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If you or a person you love is among the nearly 16 million older adults diagnosed with diabetes, you know full well how challenging the disease can be to manage. Between medications, changes in lifestyle, daily glucose tests, and so much more, diabetes management can feel overwhelming at times. And perhaps the most challenging hurdle to conquer is adherence to a regimented dietary plan.

Thankfully, there is help readily available! Our senior care experts have developed some helpful tips to ensure a balanced and healthy diet that is not merely simple to follow, but also satisfying!

Why a Diabetes-Friendly Diet Is Important

It’s all about maintaining your blood sugar levels in a healthy range; and the best way to accomplish this is through keeping your weight in a healthy range. Eating too many calories and carrying around excess body fat triggers a rise in blood glucose, which could have severe consequences including kidney, heart, and nerve problems.

The Diabetes Diet Plan

Diabetic patients need to eat at regular time periods during the day, so that they can effectively control insulin levels. A physician or dietitian may take into consideration individual preferences, lifestyle, and health goals in order to establish a personalized meal plan., To follow are some recommendations for diabetes-friendly foods to include.

Fiber: Fiber is important to assist in digestion as well as regulate glucose levels, and can be found in:

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Whole grain products
  • Beans, peas, and other legumes
  • Nuts

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

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Low-fat milk, cheese, as well as other dairy products
  • Whole grains
  • Beans, peas, and other legumes

“Good” fats: Just like carbohydrates, there are bad and good fats. Steer clear of saturated and trans fats, choosing instead foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (in moderation), such as:

  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Olive, peanut, and canola oils

Fish: Steer clear of fried fish and certain kinds of fish that are high in mercury. Instead, look for fish that are full of omega-3 fatty acids, such as:

  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel

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

  • On one quarter of the plate, place some sort of protein: chicken, tuna, lean pork, etc.
  • In the second quarter, add a starchy vegetable or whole-grain food: brown rice, green peas, etc.
  • Finally, in the half-plate portion, include non-starchy veggies: carrots, tomatoes, spinach, etc.
  • A small amount of “good” fats as listed above may also be provided, alongside a serving of low-fat dairy, fruit, and a plain beverage such as water or sugarless tea or coffee.

Here’s how it might look for each meal:

  • Breakfast: 1 slice of whole-wheat toast spread with two teaspoons of jelly, 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 cheddar cheese, tomato, and lettuce, a piece of fruit, and a cup 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 a glass of unsweetened iced tea.

An in-home caregiver from At-Home Care Company, a trusted provider of senior care in Clive and the surrounding communities, can help to make certain seniors with diabetes adhere to their dietary plans and are enjoying a healthy lifestyle. From transportation to doctors’ appointments and exercise classes to grocery shopping and planning nutritionally beneficial meals, plus much more, we are here to help, every step of the way.

Call us at 515-292-2650 to learn more about our top-rated home care services!