Are late-night snacks a no-no for people who have diabetes?

Answer From M. Regina Castro, M.D.

If you have diabetes, late-night snacks aren't necessarily off-limits — but it's important to make wise choices.

Late-night snacks add extra calories, which can lead to weight gain. And if you snack after your evening meal — especially if the foods contain carbohydrates — you may wake up the next morning with a high blood sugar level.

If you're hungry after dinner, choose a "free" food, such as:

  • One sugar-free frozen cream pop
  • Five baby carrots
  • One cup of light popcorn
  • A small handful of goldfish-style crackers
  • A can of diet soda

Or swap the snack for a piece of gum or small hard candy. These "free" foods have few, if any, carbohydrates and calories, so they won't contribute to weight gain or increased blood sugar.

If you take insulin or other diabetes medications and feel that you must snack before bedtime to prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) during the night, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend adjusting the dose of your medications to prevent the need for a late-night snack.


M. Regina Castro, M.D.

Sept. 13, 2016 See more Expert Answers