Living with diabetes at any age can present an assortment of daily challenges, especially when it comes to dietary issues and maintaining optimal blood sugar levels. Seniors often face the added task of making up for nutritional imbalances due to changes in metabolism with age. However, there are ways that seniors and their caregivers can work together to address these dietary concerns.
As a leading provider of senior home care in Oklahoma, our experienced caregivers are trained to meet the needs of seniors of all abilities and can provide in-home care to older adults with diabetes. With advanced education that includes how to create a healthy, well-balanced diet for clients, our caregivers can help senior diabetics understand which foods should be avoided and which foods can help to promote quality of life. Here are a few additional dietary guidelines for senior diabetics:
- Limit High Sugar Fruits – Some fruits are naturally high in sugar (fructose), which can cause unintended sugar spikes in seniors with diabetes. Grapes, bananas, mangoes, sweet cherries and most types of apples, for example, tend to be higher in natural sugars. Avocados, limes and lemons, on the other hand, are naturally low in sugar and are better options for diabetics.
- Get Protein from Lean Meats – Protein helps build and maintain muscle, which may, according to some research, help reduce bone density loss in seniors. Diabetic seniors can still get the protein they need in their diet without the added fat by sticking to lean meats like chicken, pork and fish.
- Watch Sodium Intake – The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics watch their sodium intake since lower sodium levels can naturally lower blood pressure. Reducing salt intake can, in turn, help seniors reduce the risk of diabetes-related conditions like heart disease and stroke.
Dietary Alternatives and Modifications
Other diet suggestions for senior diabetics include:
- Sticking with fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned varieties. When canned foods are the only option, rinse them before heating in fresh water to minimize the added sodium and sugar.
- Adding more dairy into the diet to increase calcium intake through a high-quality protein
- Getting in the habit of cooking and ordering foods that are grilled rather than fried
- Limiting high sodium condiments like soy sauce, tomato sauce and some salad dressings
- Avoiding pickled foods (pickles, relish and sauerkraut) which are extremely high in sodium
Do you have a senior diabetic in your life? Are you concerned about his or her ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle at home? Reach out to a friendly Care Manager at Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma and learn how our highly trained caregivers can help. From assisting with nutritious meal preparation to providing medication reminders and transportation to medical appointments, you can rest assured that your loved one is practicing healthy habits when Home Care Assistance caregiver is by his or her side. Learn more about hourly or live-in home care in Oklahoma, Edmond and the surrounding communities by calling 405-285-4191.