Getting older is hard on the body. In addition to making regular exercise more challenging to keep up with, the aging process also begins stripping our bodies of a lot of nutrients and proteins we need to stay in peak physical condition. When you have a pre-existing or late-onset diabetes condition, it can be even more difficult to get your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay strong and healthy on a daily basis. Luckily, having a great, well-rounded diet can take care of a large part of the problem. If you’re someone who struggles with diabetes, you’re already working with a limited diet. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to access all the nutritional benefits you need for a healthy aging process. If you enjoy cooking with friends and family, it’s easy to start adding some healthier foods into your diet. Even if cooking isn’t your thing, having a helper from Seniors Helping Seniors assist with your meals can be an excellent way to keep a balanced diet without having to buy a ton of special supplements or spend a lot of money on vegetables you’ll never eat. If you’re struggling with diabetes as an older person, here are some options to consider.
It’s not just a problem for people with diabetes anymore. These days, processed foods are high on everyone’s enemy list. Because most processed foods such as deli meats, soy products, and snacks involve high doses of preservatives and other unwanted chemicals, these products can end up being pumped full of sugar when they simply don’t need to be. For the average American, this means that consuming processed foods increases sugar intake subtly over time. For seniors suffering from diabetes, it means that tons of products on the shelf can cause potential danger if they unthinkingly make their way into a daily diet. Instead of processed foods, it’s always better for diabetic seniors to opt for fresh foods, organic, free-range meats, and minimally-treated dairy products. Checking the label for ingredient listings as well as to find out the grams of sugar per serving in every product is a helpful way to filter out harmful foods from beneficial or neutral ones.
Good Fats and Whole Grains
For adults who spend a lot of time at the gym, getting in a good amount of “good” fat and whole grains is the key to not getting “hangry” at the office. For diabetic seniors, it’s even more important to bulk up the diet with substantial, good-for-you foods that just happen to be heart-healthy. Whole grains like brown rice and wheat bread are naturally low in sugar and help create a feeling of fullness without the resulting energy crash that comes from sugar-packed offerings. Healthy fats like those found in avocado, salmon, and raw nuts can also curb the appetite while building up bones and muscles. Even high-fat products like milk that aren’t full of beneficial fat can be helpful for their calcium content alone. Since seniors always need to be aware of bone health, getting a consistent amount of fat in daily can be more of a blessing than a curse.
Speaking of good fat, one of the most important and easy-to-find sources of the heart-healthy stuff can be found in common supplement form. Omega-3, which is found in raw fish and a huge variety of seeds and nuts, including walnuts, chia seeds, soybeans, oysters, and flaxseeds. However, since it’s not always easy to incorporate a handful of seeds into your daily diet, choosing to keep a supplement around the house is a great way to ensure that seniors get a daily dose of inflammation-fighting, insulin tolerance-boosting Omega-3 every day.
Protein with Fibrous Veggies
Now for the meat and potatoes: Literally. When it comes to crafting a delicious, health-conscious meal that’s low in sugar, there’s nothing better than grilled chicken, beans, and a ton of leafy greens. For diabetic adults, getting in enough fiber can be extremely helpful with building muscle and balancing out sugar intake from natural foods such as fruit and vegetables. Protein is perfect for increasing energy and helping with cell reproduction, sleep health, all while keeping cholesterol in check. For seniors who are losing too much weight due to their newly-limited diet, protein-rich foods with lots of fiber can also help round out a daily diet by adding a healthy amount of bulk and substance. Keeping tabs on protein, fiber, and fat consumption can help restore lost weight without spiking cholesterol.