The #1 Best Blood Sugar Snack, Says Dietitian

It’s no secret that controlling your blood sugar levels is important, especially for those who are pre-diabetic or managing a diabetes diagnosis. Unstable blood sugar levels over time have even been linked to heart disease, vision loss and kidney disease. Since food directly affects blood sugar, choosing what to eat can seem daunting—even when it comes to choosing an afternoon snack.

However, health experts recommend snacking for consistent levels, particularly snacks that have a healthy balance of macronutrients. We asked Lisa Young, PhD, RDNits author Finally Full, Finally Slim and a member of our panel of medical experts to share with us the best snack to eat if you want to stabilize your blood sugar—and it’s surprisingly easy to get.

“The best snack for your sugar is an apple with your favorite nut butter,” says Young. “The fruit provides fiber and the nut butter provides protein and fat, the perfect combination to keep your blood sugar stable.”

Read on and for more healthy eating tips check out the #1 best berry for high blood sugar.

Protein, fat and fiber keep your levels stable.

Apples and peanut butter

Apples and peanut butter

It’s important to get enough of the three main macronutrients in your diet—carbohydrates, protein, and fat. However, eating a lot of carbohydrates is what causes your levels to rise because carbohydrates are converted to sugar during digestion and carried into the bloodstream. While reducing your carbohydrate intake helps manage blood sugar levels, eating enough protein and fat can also help keep glucose levels stable.

Protein has minimal effect on blood sugar levels, according to Joslin Diabetes. Foods high in protein can take up to four hours to digest, which is a much slower process than carbohydrates. Fat (the healthy kind, like what you’ll find in nuts and nut butters) also slows digestion, creating a delayed rise in glucose levels because it takes longer to digest.

Although not technically a macronutrient, fiber is an important carbohydrate component that also benefits those looking to manage their glucose levels. Fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, making high-fiber snacks a healthier option for blood sugar management.

Eat this, not that

Eat this, not that

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Apple and peanut butter are a satisfying combination.

This winning combination of fiber, protein and fat are all present when you nibble on an apple with nut butter. The fiber comes from the apple—a medium-sized apple contains 4.4 grams of fiber, which is 17% of the recommended daily value (DV). If you choose peanut butter, you get an additional 2 grams of fiber per serving (2 tablespoons) along with 8 grams of protein (16% DV) and 16 grams of fat (24% DV).

Although some health gurus would argue that almond butter is better for you, these two popular nut butters are very similar nutritionally. Almond butter will contain slightly less protein (7 grams per 2 tablespoons), but more fiber at over 3 grams. The fat number is the same.

Whichever type of nut butter you decide on, it’s still a strong source of protein and fat that will complement the fiber-rich apple, keeping your blood sugar levels stable and leaving you feeling full for hours to come.

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