Foods Elderly Diabetics Should Eat & Those to Avoid

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Seniors with diabetes need to follow specific dietary guidelines to stay healthy. At one end of the food spectrum there are diabetes superfoods, which contain essential vitamins and nutrients. On the other end of the spectrum are foods that should be avoided at all costs. Here are some of the best and worst foods for diabetic seniors.

Eat: Sweet Potatoes 

Sweet potatoes contain fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium, which makes these starchy vegetables an excellent choice for seniors with diabetes. Some studies suggest sweet potatoes regulate blood sugar levels, making them an ideal choice for diabetics craving carbohydrates.

Diabetes is a serious health condition that can impact your senior loved one’s overall quality of life. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust at-home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.

Avoid: White Bread 

White bread is primarily made of refined grain, which has a high glycemic index. Eating white bread can cause elevated blood sugar levels, especially in aging adults. When seniors with diabetes want to eat bread, they should consume whole-grain alternatives.

Eat: Beans 

Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, two nutrients that can make diabetic seniors feel full. There are many varieties of beans suitable for seniors, including lentils, black beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans. Seniors can eat beans as a healthy alternative to high-fat proteins like red meat.

Avoid: Fried Foods 

Seniors with diabetes should avoid all varieties of fried foods. Eating fried foods raises blood sugar levels because the fat is difficult to digest. Fried meats should also be avoided. When starchy fried breading is combined with fatty meats like steak, it can wreak havoc on an aging adult’s cardiovascular system. 

Instead of eating meat and fried foods, diabetic seniors should switch to lean options like chicken and salmon. Eating salmon can lower the levels of bad cholesterol, which is a leading risk factor for major cardiovascular events. 

Consider hiring a home caregiver if your loved one needs help switching over to nutritious meals and making healthy lifestyle choices. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated senior home care, Orlando, FL, families can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

Eat: Leafy Greens 

Leafy greens like kale and spinach may be a hard sell to diabetic seniors who are used to indulging in more unhealthy foods. However, they’re an essential component of a healthy diabetic diet, as they’re rich in all the vitamins and minerals seniors need to stay healthy. One such nutrient is lutein, which boosts eye health. As diabetics are at greater risk for blindness, consuming lutein-rich vegetables is crucial.

Avoid: Soda 

Many diabetic seniors don’t know just how harmful soft drinks are to their systems. Drinking a soda triggers an almost immediate insulin release, which can leave a senior diabetic feeling ill and lightheaded. Diet sodas have a similar effect on the body, as it reacts to sugar substitutes in much the same way. Seniors craving fizzy drinks should switch to sparkling water. 

Seniors can reduce some of the symptoms of diabetes by eating nutritious meals and making healthy lifestyle choices. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Orlando seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Assisting Hands Home Care is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Specialists today.