It can be difficult to eat properly for almost anyone. For seniors with diabetes, it can be a real challenge. Often, they don’t feel like eating or don’t like what is being offered.
It can be difficult to monitor what seniors are eating, so their diet starts with what they have access to. The main goal is to control blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight.
Foods to Avoid
Obviously, one of the biggest foods to avoid is sugar. But it isn’t just sugar on its own, but so many foods and condiments contain high amounts of sugar. Many pre-packaged foods have a lot of sugar.
Sauces and Condiments
Ketchup, BBQ sauce, and store-bought pasta sauces have a lot of sugar. These can be substituted or made at home to avoid the high levels of sugars added.
Fruit Juices and Drinks
Most people know soda, energy drinks, and fruit juices have a lot of sugar. Even soda that may be called diet will still contain sugar or other chemicals to make them sweeter.
Store-bought smoothies, specialty coffees, and most prepackaged drinks are also high in sugar. Try making these drinks at home or just avoiding them altogether.
Butter, oils, bacon, breads, cakes, deli meats, all of these should be used sparingly. They are high in saturated fats and even contain sugars and other chemicals.
Diets for Seniors with Diabetes
If your loved one is newly diagnosed with diabetes, it can be quite a shock to them if their diet needs to change. Start with a few small changes every week until you can get them used to it.
Start with a healthier grain at breakfast. Get rid of the white bread and opt for a healthier one with whole grains, oatmeal, and even other grains like quinoa make a healthy and filling breakfast.
Add some fruit too. Most berries are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Add citrus, tomatoes, and other fruits like peaches or plums.
Add more vegetables. Leafy greens are a great way to get full and stay healthy. Broccoli, spinach, kale, and vegetables they like without sugar or carbs.
For proteins, you need to try and avoid red meats and processed meats. Add lean chicken and fish and try to incorporate more beans and legumes. They are very filling, full of fiber, and pass through the body well.
Try to avoid fatty or sugary snacks. Offer up nuts, fruits, and whole grains. Air-popped popcorn is a great option. Balance is key, so it is important that they know they can’t eat like they used to.
Keep an eye on carbs, as they turn into glucose in the body. Spread the carbs out throughout the day to keep it balanced. It’s important to let seniors know they can still have some of their favorite foods, just in moderation.
If there is an indulgence, and there certainly will be, it needs to be balanced with healthier foods. Counting carbs and calories can really help. It is vital that you read the labels on the foods you buy.
If you are eating meals with loved ones, eat the same things they do. They don’t want to feel left out or different. It’s always a good idea to follow a healthier diet anyhow, regardless of diabetes or not.
Just a few mindful changes can help make a world of difference. If you are worried about a loved one with diabetes, make sure to seek professional advice and make sure they are getting checked up on.