According to information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100 million U.S. adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes; some of those 100 million individuals are seniors with diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease that is a result of too much sugar in the blood. If not addressed, this can lead to a number of problems with the organs and other body parts and can even cause stroke or heart disease.
Luckily there are ways that you can reduce the risk of dealing with diabetes and ways to reduce the symptoms associated with it. One way to help with this is to make dietary changes. Making slight changes to create a healthier diet, and being aware of how much food you are intaking is a great way to reduce blood sugar and regulate weight at the same time.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. The disease also stems from the insulin is used, or in this case not used, in the body. Insulin is a hormone in the body that helps glucose get into cells to give them energy. There are two types of diabetes, both are characterized by the way that insulin reacts with the body.
With Type 1 Diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Doctors aren’t sure why Type 1 occurs.
Type 2 Diabetes is more common than Type 1 and occurs when the pancreas does not make or use insulin properly.
Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in the blood and raises blood sugar levels. Prediabetes is also an issue, it means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. However, prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes.
Over time, high blood glucose levels can cause serious health problems, it can damage the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. If not taken seriously, diabetes can even cause heart disease, stroke, and even the need to remove a limb.
It should be noted that pregnant women can also get a specific form of diabetes called gestational diabetes.
Diabetes is diagnosed with through blood tests. Exercise, weight control, and sticking to a meal plan can help control and prevent diabetes. Monitoring glucose levels is also recommended.
Foods For Diabetics
It is important for diabetics to be conscious of what they eat, as eating improperly can lead to health complications. There are many simple things that you can do to help keep blood sugar levels in check and regulate body weight. One of the easiest ways to do this is to control portion size. However, eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones is important for diabetics as well. Here are some of the best foods for seniors with diabetes:
What To Avoid
If you or a loved one is dealing with diabetes, there are a number of foods that you or a loved one should limit or avoid. Being health conscious does not mean that you have to get rid of all the unhealthy foods in your residence, it just means that you should be aware of what you’re putting in your body.
Seniors with diabetes should avoid and/or limit alcohol consumption, cholesterol intake, fat, salt, and sugar. Avoiding processed foods and drinks or snack foods that are high in fat or sugar is one good way prevent diabetes or limit its effects.
Healthy Eating For Diabetics
Seniors with diabetes should be sure to expand their horizons and keep an open mind when it comes to eating. There are a number of different types of foods that should be sought out for diabetics. According to the Mayo Clinic, be sure to choose healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, fish, and good fats.
During digestions, sugars and starches work to help break down blood glucose, essentially lowering blood sugar levels. The carbohydrates that you should target when it comes to diabetes include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy. Again, be sure to avoid foods and drinks that are high in unhealthy carbs like sugar.
Dietary fiber helps to moderate how the body digests and controls blood sugar levels. Some foods that are high in protein include vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, peas, and whole grains.
Fish is one of the most nutritious meals that you can have, and the Mayo Clinic recommends eating heart healthy fish about twice a week. Fish like salmon, tuna, or sardines are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can help protect the heart. Avoiding fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury is recommended.
There are many misconceptions that all fat is bad but there is some types of good fat that can be good for you and help to lower cholesterol levels. Some foods that have good fats include avocados, nuts, olive oils, and more.
Researching more about what foods can help reduce blood glucose levels is recommended when creating a meal plan.
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people around the country deal with. Diabetes is characterized by having too much glucose in the blood to insulin being unavailable or too ineffective in the body. Diabetes is a serious issue that can lead to a number of health problems including complications with the heart and can lead to problems like strokes or heart disease. Luckily there are ways to reduce or prevent the effects of diabetes. For example, creating a meal plan and sticking to it is a great way to reduce the blood glucose levels in the body.
If you or a loved one is having a hard time with daily tasks and is struggling with living independently, assisted living facilities and caregivers are options for older adults. Assisted living facilities will not only provide the medical care that some residents require, such as insulin shots for diabetics, but can also provide residents with a meal plan to help them stay healthy as they age. Also, our staff provides residents with social events and activities to keep them busy and excited as they continue to the next chapter in their lives.