Diabetes is one of the chronic illnesses that affect people’s lives, particularly as they get older. According to statistics, diabetes affects approximately 33% of adults aged 65 and up. When compared to younger people with diabetes, this group is more likely to experience diabetes-related complications such as hypoglycemia, kidney failure, and heart disease, to name a few.
There are disturbing figures, and elderly caregivers must be on the lookout for even the slightest symptoms of diabetes in senior citizens. As we get older, our risk of developing diabetes rises, and the best way to prevent it is to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Elderly care should include all aspects of physical and mental health, and dietary requirements are a critical component of a senior’s overall well-being.
Patients with diabetes, as well as their caregivers, can find it difficult to make the best healthy food choices, but diabetes must be properly controlled in order to prevent the complications that may accompany the disease. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is easier than you would imagine. Controlling portion sizes, meal times, and healthier decisions will help you achieve your goals.
Below is a list of items that should be included in the diet of diabetic older adults so that you, as a caregiver, can assist them in lowering their blood sugar to a more manageable level.
Walnuts are particularly rich in alpha-lipoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid (ALA). ALA, like other omega-3s, is essential for heart health. Since people with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease or stroke, it’s important to consume these fatty acids via their diet. Walnuts are also high in calcium, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and iron, among other nutrients. A handful of walnuts per day will make a huge difference!
Beans are a healthy food choice for diabetics. They are a good source of plant-based protein and can help satiate the appetite by reducing carbohydrate intake. Beans also have a low glycaemic index, making them safer for blood sugar control than a lot of other starchy foods. Eating beans can also help with weight loss and blood pressure and cholesterol regulation. Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, and adzuki beans are suitable for diabetics.
3. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish (DHA). To keep their bodies working and promote heart and brain health, people need a certain amount of healthy fats. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are abundant in some species. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, albacore tuna, herring, and trout are among them. Seaweed, such as kelp and spirulina, are plant-based sources of these fatty acids for vegetarians.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains have higher fibre content and have more minerals than processed white grains. For people with diabetes, eating a high-fibre diet is crucial because fibre slows down the digestive process. Slower nutrient intake tends to maintain blood sugar levels steady. White bread and rice have a higher glycaemic index than whole wheat and whole grains. This means they have a lower effect on blood sugar levels. Brown rice, whole-wheat/whole-grain flour, whole-grain pasta, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, bulgur, and rye are all examples of whole grains.
5. Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are high in vitamins, calcium, and other nutrients. They have a marginal effect on blood sugar levels. Leafy greens are a good source of phosphorus, vitamin A, and calcium from plants. They’re both high in protein and fibre. Green leafy vegetables, according to some experts, are beneficial to people with diabetes because of their high antioxidant content and starch-digesting enzymes. Spinach, collard greens, kale, cabbage, bok choy, and broccoli are examples of green leafy vegetables.
A diabetes-friendly diet can be tweaked in a variety of ways to make it more appealing to seniors who would otherwise find it difficult to stick to. Diabetes can be crippling in many situations, but a proper diet is an important aspect of elderly care. As an elderly caregiver, it is your responsibility to ensure that your senior loved one has a diabetic-friendly meal. If needed, seek the advice of a physician.