Managing diabetes is a real challenge for anyone, but elderly people may have a more difficult time for many reasons. The disease is very common in aging adults, with nearly a quarter of all seniors in the United States struggling with diabetes. If it is not managed properly, diabetes can lead to all kinds of health issues, from high blood pressure and kidney damage to blindness and circulation problems.
Seniors who depend on family caregivers and senior care providers in their daily lives also depend on them to help manage their diabetes, especially when it comes to healthy snacks.
Why Snacks Are Important to Diabetics
It may seem hard to believe, but healthy snacks are a key part in managing diabetes. When blood sugar levels are stable, the symptoms of diabetes are less severe. Controlling those levels is best achieved by diet and exercise. Instead of eating just three meals per day, diabetics add healthy snacks in between he meals. With the right snacks, seniors can maintain stable levels and avoid the spikes that can cause the body so much harm.
Family caregivers and senior care providers have a lot of influence on what snacks are in the home, especially if they are the ones doing the grocery shopping. Having healthy snacks on hand and given to the elderly person at the right times throughout the day will definitely have a big impact on managing their diabetes.
The Best and Worst Snacks
The best guideline for choosing diabetic snacks is that they should be high in protein and fiber, and low in sugar and sodium. Here’s a list of some of the best snacks for seniors with diabetes.
- Fresh fruit
- Tuna salad and whole wheat crackers
- Peanut butter whole wheat toast
- Plain yogurt and berries
- Protein shake
- Trail mix
- Veggie chips
- Apple slices or celery sticks with nut butter
- Turkey roll-ups
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Raw vegetables and hummus
- Oatmeal and berries
- Sweet potato
- Sugar-free smoothies
Some of the worst snacks for diabetes can trigger blood sugar levels to jump up or down, sending seniors into an unhealthy cycle that may take hours to stabilize. Unfortunately, some of the worst snacks are also among the easiest to grab, so it’s important for family caregivers and senior care providers to stock the refrigerator and cupboards with health alternatives.
Here are some of the snacks that seniors with diabetes should avoid at all costs:
- Candy bars
- Sweetened yogurt and pudding
- Potato chips
- French fries
- White bread and white rice
- Granola bars
- Fried meat
- Highly processed food
- Fruit drinks
Medical experts recommend that those with diabetes space their meals out evenly throughout the day and eat several small snacks in between those meals. Portion sizes are important for the snacks, because even a healthy food can become problematic if there’s too much of it.
When it comes to managing diabetes, family caregivers and senior care providers can work with the elderly adult to ensure that healthy snacks play a big part in keeping it under control.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Jackson, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
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