Do you have diabetes or are you caring for someone who does? Either way, I think you’ll agree that it is tricky, at best. You feel like you are in a wrestling match! One moment you are winning, the next you are not. You get the picture. Managing diabetes can be frustrating but it is essential to good health and quality of life that it be done.
As the caregiver for a diabetic -my hubby- I am the one who plans the menu, shops and prepares the meals. Sounds simple enough. But truly it is NOT that simple. I cannot put the food in his mouth (or bat it away if it is an unwise choice.) He is in control, ultimately, of what he does.
So, if you are a caregiver, like me, let me lighten your load just a bit. Do your best to provide the right foods that taste good but know that it is not your responsibility to do all the thinking for him/her. They need to understand diabetes for themselves, see their health care professional on a regular basis and test their blood-sugar levels several times a day.
Design Your Diabetes Friendly Menu
Diabetes is a balancing act. Diabetes sufferers, like the rest of us but more-so, deal with temptation to eat the wrong things. Hunger and cravings come into play exponentially for diabetics. Their bodies call out for the very things that they shouldn’t have.
One of the things I hate the most about diabetes is that their blood sugar can “crash” (go dangerously low) without warning. When that happens, a quick drink of orange juice may save their lives. Thankfully, I have been present almost every time that my husband has had one of these scary episodes. Many times it happens in the middle of the night, in a blink of an eye. They are so debilitating; he shakes so much that he is unable to move. I make the mad dash for the refrigerator to grab the lifesaving brew.
So how can you help? Be prepared. Stock your kitchen with the right foods. There are ways that you can meet the desire for sweet treats and squash between-meal hunger to maintain that delicate balance.
In my opinion, the best practice is for them to eat a naturally sweet treat along with some form of protein like cheese or nuts. Sweets on their own, even natural sweets, can tip blood sugar in the wrong direction.
Remember, also, that quantity is as important as quality. Many times diabetics are struggling to lose weight. Small snacks can go a long way toward satisfying a craving and prevent the person from putting on excess pounds.
So let’s take a look at some food possibilities to fight hunger and control cravings:
Whole grain, high fiber, lower-carb crackers are best.
Ricotta cheese has a sweetness to it. Eat 1/4 cup with a spoon as a creamy dessert. Sprinkle it with cinnamon for variety!
Cream cheese on a whole grain cracker is very satisfying
Cheese sticks also make a quick, portable snack.
Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes are available everywhere, including Amazon. That is where I bought mine. I found them right in the pharmacy section among the weight loss and nutritional items.
As I was reading about this product, I got very excited. I’ve wished for a while now that hubby would try it. I’d always known that Glucerna® was very high in nutrition with 25 vitamins and minerals.
But then I heard about the protein content of the Hunger Smart shakes. Protein curbs hunger and they are packed full of it! Each serving has 15 grams of protein plus Carbsteady® which is a slowly-digestible carbohydrate that helps minimize blood sugar spikes. Keeping that blood sugar at a healthy, steady level is great news. I love it.
Now, the difference between these nutritional shakes and others out there is that they are specifically designed for people with diabetes. They are 50% higher in protein and 66% lower in sugars.
Of course, taste is very important. My husband won’t consume anything that doesn’t taste good. So, before I asked him to try it, I opened a bottle and tried it myself. Wow. It tastes really good and he likes it, too. Yipee!
*Diabetics, be sure to use this product under medical supervision.
How To Shop and Cook for Diabetics
- Plan on three balanced meals and 2-3 snacks per day.
- Each meal should have protein and carbohydrates (refer to the list of healthy foods at the beginning of this post.)
- Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes are a perfect meal replacement for diabetics – especially those who are on a weight loss plan. I think I would have mine for lunch.
- Stock up on items from the snack list above plus finger-food type vegetables such as cucumbers, green or red peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, celery and carrots.
Here is a printable check-list that you can use for building your grocery shopping list.
So, after I have talked and talked here, what ways have you learned to control diabetic cravings?