Last modified on April 23rd, 2023
To find the best packaged snacks for diabetes, you want to make sure they’ll satisfy your cravings without spiking your blood sugar. In this post, we’ll cover what to look for in packaged snacks for diabetes for better blood sugars. You’ll also learn what I consider to be the best packaged snacks for diabetes as a dietitian living with type 1 diabetes.
***Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way. All of the snacks listed, I’ve personally tried or have listened to the opinions of close relations with diabetes and wish to share my findings with others. With that being said, if you end up purchasing a snack from any of my links in this post, I may earn a small commission through the Amazon Affiliate Program at no extra cost to you.***
What to look for in a packaged snack for diabetes?
When choosing a packaged snack, take a peek at the nutrition label on the back. For better blood sugar control, aim to pick a snack with the following traits if possible:
- Has at least 3 grams of fiber or 3 grams of protein
- Contains around 20 grams of carbs per serving
- Relatively low in added sugar compared to the total carbohydrate amount
- Contains whole grains if applicable
And of course, there will always be times where you’ll pick a snack that isn’t made up of these traits. No worries! These are simply guidelines I use most of the time, NOT all of the time, to choose a snack that won’t drastically spike my blood sugar. Nutrition should never be approached as all-or-nothing. Many people feel that if they don’t eat “healthy” 100% of the time, why bother at all?
That’s like saying, if my blood sugars aren’t perfect 100% of the time, why bother caring about my diabetes at all? Although, I do know at times everyone with diabetes may feel that way! My point is, consider what foods/snacks you enjoy but also learn what foods can help keep blood sugars balanced. Then, decide when and how often you want stable blood sugars.
Now, let’s review the best packaged snacks for diabetes. All of the categories listed will include multiple blood sugar friendly packaged snacks.
Select an option from the menu below to see my choices.
Best crackers for diabetes
If possible, I always try to ensure the crackers I’m eating are mostly made with whole grains or nuts and seeds. This helps boost the fiber content and keep blood sugars a little more stable.
Crunchmaster Multigrain Crackers: The name speaks for itself. These crackers are very crunchy and pair well with dip or hummus. This company also makes several different flavors.
Lance Whole Grain Cheddar Cheese Crackers: These are great snack crackers to take on-the-go. Each package contains 6 sandwich crackers and only 19 grams of carbs.
Simple Mills Almond Flour Sundried Tomato & Basil Crackers: I really enjoy this cracker as it’s different than your standard cheese or sea salt flavors. Simple Mills also makes other flavors, and the base ingredients are a nut and seed flour blend.
Blue Diamond Cheddar Cheese Almond Nut Thins: These crackers are for all you cheddar cheese lovers. And while they are made from almonds, you don’t really taste the almonds.
Whisps Cheese Crips: This brand makes “crackers” out of baked cheese. They’re very low carb and high in protein. I love putting them in salads for an added crunch.
Quest Nutrition Cheese Crackers: Quest Nutrition recently started selling individual serving packages of crackers. These are close in taste to “Cheez It” but lower in carbs and higher in protein.
Best chips for diabetes
Even though certain chips may have fiber and protein, it’s still important to measure portions or choose a single serving bag. Chips are delicious and something you can easily keep eating without realizing how many carbs you’re consuming.
Harvest Snaps: My favorite way to get in fiber and protein as this snack is made from green peas. They come in a variety of flavors and as a bonus, they’re gluten-free!
Enjoy Life Dill and Sour Cream Lentil Chips: I really like how the serving size for these lentil chips is 17 grams of carbs for 28 chips. I like to feel as though I can enjoy more than just a few chips at a time. These are also gluten and dairy free if you’re needing that as well.
Off the Eaten Path: Without reading the ingredient label, you wouldn’t know these chips are made from peas, chickpeas, or black beans. They’re salty and crunchy, perfect for dips or adding to salads.
HIPPEAS Nacho Chickpea Puffs: Another chip brand you wouldn’t know are made from chickpeas without reading the label. The protein and fiber amount in these are perfect for keeping blood sugars more stable. I LOVE the nacho flavor, but they also have other flavors.
Quest Loaded Taco Protein Chips: Quest Nutrition makes a variety of high protein, lower carb snacks, like these chips. These add great flavor and crunch to taco salads. They also have other flavors like Cheddar & Sour Cream, BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion, Chili Lime, Spicy Sweet Chili, and Hot & Spicy.
