Many people have diabetes, but they are all individuals and their dietary needs may vary. For that reason, it’s important for seniors with diabetes to talk to their doctor or dietician before making any changes. However, knowing some tips that can help your older family member to make better food choices could help them to take control of their health. Below are some dietary tips for older adults with diabetes.
Make the Switch to Whole Grains
Choose whole grain products whenever possible. Look for breads that contain whole grains. To determine if whole grains are a main ingredient, read the ingredient label and look for the word “whole” to be in the first few ingredients. If the senior or a caregiver prefers to bake breads at home, use whole wheat flour. Look for whole wheat pasta, too.
Choose the Right Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates affect blood sugar, so it’s important to make the healthiest choices when eating them. Some healthier options for carbohydrates include:
Low-fat dairy products and unsweetened yogurt.
Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber helps with managing blood sugar. Seniors should try to eat at least 8 grams of fiber in each meal. Fiber is also known to keep people full longer, which prevents eating too many calories. It also has been linked with better heart health, which is important since diabetes increases the risk for heart problems. Some fiber rich foods are:
Fruits, including pears, apples, and citrus.
Vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and carrots.
Eat Good Fats
Monounsaturated fat is considered a good fat. It’s found in foods like avocadoes, nuts, and olive oil. It can help with lowering blood sugar. However, it should be eaten in moderation since good fats are high in calories. To avoid excess calories, replace some carbohydrates with good fats.
Eat Proper Portion Sizes
It’s not just what your aging relative eats that counts, it’s also how much they eat. One way to eat foods in the proper portion sizes is to use fill the plate in a certain way. Imagine a line drawn down the middle of the plate. Fill half the plate with non-starchy vegetables. Divide the other side of the plate in half. Fill one side of it with a good starch, such as a whole wheat roll. The final section should contain a lean protein, such as fish or chicken. Finally, serve a glass of milk and a small piece of fruit to round out the meal.
If your older family member has difficulty making good food choices and preparing meals, home care can help them to eat better to manage diabetes. Home care providers can assist them with planning meals that conform to their doctor’s or dietician’s suggestions. In addition, a home care provider can remind the senior to check their blood sugar and take medications at the proper times.
If you or an aging loved one needs Home Care Granite Bay, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.