What Snacks to Pack for the Hike

It can be challenging for a diabetic to decide what food to bring on a long hike. Not only do you want to pick foods that will treat your lows and keep your blood sugar numbers stable, but you also want to choose foods that will fuel your body and keep you energized along the way!

As a Diabetic Health Coach and someone who’s fire lights up inside them when they’re in the mountains hiking, I wanted to share a few tips I have for what snacks to pack for your next adventure!

Lauren Bongiorno is a health coach and avid athlete. She offers her nutritional tips for diabetics on the trail.

Lauren Bongiorno is a health coach and avid athlete. She offers her nutritional tips for diabetics on the trail.

Whatever hike I’ve done in the past, whether it’s been Yosemite National Park in California, Cinque Terra in Italy, or the Atlas Mountains in Africa, just to name a few, I pretty much pack the same foods for each. They are a bunch of mini snacks that I pack in my backpack, all designated for certain parts of the hike.

The foods I usually pack are:

  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich on Ezekiel bread and/or a Hummus and Arugula sandwich on Ezekiel bread
  • Carrot sticks
  • Keep Healthy Low Glycemic Snack Bars
  • Homemade Trail mix: Goji Berries, Almonds, Brazilian Nuts, Cashews
  • Fruit: Apples and Bananas
  • Protein shake (I bring a shaker bottle with Vega Sport Protein Powder mixed in water)
  • Large bag of dates
  • Coconut water
  • Glucose tablets

Notes on the food:

Lauren designed the Keep Healthy low-glycemic bars with the T1D community in mind. Check out this diabetic warrior on Insta (@Lauren_Bongiorno)

Lauren designed the Keep Healthy low-glycemic bars with the T1D community in mind. Check out this diabetic warrior on Insta (@Lauren_Bongiorno)

Many people use glucose tablets for their lows but I prefer to use dates and coconut water (glucose tabs= last resort). I choose real NATURAL sugars to bring me up that also give electrolytes and a bunch of vitamins and minerals! If I’m hovering around 65/70 I’ll go for the coconut water and if I’m lower than that I’ll have a few dates since the glycemic index on those is higher and I’ll go up faster!

Snack bars are a huge savior to have on hikes. Many bars use brown rice syrup as the sweetener which is a huge blood sugar spiker and on the other hand, many “Low carb” bars have a ton of sugar alcohols and other chemicals in them. After years of being frustrated by the under impressive choices, I decided to create my own bars! My Keep Healthy Low Glycemic Protein bars have 12 grams of protein and the perfect carb to fat ratio to keep your blood sugars from shooting down or up. They are Gluten- Free, Vegan, Non-Gmo and Organic!  You can find them here: http://keephealthyinc.com/collections/organic-low-glycemic-bars

If you are hiking for a while, you might notice you will become more insulin sensitive and have that feeling of “I just can’t get my sugar up!!!” That is why I recommend having snacks that pair carbs with fat and protein to give you that extended energy. I like pairing fruit with nuts, bread with peanut butter, really mixing and matching any of the foods above!

At the end of the day, it comes down to being prepared and choosing the best foods to keep your blood sugar numbers stable so you can ENJOY the hike!!

Lauren Bongiorno is an online Diabetic Health Coach, Yoga and Bootcamp Instructor and Nike Influencer. She is also a member of the Beyond Type 1 Global Ambassador Council and the co-creator of the newly launched Keep Healthy Low Glycemic Protein Bars. Lauren lives by the motto "Decide and Conquer" and is passionate about helping others take control of their lives and not letting their challenges define them. Be sure to follow Lauren on Instagram @Lauren_bongiorno for all the NYC yoga, fitness, travel, and journey as a young health and wellness entrepreneur.