If your elderly relative is struggling with diabetes, they are not alone. More than a quarter of elderly Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and the challenges that they and their family caregiver face in managing the disease are significant. A big part of successfully managing diabetes is to ensure that your aging loved one has access to regular diabetes-friendly snacks. Healthy snacks can help stabilize blood glucose levels and minimize the effects of the disease.
What is Diabetes in Seniors Like?
Diabetes is a disease that stems from high levels of blood glucose that occurs when the pancreas no longer makes enough insulin to control it. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and usually develops in middle age or old age. When diabetes is not properly treated, it can lead to numerous health issues, from heart disease and blindness to kidney failure and even a coma.
Seniors have an especially difficult time with diabetes because they frequently have a more sedentary lifestyle and don’t have as much control over their diet as younger adults might. Aging and genetics are also contributors to developing diabetes. For seniors who depend on family caregivers and senior care providers for help with their day-to-day personal care, it’s important to have everyone adhere to a strict diabetic care plan.
How Do Snacks Help Diabetes?
For an elderly person with diabetes, snacks are much more than a way to hold on until dinner. Healthy snacks are a key part of successfully managing those blood sugar levels. Too much time between meals can leave the glucose levels fluctuating rapidly. The purpose of healthy, diabetes-friendly snacks is to avoid sugar spikes and give the elderly person the energy they need to stay active and involved.
Most medical experts recommend eating healthy snacks every few hours and focusing on those that contain protein. The best snacks contain a mixture of protein, fiber, and some carbohydrates. Portion sizes matter as well, because even the healthiest snack can become a bad idea if the elderly person eats too much of it. Family caregivers and senior care providers can help elderly adults with diabetes to regulate when and how much they eat for snacks.
Tips on Snacks for Diabetic Seniors
Some of the best snack options for diabetics include light popcorn, fresh fruit and cheese, peanut butter whole wheat toast, hard boiled egg, plain yogurt with berries, trail mix, hummus and carrots, veggie chips, beef sticks, almonds, baked sweet potato, and protein shakes. When eaten every few hours between meals, these healthy snacks can provide exactly what the body needs to stabilize the blood glucose levels throughout the day. Seniors should avoid starchy snacks, fried food, highly processed snacks and those with lots of sugar and fat.
Elderly adults with diabetes may not be able to manage the disease on their own. That’s where supportive family caregivers and senior care providers can step in and ensure they have everything they need to thrive despite their diabetes.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Northfield, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare In-Home Care & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
- How Does Physical Therapy Help Prevent Senior Falls? - May 12, 2023
- Types of Home Health Care Nursing Services - May 4, 2023
- Detecting Early Signs of Alzheimer’s with Alzheimer’s Care - April 28, 2023