For older adults with diabetes, food can be an ongoing challenge. You want to limit certain foods, but you might also need to eat small meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your blood sugar balanced.
Residents of Bethesda Gardens in Monument, CO, get a leg up in regard to dietary care — whether they're diabetic, dealing with other health issues or simply want to eat right to support ongoing wellness. The services and amenities at the assisted living community include restaurant-style dining as well as a daily from-scratch menu and healthy options that are always available. That means you can get food for small meals or snacks throughout the day and don't have to wait until the dining rooms open during special hours.
A fitness center, exercise programs, pharmacy services, regular health assessments, medication management and an individualized care plan can all also help you manage diabetes to improve quality of life and your ability to engage in a vibrant lifestyle.
Seniors with diabetes also know that personal responsibility and decision-making goes a long way in managing this chronic disease. One aspect of that is knowing how to choose or make yourself healthy snacks as needed. While you should always consult a medical professional, such as your doctor, a diabetic educator or a dietician, about your food needs, here are some potential snack ideas to try in your assisted living apartment.
In general, choosing snacks that are high in protein, healthy fat and fiber is a good idea. Things you want to avoid eating too much of include sugary foods — especially those that are highly processed — and foods that are high in carbs such as potato chips.
Every person is unique, and so are the needs of their body. The snacks on this list may or may not work for you, so make sure you consider other factors, such as food allergies or other health conditions, and talk to your doctor before diving into a new food routine.
This is a great go-to snack that can fill you up like a small meal but feels whimsical enough to make for movie time. The right apple also provides enough sweet taste to this snack that it can appease your sweet tooth.
The easiest way to enjoy apples and peanut butter is to slice the apples as desired and put them on a plate next to a tablespoon or two of peanut butter. Then, you can dip the apples as you eat them. Another option is to slice the apple thin like crackers and spread a little peanut butter on each slice.
If you're watching your salt intake, you might want to consider a low-sodium peanut butter. For something different, consider trying this snack with different nut butters, such as cashew or almond. Remember that nut butters are high in calories, so a little goes a long way.
Cottage cheese, string cheese or slices of your favorite cheese can all be a good snack. Cheese, like peanut butter, is best in moderation. But since a good cheese is extremely flavorful, you can often get away with smaller slices alongside companions such as crackers or fruit to stretch the snack out some.
Crackers tend to offer a lot of carbs and might also come with high salt content, so use them in moderation. If you simply want a good crunch with your cheese, consider putting it on slices of cucumber instead of crackers. You can also slice up apples or pears for the same purpose.
Yogurt is a great way to boost your energy midday or put something in your stomach first thing in the morning. On top of healthy protein, you're getting healthy probiotics and other potential benefits. Just choose your yogurt carefully — read the labels to make sure you're not getting something full of added sugar or artificial ingredients. Instead, if you want to bring more flavor to your snack, add some banana or berries to the bowl or cup.
Hummus is made from chickpeas and other ingredients, making it a high-protein, healthy spread. It typically has more nutrition and is healthier for most people than fatty, salty cheese or ranch dips.
Like peanut butter, a tablespoon or two of hummus can go a long way. Dip carrot sticks or other veggies, healthy crackers or small bits of flatbread into hummus for a filling snack.
Nuts are an easy go-to snack for busy senior diabetics — and almost anyone, really. As long as you don't have a nut allergy or other health condition that makes them hard to digest, you can grab a small handful of nuts as a quick way to boost energy, stave off hunger and attend to blood sugar.
Almonds are packed with nutritious benefits and healthy fats, and you only need around a quarter cup for a full serving. But even eight to ten almonds may be enough for a small snack.
These hearty nuts can be difficult to bite into for some, though, so if you find them too hard, consider pecan halves instead.