Best Low Carb Snacks for Diabetics And Facts You Should Know

A planned diet that comprises healthy snacks can support a person with diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels, decreasing the danger of setbacks and symptoms.

Eating normal meals with healthy snacks in between can support a person with diabetes to retain their blood sugar levels resolute all through the day. (1)

However, identifying your calorie and macro needs is only the first measure. You also need to gain a good knowledge of the best high-quality foods to combine.

Nevertheless, low-carb diets were frequently prescribed for people with diabetes for more than a century, often with extraordinary effects, suggestions to consume more carbs became the norm once diabetes medications and insulin were attainable. (2)

In this extensive guide, you will discover what is the most suitable food to consume if you have diabetes.

Objectives for Low Carbohydrate Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which blood sugar remains high for lengthened duration. Beta cells of the pancreas create the hormone insulin, which also transports blood glucose to cells for executing multiple purposes. In type 1 diabetes, beta cells do not produce any insulin. In type 2, beta cells generate a smaller amount of insulin, which takes a prolonged time for glucose to get conveyed to cells. (3, 4)

Approximately 422 million people globally have diabetes, the preponderance residing in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.6 million deaths are directly associated with diabetes every year. Both the number of cases and the ubiquity of diabetes have been unwaveringly developing over the past 10 years. (5)

Diabetes is liable for the accelerating number of deaths worldwide. Unchecked diabetes for lengthened periods can generate numerous complications like neuropathy, cardiac diseases, hypertension, nephropathy, etc. Hence, proper supervision of diabetes with standard drugs, a well-balanced diet accompanied by exercise management should be the target goal to manage a healthy life.

Purpose of Diet in Diabetes

Diet control in diabetes performs a very significant role. Adequate selection of foods from diverse food groups is a vital challenge based on the case. Elements of macronutrients like fats, energy, and proteins vary according to specific circumstances. Furthermore, the requirements of micronutrients like minerals and vitamins also alternate. (6)

The main goals to accomplish with diabetes through dietary adjustments are: (7)

  • Prevention of notable complications associated with diabetes, like hypertension, neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, dyslipidemia, foot damage, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Progress on entire symptoms of diabetes
  • Management of blood glucose levels
  • Thwarting of Hypoglycemia

How Do Low Carbohydrate Diets Benefit Diabetics?

The function of Carbohydrates and Proteins in a diabetic diet:

The advantage of a low-carbohydrate/high-protein diet is that it eliminates, or limits, processed carbohydrates. These processed carbs in white rice or white bread give you a sugar increase. By decreasing these kinds of carbohydrates, insulin levels and blood glucose could be better managed. Additionally, there are other reasonable health benefits, such as weight loss and reduced blood-triglyceride levels. (8)

Proteins and carbohydrates are vital macronutrients needed for their uncommon purpose in our bodies. Carbs implement the main source of energy for completing numerous periodic functions. (9)

We consume various types of carbohydrates in our diet, which involve uncomplicated carbs and complicated carbs. (10) The huge difference between uncomplicated and complicated carbs is how fast they are broken down and consumed. Uncomplicated carbs like glucose, galactose, and fructose increase blood sugar swiftly, however, complicated carbs like glycogen and starch take a more extended time. (11, 12)

WHO suggests lowering free sugar consumption at all stages of life to under 10 percent of natural calories to diminish the risk of unhealthy dental caries and weight gain. This comprises a maximum of 50 g of sugar each day (ca. 10 teaspoons) for the normal adult (at a calorie consumption of 2,000 kcal).

On top of that, WHO assumes a further decrease in free sugar consumption to less than five percent of energy (i.e. no more than 5 teaspoons of sugar for adults each day) would be reasonable. Nevertheless, this is still provisory guidance and the enactment of this as a health policy must be addressed. Diabetic people will profit from more normal blood glucose levels if sugar consumption can be reduced to subordinate levels. (13)

  • Complicated carbs like glycogen, starch, and dextrin take a lengthy time to break down sugar and consequently proves a better alternative for people with diabetes. Examples are fiber-rich foods like oats, salads, whole wheat products, and grains. (14, 15)
  • The main function of protein is tissue development and management of different hormones and enzymes. 60-70 % of the proteins get converted into glucose and penetrates the blood bloodstream after 3-4 hours. (16, 17)
  • Proteins are one of the three energy-providing macronutrients simultaneously with fat and carbohydrates. 1gram protein supplies four kcals, which is comparable to that of carbs. (18, 19)

Nevertheless, the disadvantage to the carb-free or very-low-carb diets is that in eliminating all or many carbohydrates, you do so at the expense of some healthfuller carbs, which are discovered in vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains such as whole-grain bread, and brown rice.

One effective way to measure carbs is the glycemic index (GI), a test of how fast blood sugar rises when you eat particular foods. Low GI foods have a small impact on blood glucose and include most whole grains and veggies, collectively with many fruits. High GI increases blood glucose instantly; these foods contain white, processed grains/starches, soda, and juices. (20, 21)

