According to the American Diabetes Association, one in four adults aged 65 and above have either type 1 or 2 diabetes, in comparison to one in ten people under 65. Additionally, prediabetes, a disease marked by higher-than-normal blood glucose levels, affects 50 percent of aging adults. Unless lifestyle and dietary modifications are made to slow the development or prevent the condition entirely, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes. If you are struggling with diabetes and want to prepare your meals, here are some tips for meal planning for diabetes in the elderly.
Individuals with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin. It’s crucial for people with type 1 diabetes to track how much carbohydrates they consume when they take insulin shots. On the other hand, insulin is produced by the body in type 2 diabetes, but the cells reject it. Most of the time, type 2 diabetes only needs diet and lifestyle changes, which include exercise and weight loss. Other situations can call for insulins, oral medications, or both, to treat diabetes.
Lean proteins such as fish, beans, and poultry, as well as whole grain foods, can help to decrease the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Depending on your size and how active you are, you should still try to consume at least 135 grams of carbohydrates each day.
Most individuals make the mistake of trying to cut fat out of their diet. Trans fats and saturated fats should be avoided, whereas healthy fats like those in avocados, almonds, and olives are important. A diet high in fat-free foods can cause hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which can leave you feeling hungry in between meals. Additionally, even if the label states “fat-free,” there may have been artificial sweeteners or added sugar and salt.
What Not to Consume
Sugary beverages, sweet tea, juice, lemonade, and excessive milk are among the foods to avoid. It is advisable to drink one or two glasses of low-fat milk daily. Additionally, you should strive to cut back on or stop drinking alcohol, consume less salt, stay away from packaged or processed foods, and restrict your daily cholesterol intake to 200 mg.
What You Should Consume
When planning meals for diabetic individuals, you should be careful to put more nutritious food on the plate to help manage diabetes. These include:
- Lean Protein: Skinless fish or poultry, a leaner slice of beef, low-fat dairy.
- Good Carbohydrates: Whole-grain food such as peas, sweet potatoes, and beans.
- Fiber: Fruits, vegetables, and oatmeal.
- Good Fats: Olives, butter, avocados, and canola oil which are good for higher-heat cooking.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Choose green vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, and leafy greens. Pick rainbow-colored fruits such as grapes, apples, oranges, and cherries.
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