If you are a family caregiver that looks out for an elderly relative, you have your hands full with all their daily needs. From dressing and grooming, to housekeeping and meal prep, there are a number of things to manage for your loved one. Even if you have hired a senior care provider to help, your responsibilities are numerous. When you add diabetes into the mix, it can further complicate your aging relative’s care plan.
However, diabetes in the elderly can be successfully managed through regular doctor visits, exercise, and a healthy diet. One key factor in your elderly relative’s diabetes-friendly diet is healthy snacking habits. The problem is that far too many family caregivers and elderly adults don’t know the difference between healthy snacks and harmful ones for diabetics.
What Snacks Are Harmful to Diabetics?
Because the food you eat has a direct impact on blood glucose levels, it’s important to have elderly adults eat smaller amounts more frequently instead of three big meals per day. As the family caregiver, you and the senior care provider are most likely responsible for grocery shopping and meal prep. But are you bringing home the best snacks for your aging relative’s diabetes?
Here are 10 snacks that people with diabetes should avoid:
- Granola bars.
- Candy bars.
- Potato chips.
- Ice cream.
- Processed foods.
- French fries.
- Sweetened yogurt.
- Fruit drinks.
Not only are these snacks filled with sugar, sodium, and fat, but they do nothing to help keep blood glucose levels steady. Seniors with diabetes that indulge in these kinds of snacks have little hope of reducing the harmful health effects of diabetes.
What Snacks are Healthy for Diabetics?
The good news is that there are plenty of healthy snacks that elderly adults with diabetes can indulge in. Medical experts recommend snacks that are high in protein and fiber and low in sugar and sodium. When these foods are eaten in between healthy meals, a person’s blood sugar levels remain stable throughout the day.
Here’s a list of 10 snacks that are ideal for people with diabetes:
- Fresh fruit.
- Raw veggies and hummus.
- Nut butter and whole wheat bread.
- Low-fat cheese sticks.
- Tuna salad and whole wheat crackers.
- Protein shakes and smoothies (no sugar).
- Trail mix.
- Hard-boiled eggs.
- Baked sweet potato.
- Turkey roll-ups.
Of course, portion sizes play a big part in keeping these healthy snacks in the helpful rather than harmful zone. Too much of any type of food can reduce the healthy effects. However, if elderly adults with diabetes use the right kinds of snacks throughout the day, they will notice a big difference in their blood sugar levels.
It’s up to family caregivers, with the help of senior care providers, to ensure their aging loved one is not just surviving with diabetes but thriving. Keeping healthy and diabetes-friendly snacks on hand can make all the difference when it comes to managing this common disease.
If you or an aging family member are considering professional senior care in Amityville, NY, please call the caring staff at A Gentle Touch Senior Home and Health Care at 631-647-7622 today.