  • Proteins are the construction bricks of our bodies. Numerous studies have revealed that if proteins are added to meals of diabetic people, they regulate the breakdown of glucose from it. (22)
  • Better blood glucose and weight control handle result from diets rich in high-protein, low-carbohydrate. The benefit of the high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets is that it reduces a whole level of nutrients. In this context, carbohydrates are lower in calories and so they end in weight loss. This weight loss can prove helpful to those with a BMI above 27. (23)
  • Taking high protein consumption and strict restriction of carbohydrates, water deposited with glycogen (carbohydrate) is discharged, which gives faster outcomes. Nevertheless, stored fat is not misplaced. Fasting ketosis may also occur due to loss of appetite. (24)
  • Nevertheless, limiting carbohydrates to less than 20grams in a meal can lead to ketosis. Ketosis is a state in which due to less supply of carbs for energy creation, fats start to break down for meeting the energy requirements and begin creating ketone in the body. (25, 26)
  • This situation can be deadly for people with diabetes and can cause Diabetic ketosis leading to diabetic coma and, perhaps, death. (27)
  • Shun any kind of fad diets insisting weight loss in 7 days or superfoods for diabetics since they can lead to health deterioration. (28)
  • Moreover, with a large-protein diet, weight is dropped, insulin needs to collapse, and blood glucose and sometimes even lipid amounts often develop. (29)

The active, higher jolt in blood glucose from high GI foods causes higher insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that induces appetite by conveying the sugar from your blood and delivering it to your cells to use as energy or deposited as fat. Since the blood glucose from high GI foods leaves faster (it is transforming into fat), these foods induce less fullness and fulfillment, which may end in greater caloric consumption, overeating, and, eventually, weight addition. (30)

Low Carb Snacks Recommended for Diabetics

While the food arrangements for low-carb diets range based on the plan, here is a survey of the foods you’d usually eat and shun when following a common low-carb diet.

Foods to consider: (31, 32)

  • Meat, such as lamb, chicken, beef, and pork, (0 g carbs every 3 ounces [oz))
  • Seafood and fish, like shrimp (0 g carbs every 3 oz) 
  • Eggs (0 g carbs for each egg) 
  • Cheese, like cheddar (1 g carbs for 1 oz)
  • Olives (2 g carbs for every 10 small olives) 
  • Oil, like olive oil, and coconut oil, and canola oil (0 g carbs for each tablespoon [tbsp])
  • Butter (0 g carbs every tbsp) 
  • Cream (0.4 g carbs every tbsp) 
  • Greek yogurt (8 g carbs every 7 oz, moderate fat) 
  • Cottage cheese (6 g carbs for each cup, moderate fat) 
  • Nuts, like almonds (6 g carbs for each oz) 
  • Berries, like raspberries (15 g carbs for each cup) 
  • Melon, like cantaloupe (13 g carbs for each cup)
  • Avocado (9 g carbs every half) 
  • Dark chocolate (13 g carbs for each oz) 
  • Nonstarchy vegetables: zucchini (4 g carbs for each cup), cabbage (5 g carbs for each cup), broccoli (6 g carbs for each cup), Brussels sprouts (8 g carbs for each cup), leafy greens (like spinach, for example, at 1 g carbs each cup), and tomatoes (7 g carbs each cup)

Foods to shun:

As part of a healthy, low-carb diet, people should resist or restrain intake of the following: (33, 34)

  • processed foods, such as salty snacks and  prepackaged meals 
  • sugar-rich foods, such as pastries, cakes, candies, cookies, juices and sodas
  • starches, especially bagels or white bread 
  • alcoholic drinks
  • potatoes, comprising potato chips
  • other starchy vegetables
  • white pasta.

Beans,whole-grain bread, and lentils are also high in carbs, but they can be an essential part of a healthy diet. Eat these foods in moderateness or as an alternative for unhealthy carbs, such as pies and cakes.

How do Carbs Impact People With Diabetes?

A low-carb diet may be one of the most influential diabetes management methods, particularly for people who might be able to ignore medication.

Carbs improve blood glucose more than any other food. For people with insulin resistance, blood glucose may continue soaring for hours after consuming carbs.

For those with type 1 diabetes who do not generate sufficient insulin, carbs can also cause blood glucose increases, so a low-carb diet may assist people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. (35)

Study reveals that people who consume carb-rich foods may also feel more hunger between meals, causing them to eat like a horse.

A low-carb diet may also:

  • provide more energy for a person
  • reduce average blood glucose or HbA1c levels
  • decrease food cravings, primarily for sugar
  • reduce the threat of hypoglycemia
  • support weight loss actions
  • reduce the risk of long-term diabetes intricacies
  • reduce cholesterol.


Medication decrease may be crucial, and you may initially need to examine your blood glucose more often when consuming to regulate diabetes. (36, 37)

Please follow up with your healthcare provider for medical recommendations before fixing your diet to deal with diabetes. If you are searching for a healthcare provider knowledgeable about low-carb nutrition.

If you feel fatigued, have severe nausea, dizziness, or weakness, please take it seriously as these can be indications of dangerously low blood sugar. Possibilities include testing your blood sugar, consuming carbs or sugar for a short-term fix, and reaching your healthcare provider for further advice.


A high protein low carbohydrate diet indicates positive results in sustaining blood glucose levels in diabetic people. Nevertheless, one should not absorb less than 20 grams of carbs, or else one can develop diabetic ketosis. If taken for extended periods can result in weight loss, so as per case quantity and quality of carbs should be supervised. Plant-based or animal-based proteins indicate no distinct impact on blood sugar levels. Still, plant-based proteins are prudent than animal proteins because numerous animal proteins can cause dyslipidemia.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is there a threat of muscle loss on low-carb diets?

Many diets pose this danger, but the high protein and ketone levels help minimize this situation.

It is always advised for anyone to partake in regular muscle and strength training as part of a generally healthy lifestyle.

 Low carb consumption can cause urine to smell fruity? Is this true?

It occurs, but it is not an issue. It is just the outcome of the excretion of byproducts generated during ketosis.

Will I feel tired and weak?

I have heard different and you will likely encounter more energy and feel less tired while on a low-carb diet.

If you do feel tired and weak, you might contemplate boosting your electrolytes or intensifying your carb intake by a few grams each day.