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High Protein Snacks for Diabetics

author image Natalie Stein
Natalie Stein specializes in weight loss and sports nutrition. She is based in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Stein holds a master of science degree in nutrition and a master of public health degree from Michigan State University.
High Protein Snacks for Diabetics
Whole wheat rye bread with tuna on a cutting board. Photo Credit: Mizina/iStock/Getty Images

If you have diabetes, your body does not metabolize carbohydrates properly, and you have high blood sugar levels. A carbohydrate-controlled diet can help you manage your blood sugar levels, and healthy, high-protein snacks can help you stick to such a meal plan. The American Diabetes Association suggests including a source of protein at each meal.

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Unsweetened Yogurt

An 8-ounce container of fat-free plain yogurt contains 13 grams of protein, or 26 percent of the daily value for an individual on a 2,000-calorie diet. Consuming more low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt, may help you manage your diabetes. Yogurt is a good source of calcium, which helps build and maintain strong bones. For a high-protein, low-carbohydrate snack, have plain, fat-free yogurt with cut vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower florets or snow peas.

Tuna Fish

A 3-ounce serving of canned light tuna in water provides 16.5 grams of protein. Canned tuna and tuna in a pouch are ready-to-eat foods that you can store without refrigeration at home or work. Tuna provides omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your risk for heart disease when you consume them regularly. This benefit is important for diabetics because diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. Have tuna on a slice of whole-wheat bread with lettuce and tomatoes.

Turkey Roll-Ups

Sliced turkey breast contains 4.7 grams of protein per ounce and only 28 calories. Take a few slices of turkey and spread them with part-skim ricotta cheese, which provides 14 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving. Place avocado slices, which provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, on the cheese. Roll up each turkey breast slice around the cheese and avocado for your snack. Vary the snack by using fat-free cottage cheese or slices of low-fat Swiss cheese instead of ricotta.

Cottage Cheese

A 4-ounce serving of nonfat cottage cheese provides 12 grams of protein, and it is a source of calcium. Consume your cottage cheese with 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds or an ounce of nuts, which add healthy unsaturated fats. Cottage cheese also goes well with celery sticks, cucumber slices, berries and melon. Choose reduced-fat cottage cheese instead of regular to reduce your consumption of saturated fat, which raises cholesterol and further increases your risk for heart disease.

Beans and Low-Fat Cheese

One-half cup of fat-free refried beans contains 6 grams of protein, and an ounce of nonfat cheddar cheese has 9 grams. Melt shredded reduced-fat cheese onto fat-free refried, black, pinto or other beans, and top it with salsa or fat-free yogurt if you want. You can eat your beans and cheese on their own, or you can use a lettuce leaf to wrap the dish. Choose low-sodium canned beans or cook dried beans to reduce the sodium content of this high-protein snack.

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