Jackson’s Sweet Potato Chips: These chips are a bit higher in carbs per serving, but they taste amazing and contain a decent amount of fiber. They’re made with three simple ingredients: sweet potatoes, oil, and sea salt.
Best snack bars for diabetes
Perfect Bar Snack Size Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter: When I want a snack bar that is a little more “dense” in terms of filling me up, this is my go-to. I enjoy having one or two bars with coffee as one snack bar contains 9 grams of carbs and 6 grams of protein. They are made to be stored in the fridge or freezer but can be fresh on the go for one week. You can also find them in full size bars.
FITCRUNCH Snack Size Protein Bars: I definitely wouldn’t compare these to a candy bar, but the layers in these bars are not found in most protein bars. With the multiple layers of chocolate and nougat type filling, you’ll be surprised to find these bars contain only 14 grams of carbs. This brand also makes full size bars.
KIND Healthy Grains Bars: One of my absolute favorite bar companies is KIND. These bars are delicious on their own or crumbled on top of Greek yogurt.
The Gluten Free Bar Protein Bars: These bars have been described as tasty, moist, and satisfying. They contain a good ratio of carbs and protein which makes them a perfect blood-sugar-friendly snack.
Simple Mills Spiced Carrot Cake Bars: If you like the spice flavor of carrot cake, you’ll enjoy these bars. The base is made up of nut flour and seeds to help increase their fiber and protein content.
Larabar Blueberry Muffin Fruit & Nut Bar: Of all the Larabar flavors, this one is my favorite. It really does have a strong blueberry muffin flavor vibe. It’s also made with just 5 ingredients: cashews, dates, apples, blueberries, and vanilla extract.
Best popcorn for diabetes
When considering the best popcorn for diabetes, I try and be mindful of portion sizes with sweet vs. savory flavors. In general, you can eat around 3 cups of popped popcorn for about 15 grams of carbs. Plus, it’s a great source of fiber.
LesserEvil Organic Popcorn: This popcorn is made using coconut oil which surprisingly gives it a mild, savory type flavor. My favorite flavor is No Cheese Cheesiness.
Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn: When you want a little something sweet, check out this kettle corn. The individual bags help with portion control and contain 18 grams of carbs.
Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn: This is easily one of my favorite white cheddar flavored popcorns. This brand also makes single serving bags and different flavors.
Quinn Organic Microwave Popcorn: Quinn makes some of the best microwave popcorn I’ve ever tasted. Their flavors are unique and range from savory to sweet. You do have to add the included oil and seasoning to the popcorn, but this allows for a more personalized flavor intensity.
Pop Daddy Dill Pickle Popcorn: If you love the tang of pickles, this brand’s flavor is definitely for you.
Wise Snacks Butter Popcorn: When you want just a classic butter flavor, this popcorn comes in single serving, ready-to-eat bags.
Best cold cereal for diabetes
Sometimes, cereal just sounds goods for a snack. Most cereals tend to spike my blood sugar unless I take my insulin 20-25 minutes beforehand. Choosing a cereal with whole grains ensures it has a good amount of fiber and protein per serving, which is a bit better for blood sugars.
Arrowhead Mills Puffed Corn: One cup of this cereal contains only 12 grams of carbs. The texture is similar to that of Kellog’s Corn Pops. Since it’s made with one ingredient, puffed corn, it doesn’t taste sweet. I like adding flavored protein powder with milk to give it a little sweetness and protein. You can even use this as a topping for your favorite Greek yogurt.
Barbara’s Puffins Original Cereal: If you’re looking for a cereal that’s mildly sweet, this is it. This brand also makes sweeter flavors which contain a little fiber and protein.
Three Wishes Breakfast Cereal: High protein, low sugar cereal is becoming quite the popular trend these days. This brand is a gluten and grain-free cereal made using chickpeas. It has 20 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein per 1 cup serving.
RX Bar Protein Peanut Butter Granola: Since this is a granola, it is going to have a smaller serving size. I love eating this alone as a snack or using it to top Greek yogurt or smoothies.
Kix: This brand’s original flavor is another mildly sweet tasting cereal. I love that there is only 4 grams of added sugar per serving compared to the 9-14 grams you would find in other cold cereals.
Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch: This cereal is an excellent source of fiber, but it tastes pretty sweet for a “plain” cereal. It contains 10 grams of added sugar and 45 grams of carbs per serving, so just be sure to measure the amount you’re having.
Snacks for children with diabetes
If your child has diabetes, they probably get tired of eating things like cheese and lunch meat for snacks. Check out the links below for different snacks that have a good balance of carbs and protein.
GoMacro Kids Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bar: This is the smaller version of the brand’s original bar. They remind me of a very soft and chewy granola bar with a little extra protein. One bar contains 14 grams of carbs and 4 grams of protein.
GoGo SqueeZ YogurtZ: These are super easy to throw in your kiddos lunch box. Instead of just fruit, these pouches also contain yogurt for a bit of added protein. One pouch contains 15 grams of carbs and 4 grams of protein.
Cheez-It Cheese Crackers: I linked the individual serving pouches for convenience, but you could also buy a box and portion them too! This is such a yummy, classic snack that has 16 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein per pouch.
KIND Cereal Bars: While these bars are a bit higher in carbs, they do contain 5-6 grams of fiber and are more filling than your typical cereal bar.
Blake’s Seed Based Chewy Granola Bars-Birthday Cake: With only 17 grams of carbs per bar, these make excellent snacks to take to school as they are free of the top 9 allergens.
Orchard Valley Harvest Chocolate Raisin Trail Mix: Some trail mix can be pretty high in carbs and sugar. This option is lower in carbs and comes in an easy, single serving to-go package.
Best snacks for low blood sugar
The best snacks for low blood sugar will actually have little to no protein or fiber. We first want to treat a low blood sugar with something that will turn to sugar quickly during digestion.
TALA Freeze Dried Mango: I love this option for dried fruit as you don’t have to worry about portion sizes. One package contains 23 grams of carbs and the crunchy texture makes it easy to eat quickly.
Black Forest Fruit Snacks: 17 grams of quick digesting carbs in every pouch. I keep some in my purse, laptop bag, drawer at work, and coat pocket.
GoGo SqueeZ Applesauce: Another perfectly portioned, quick digesting snack to raise your blood sugar fast.
Nature Nate’s Raw and Unfiltered Honey Minis Packets: These single serve honey packets are also travel friendly and contain 12 grams of fast-acting carbs.
Lucky Charms Breakfast Cereal Treat Bars: Dry cereal is one of my favorite options for treating a low. These bars make it even more convenient to use cereal for low blood sugars. There are other flavors too, I just personally love Lucky Charms!
Kellog’s Rice Krispies Treats: Another perfectly portioned snack that contains fast-acting carbs and is easy to take on the go.
Sweet snacks for diabetes
This category typically won’t meet the fiber and protein guidelines, but the products are made from quality ingredients and not super high in carbs.
Simple Mills Sweet Thins Cookies: The texture of these cookies reminds me of a shortbread type cookie. They’re made from a seed and nut flour base, and the carb count is 19-20 grams of carbs for 12 cookies. My favorite so far has been the Mint Chocolate Chip.
Homefree Mini Lemon Burst Cookies: We all need a yummy lemon-flavored cookie once in a while. Because these are minis, 8 cookies contain 21 grams of carbs.
Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almonds: A perfectly portioned, low-carb, sweet snack. What’s not to love?
SkinnyDipped Lemon Bliss Yogurt Covered Almonds: Another sweet almond snack, but if you like lemon flavored things, you must try these! This brand uses a thin layer of sweet yogurt coating to keep the carb amount low.
KIND Frozen Mint Chocolate Almond Bar: One of my favorite mint ice cream treats. 16 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein for one bar makes it even better.
Blue Bunny Mini Swirls: More often than not, if I’m choosing ice cream as a snack, it’s going to be a mini version of something. This keeps the carb count low and blood sugars more stable.
After reading this post, I hope you find a new blood-sugar friendly snack. Let me know what snacks you eat if you have diabetes in the comments below. And as always, feel free to share this post with anyone who might find it helpful!
If you want more information about diabetes nutrition, check out my other resources:
- Carb Counting Cheat Sheet
- Free eBook: Eating With Diabetes: A Guide for Beginners
- 5 Best Coffee Creamers for Diabetes: A Dietitian’s Review
Megan is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, and a Certified Insulin Pump Trainer. She has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Iowa State University. She has had type 1 diabetes since she was 11 years old and has taught diabetes education for many years.