One out of every four older adults, 65 years of age or older, is living with type 2 diabetes. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with this condition, it is imperative that they eat healthy in order to control their diabetes and improve their health. Let’s take a closer look at a few diet and lifestyle choices that can play an important role in diabetes management.
The Best Foods for Seniors with Diabetes
- Fatty Fish: Sardines, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and other fatty fish are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for seniors with diabetes. Diabetic seniors have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, which can be lowered by incorporating fatty fish into their diet.
- Leafy, green vegetables: Kale, spinach, and other leafy, green vegetables are rich in nutrients and low in calories. Additionally, they are full of antioxidants which can protect a senior’s eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration, two common complications of diabetes.
- Nuts: Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios, are an ideal snack for diabetic seniors because they are rich in fiber and can keep seniors fuller for a longer period of time. Nuts also contain healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.
- Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt has been proven to reduce heart disease risk and improve blood sugar due to its probiotics, making it an excellent food for older adults.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are a great fruit for diabetic seniors because they can reduce cholesterol and insulin levels following a meal.
The Worst Foods for Diabetic Seniors
- Sugar: Since diabetes makes it more difficult for the body to manage blood sugar levels, eating too much sugar can worsen a senior’s diabetes. Since sugar is found in almost every processed food, older adults with diabetes should avoid these types of foods whenever possible.
- Salt: Due to the fact that senior diabetics are more likely to have high blood pressure, they should aim to reduce their salt intake. Try replacing salt, when cooking, with fresh herbs and seasonings like rosemary, mint, basil, and lemon juice.
- Trans and Saturated Fat: Trans and saturated fats are found in foods like chips, doughnuts, cookies, and french fries. These should be avoided by seniors with diabetes as they can increase their risk of developing heart disease.
How the Balanced Care Method Can Help Diabetic Seniors
The Balanced Care Method by Home Care Assistance can be an invaluable resource for diabetic seniors. It is a holistic program that promotes healthy eating, physical exercise, mental stimulation, socialization, and sense of purpose.
This program is particularly beneficial for older adults who are diabetic because it encourages a well-balanced, nutritious diet that is full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids and discourages the consumption of processed foods, trans and saturated fats, refined sugars, and alcohol, all foods that can worsen the symptoms of a senior with diabetes.
At Home Care Assistance, we know seniors in Burlington, VT who are living with diabetes would like to improve their health and overall quality of life. Through our Balanced Care Method, we can make it easier for your older adult to practice healthy eating habits and keep their diabetes under control. Contact us or call (802) 231-0415 today to learn more.