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Healthy and Unhealthy Foods for Elderly Diabetics

The American Diabetes Association claims that over 25 percent of all seniors have some form of diabetes or prediabetes. When left untreated, these serious health conditions can damage a senior’s organs and reduce quality of life.

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Temple, TX, senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, here are some of the best and worst foods for his or her blood glucose levels.

What to Eat:

Salmon

Many nutritionists suggest seniors eat at last three servings of fresh seafood each week. Lean protein sources such as salmon are especially beneficial for senior diabetics who are trying to eat enough protein while limiting their intake of carbohydrates. Salmon also contains key fatty acids that reduce many of the side effects of diabetes like high blood pressure.

Nuts

When eaten in moderation, nuts are an excellent snack for diabetic seniors. A handful of dry roasted nuts is packed with protein and healthy fats. It is the perfect midday snack for anyone who is trying to maintain consistent blood glucose levels. Your loved one should avoid nuts that have been flavored with salt or sugar.

Leafy Greens

Researchers at the University of Leicester recently discovered that increased consumption of leafy greens can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This type of produce has many vital nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin A, iron, fiber, potassium, and magnesium.

Whole Grains

Diabetic seniors must be careful about the types of carbohydrates they consume because of the effect on blood glucose levels. Whole grains like barley and oatmeal take a while to digest and will not cause blood sugar levels to spike. They also have much higher levels of protein and fiber.

Eating healthy is a crucial part of managing diabetes. A Temple caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns.

What to Avoid:

White Rice

Even though white rice is used in many different cuisines, it is not the best option for seniors who have diabetes. Within moments of consuming rice, the digestive tract begins turning the simple carbohydrates into glucose. If your loved one has diabetes and eats rice, he or she may not be able to naturally regulate his or her blood glucose levels.

Refined White Flour

Much like white rice, the body might have a difficult time processing foods made from refined white flour. Some of the worst foods made from white flour include pastries, cereal, and white bread. Most of these products also contain refined sugar and other ingredients seniors diabetics should avoid.

Canned Fruit

While fresh fruits are a relatively healthy snack, they can be bad for a senior diabetic’s cardiovascular system because of the high level of sugar. Canned fruits are worse for diabetics because they are generally preserved in sugar-laden syrup.

Blended Coffee Drinks

The occasional cup of black coffee is perfectly healthy for most senior diabetics, but blended coffee drinks from popular chain stores are almost always a bad choice. They are usually made of a few drops of coffee blended with sugar, syrup, and whipped cream. Many blended coffee drinks contain more sugar and calories than the average milkshake.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes and needs encouragement to adopt healthy eating and lifestyle habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. For seniors living in Temple, TX, part-time care can be a wonderful solution when they need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. Call 254-856-0600 to learn how our comprehensive services can benefit your loved one.