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If you or someone you love is amongst the nearly 16 million seniors diagnosed with diabetes, you already know firsthand how challenging the disease can be to manage. Between medications, lifestyle changes, daily glucose tests, and more, a person with diabetes, and older diabetics in particular, can very quickly become overwhelmed. And perhaps the most challenging obstacle to overcome is adherence to a regimented diet plan.

Thankfully, help is available! Our experts in home care in Centennial, CO and the surrounding areas have compiled some helpful suggestions to make sure older diabetics follow a healthy diet plan that is not merely simple to follow, but also satisfying!

Why a Diabetes-Friendly Diet Is Vital

It is all about maintaining your blood glucose levels in a healthy range; and the simplest way to achieve this is by keeping your weight in a healthy range. Eating too many calories and carrying around excess body fat causes an increase in blood sugar levels, which could have severe repercussions, including kidney, heart, and nerve problems.

The Diabetes Meal Plan

People with diabetes are encouraged to eat at regular intervals throughout the day, in order to best control insulin levels. A physician or dietitian may take into consideration individual health goals, lifestyles, and preferences in order to create a customized meal plan. To follow are recommendations for diabetic-friendly foods to include.

Fiber: Fiber is essential to help with digestion as well as to regulate blood sugar levels, and can be found in:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grain products
  • Beans, peas, as well as other legumes
  • Nuts

“Good” carbohydrates: Healthy carbohydrates (those with no added sodium, sugar, and fat) break down into blood sugar, and include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Low-fat milk, cheese, and other dairy products
  • Whole grain products
  • Beans, peas, and other legumes

“Good” fats: As with carbs, there are bad and good fats. Steer clear of trans and saturated fats, selecting instead foods full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (in moderation), such as:

  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Canola, peanut, and olive oils

Fish: Stay away from deep-fried fish and certain types of fish that are full of mercury, but search for fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like:

  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel

With these foods in mind, the American Diabetes Association suggests mentally picturing your plate in parts: one half of the plate on one side, and the second half split into two quarters. Now, fill your plate as follows:

  • On one quarter of the plate, put a form of protein: chicken, tuna, lean pork, etc.
  • In the second quarter, place a whole-grain food or starchy vegetable: green peas, brown rice, etc.
  • Lastly, in the half-plate portion, include non-starchy veggies: tomatoes, carrots, spinach, etc.
  • Small amounts of “good” fats as mentioned above may also be provided, along with a serving of low-fat dairy, fruit, and a plain beverage like water or sugarless tea or coffee.

Here’s how it could look for each meal:

  • Breakfast: 1 slice of whole-wheat toast spread with two teaspoons of jam, ½ cup of whole-grain cereal, a cup of low-fat yogurt, and a portion of fruit.
  • Lunch: A turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with low-fat Swiss cheese, tomato, and lettuce, a piece of fruit, and a glass of water.
  • Snack: 2 ½ cups of popcorn with 1 ½ teaspoons of margarine.
  • Dinner: Salmon grilled in 1 ½ teaspoons of canola oil, a small baked potato, ½ cup of peas, ½ cup of carrots, one medium dinner roll, and one glass of unsweetened iced tea.

An at-home caregiver from Abby Senior Care, a dedicated provider of home care in Centennial, CO and the surrounding areas, can help in a variety of ways to ensure seniors with diabetes adhere to their diets and lead a healthy lifestyle. From transportation to doctors’ appointments and exercise classes to grocery shopping and planning healthy meals and more, we’re here for you, each step of the way.

Reach out to us at 303-699-8840 for more information about how our top-rated home care services can help an older adult you love live life to the fullest!