If you, like my mother, are one of the more than 12 million Americans over the age of 60 with diabetes, a proper nutrition plan designed just for you is an essential part of controlling the disease. Don’t forget, diabetes is a leading factor in heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy, and amputation.
When my mother consulted a dietitian, she was told that incorporating planned, healthy snacks into her daily diet would help with proper nutrition, curb appetite and overeating, as well as provide an extra boost of energy when she needed it. She also learned that healthy snacking is generally recommended for people taking certain diabetes medications or insulin.
Some healthy snacks that were developed for diabetics, or anyone interested in good nutrition, include the following:
- A quesadilla made with a whole-wheat tortilla, low fat cheese and a slice of reduced-sodium ham
- Mini pizzas made with ½ of a wheat pita (toasted), your favorite pizza sauce, low-fat cheese, bell pepper and cooked turkey sausage
- Fresh, raw vegetables like bell peppers, jicima, baby carrots and green beans
- One small apple, pear, nectarine, or orange
- A wedge of apple with thinly sliced parmesan cheese
- Half a cup of low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
- Air popped popcorn, without butter
- A rice cake or graham cracker spread with 1 tablespoon of low fat peanut butter and ¼ of a sliced banana
- ½ of a banana rolled in 2 tablespoons of Grape Nuts cereal
- Two tablespoons of raisins
- A single serving of whole grain crackers, or baked chips with salsa
As a rule, all snacks should be kept to 150 calories or less. The key to successful snacking is to not overdo it and to make it a part of your overall nutrition plan. Always talk to your dietitian or health care professional to know what is right for you.
Donald Niepagen (email@example.com)