Foods Older Adults with Diabetes Should & Shouldn’t Eat

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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 side 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 obtain this goal. Families can trust in Mississauga, Ontario, non-medical home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

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 use 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 care agency if your loved one needs help switching over to nutritious meals and making healthy lifestyle choices. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care agency, Mississauga, ON, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in 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 more indulgent 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 a greater risk of blindness, consuming lutein-rich vegetables is crucial. 

Avoid: Soda

Many diabetic seniors do not know just how harmful soft drinks are to their systems. Drinking a soda triggers an almost immediate insulin release, which can leave senior diabetics 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. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional elderly caregiver. Mississauga families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at (905) 337-1200 today.