Why it won: Get ready to satisfy your salty-sweet craving when you take a bite of these crunchy peanut clusters. Who knew "good for you" could taste so good? Plus, one serving meets 10 percent of your daily recommended intake of magnesium, a mineral that helps keep your heartbeat steady.

Taste-tester's quote: "These are sweet, salty, and crunchy -- great!"

Nutrition facts per 5 clusters:

  • 170 cal.
  • 9 g carb.
  • 13 g total fat (2.5 g sat. fat)
  • 6 g pro.
  • 75 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds, Cinnamon Brown Sugar
  • Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds, Dark Chocolate Flavor

Best Puffed Crisps

Winner: Genisoy Soy Crisps, Rich Cheddar Cheese (genisoy.com)

Why it won: These cheesy crisps have a really satisfying crunch, making a tasty snack or a perfect partner for your favorite grab-and-go lunch. Plus, with 14 percent of your daily protein needs per serving, these crisps are anything but wimpy.

Taste-tester's quote: "I love the cheese flavor and the large portion size."

Nutrition facts per 17 crisps:

  • 120 cal.
  • 13 g carb.
  • 4.5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat)
  • 7 g pro.
  • 190 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Quaker Rice Cakes, Chocolate Crunch
  • Extend Crisps, Cinnamon

Less than 1 carb choice recipes

Best Savory Nuts

Winner: Planters Harvest California Almonds (planters.com)

Why it won: Go the extra mile with the staying power you'll get from a handful of these flavorful nutrition powerhouses roasted in sea salt (without added oil). Plus, you'll get 35 percent of your daily vitamin E and 12 percent of your daily fiber needs with just one serving.

Taste-tester's quote: "Awesome!"

Nutrition facts per 1 ounce (about 25 nuts):

  • 160 cal.
  • 6 g carb.
  • 14 g total fat (1 g sat. fat)
  • 6 g pro.
  • 95 mg sodium
  • 3 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Good Sense Soynuts, Bar-B-Q Flavored
  • Good Sense Soynuts, Hot 'N Spicy

Best Pudding Snack Pack

Winner: Jell-O Sugar-Free Pudding Snacks, Chocolate Vanilla Swirl (jello.com)

Why it won: Can't decide between chocolate and vanilla? These creamy, refrigerated pudding snacks will satisfy both cravings with just 60 calories. Plus, each serving provides 10 percent of your daily calcium needs.

Taste-tester's quote: "I love the wonderful flavor and texture."

Nutrition facts per 3.75-ounce carton:

  • 60 cal.
  • 12 g carb.
  • 1.5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat)
  • 2 g pro.
  • 180 mg sodium
  • Honorable mention:

    • Hunt's Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding
    • Jell-O Sugar-Free Cinnamon Roll Pudding

    Chocolate recipes

Best Savory Dip

Winner: Garden Fresh Gourmet Mild Guacamole (gardenfreshsalsa.com)

Why it won: This creamy, flavorful guacamole is made with six simple ingredients, including avocadoes rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Plus, a serving provides 10 percent of your daily fiber needs.

Taste-tester's quote: "Great flavor. Tastes freshly made."

Nutrition facts per 2 tablespoons:

  • 45 cal.
  • 3 g carb.
  • 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat)
  • 105 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Wild Garden Hummus Dip, Sweet 2 Pepper
  • Tribe Organic Hummus, Sweet Roasted Red Peppers Flavor

Best Single-Serving Cheese

Winner: Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Light (laughingcow.com)

Why it won: These rich and creamy cheese rounds taste anything but light and are perfect on-the-go protein snacks that can be paired with fruit or crackers. Plus, one round provides 20 percent of your daily calcium needs.

Taste-tester's quote: "This melted in my mouth and has a great flavor."

Nutrition facts per 1 round:

  • 50 cal.
  • 0 g carb.
  • 3 g total fat (1.5 g sat. fat)
  • 6 g pro.
  • 160 mg sodium
  • 0 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Sargento String Cheese, Light
  • Kraft Snackables Twists, 2% Milk

Yummy mac-and-cheese recipes

Best Tortilla Chips

Winner: Plocky's Original Three Grain Tortilla Chips (plockys.com)

Why it won: These crisp and hearty tortilla chips are perfect alone, paired with your favorite salsa, or dipped in guacamole. Plus, they're made of 84 percent whole grains from non-genetically-modified corn, wheat, and brown rice.

Taste-tester's quote: "This chip has a hint of sweetness that makes it unique."

Nutrition facts per 1 ounce (about 7-10 chips):

  • 129 cal.
  • 24 g carb.
  • 4 g total fat (0 g sat. fat)
  • 2 g pro.
  • 90 mg sodium
  • 2 g fiber

Honorable mention:

  • Tostitos Natural Yellow Corn Chips
  • Garden of Eatin' Blue Chips

Snack Requirements for People with Diabetes

Choosing a smart snack requires more than watching out for fat, sodium, and calories. Carefully selected snacks can help you get more of the nutrients and food groups you may fall short on. A serving of each of our top 25 snacks meets the following nutrition criteria, which address the concerns of people with diabetes:

 

  • 200 calories or less
  • 30 grams of carbohydrate or less
  • 240 milligrams of sodium or less
  • 0 grams of trans fat
  • Limited fat, saturated fat, and added sugars
  • At least one nutritional plus, such as whole grains or vitamin C

 

17 Low-carb snack ideas

FREE two-page guide to the winning snacks!

Foods to Avoid

We're all about eating what you love. But even in moderation, some foods are poor choices for anyone -- even people without diabetes. These top foods to avoid contain high amounts of fat, sodium, carbohydrate, and calories. Instead, indulge with our satisfying and delicious alternatives!

Think Before You Eat: 15 Foods to Avoid with Diabetes

Diabetic Living Video

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