Most people just think of snacks as something to calm a grumbling tummy, serve to children at preschool or to have when one is bored.
However, snacks are a key part of successfully managing diabetes, especially in the elderly. Family caregivers that are responsible for an aging loved one with diabetes must learn about the advantages of healthy snacks as part of their elderly relative’s diet and how successful snacking can actually help them stay healthy and energetic.
Diabetes and Seniors
Elderly adults have a high risk of developing diabetes especially if they have a lifetime of poor eating habits and a family history of the disease. Other risk factors include a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and age. In fact, 1 in 4 elderly Americans over the age of 60 have developed diabetes. It occurs when the body no longer produces insulin to control blood glucose levels. Diet, exercise, and medication are the only ways to control it.
If diabetes is not properly treated, it can lead to serious health problems. These include high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, blindness, circulation complications and in some cases, a coma. The best hope for elderly adults with diabetes is to develop a healthy lifestyle that includes diabetes-friendly snacks that keep blood glucose levels stable.
When it comes to diabetes-friendly snacks, not just any food will do. Medical experts recommend snacks that are high in protein and fiber and low in sodium and sugar. Seniors should eat snacks every few hours and pair them with plenty of water to drink. Elderly adults that depend on family caregivers and senior care providers to do the grocery shopping and meal prep should make sure the snacks are the best choices for controlling diabetes symptoms.
Here is a list of diabetes-friendly snacks that are ideal for seniors with the disease:
- Fresh fruit, not canned
- Nuts and legumes
- Peanut butter whole wheat toast
- Plain yogurt with fresh fruit
- Raw vegetables and dip
- Trail mix
- Protein shakes
- Fruit smoothies (no sugar)
- Tuna or chicken salad and wheat crackers
- Carrots or celery and hummus
- Veggie chips
- String cheese
- Beef sticks
- Baked sweet potato
The types of snacks to avoid include those with lots of sugar, fat, sodium and carbs.
Highly processed food is also unhealthy and bad for diabetics. Family caregivers should keep portion sizes in mind, even for the healthy snacks because too much of any food isn’t good for seniors with diabetes.
There are so many things that elderly adults can eat for healthy snacks that will keep blood glucose levels stabilized. Family caregivers need to educate themselves and their aging loved ones on the right kinds of snack, as well as when and how much to have so that they can successfully manage the effects of this devastating disease.
If you or a loved-one are considering Senior care in Arlington, VA, please contact the caring staff at Quality Health Services LLC. Call today 703-910-7081