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Meal Planning and Preparation for Seniors with Diabetes

Meal Planning and Preparation for Seniors with Diabetes
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Meal Planning and Preparation for Seniors with Diabetes

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According to the American Diabetes Association, about 25% of people over the age of 60 have diabetes. Managing diabetes requires adhering to a diet that keeps blood sugar in check. Even though they are on a diet doesn’t mean they shouldn’t eat well. Their diet should be filled with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They should avoid anything with added sugar and try to stay away from red meats. While on a diabetes diet they should try to eat smaller meals more often.

If your parent has diabetes, their physician may recommend making nutritional changes to control blood sugar and manage their weight. Following a diabetes diet can prevent problems such as high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) and heart, kidney, and nerve damage. For most people who have type 2 diabetes, losing weight can help control blood sugar and prevent complications.

What to Eat on a Diabetes Diet

A diabetes diet should be balanced with a variety of healthy foods. It should be rich in healthy carbohydrates and fiber. There are a lot of foods that can provide both of these. A variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and many other foods contain both and can be found at your local grocery stores.

People with diabetes should try to avoid fatty meats. Instead  they should eat fish such as cod, tuna, and halibut at least twice a week. Many fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and bluefish contain omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart. Now not all fat is “bad fat”. Foods with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil, are also good choices for people with diabetes.

What Not to Eat on a Diabetes Diet

Seniors with diabetes should avoid certain types of food while on a diabetes diet. Particularly bad are foods with saturated and trans fat. Now these are the “bad fats”. They are the fats that contribute the most to weight gain and generally are the ones that you should stay away from. Any food that is high in cholesterol is also something that should be avoided. Also it is important to try and keep sodium intake down as much as possible. Experts say to avoid sodium intake in excess of 2,300 milligrams per day. Finally the most important food group to limit is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down by the body and converted into sugars that the body can use for energy. However they are the food that has the greatest effect on blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should try to avoid unnecessary carbohydrates at all cost.

Dependable Care in Connecticut Can Help Your Parent Manage Diabetes

If your parent has diabetes and needs assistance with planning and preparing meals, Dependable Care can help. Our in-home aides are trained in the specific nutritional needs of people with diabetes across Connecticut. They can plan and prepare nutritious meals to help keep your parent’s blood sugar and weight at healthy levels. If your parent needs guidance and assistance with preparing healthy meals and managing diabetes, contact Dependable Care today to learn more about how our caregivers can help. We offer in-home care services in Woodbridge, North Haven, New Haven, and surrounding communities.

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