Seniors need to consume fewer calories since metabolism tends to slow with age. At the same time, older adults also need essential nutrients like calcium and vitamins B, C and D. Throw diabetes into the mix, and seniors are faced with a difficult balancing act when it comes to the foods they can – and should – eat.
Knowing that diabetes is a prevalent problem among seniors, the live-in and hourly Vancouver caregivers from Home Care Assistance share some of the best foods for seniors with diabetes. Knowing this information can help you better care for your loved one with diabetes.
Fruits and Vegetables
Bright fruits (apples, oranges, berries) tend to have more essential nutrients and are low in fat and sodium. Leafy greens (lettuce, broccoli, spinach), preferably steamed or raw, are also great options because of their high nutritional value. Fresh vegetables are often a better choice for diabetes since canned vegetables are often loaded with extra sodium as a preservative.
Foods made with whole wheat flour tend to be healthier than those using regular, white flour. The same goes for whole grain rice, corn tortillas and products made from corn. Even popcorn can be a great snack for senior diabetics – sans the butter and salt.
The best choices when it comes to meats for seniors with diabetes include beef, lean pork, chicken (without skin), turkey and fish. Meats should be baked, boiled, grilled or stewed rather than fried. Tofu, beans, eggs, nuts and low-fat cheeses can also serve as important protein sources.
Seniors should avoid whole milk and go with 1% or skim. Diabetic seniors can also enjoy low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat or nonfat sour cream and low-fat yogurt instead of ice cream.
What Caregivers Can Do
Caregivers of seniors with diabetes can help by being a part of the conversation with their loved one’s doctor. Additional steps caregivers can take include:
- Working with a dietician specializing in diabetes to help with meal planning
- Preparing and freezing meals in advance (for seniors still living on their own)
- Doing the grocery shopping together (to help seniors make healthy choices they will actually eat)
For more information about caring for a senior loved one with diabetes, visit our website at www.homecareassistancevancouver.ca and check out our options for hourly and live-in care. We offer flexible and tailored care schedules with no long-term contracts and satisfaction guaranteed. Call us today at 778-279-3634 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.