Diabetes happens to be one of the chronic ailments that affect the lives of people, particularly in old age. Statistics reveal that one in ten Americans have diabetes. Even in India, over 61 million people are victims of this disease. It is a chronic metabolic disorder wherein the body fails to convert sugar and starches into energy resulting in glucose build-up in the blood. That is caused by various reasons like irregular meals and improper diet, lack of physical exercise and mental tension.
A good diet plan is a crucial part of diabetes treatment. This is so as one of the best ways to control blood sugar is by eating the right foods to lower the risky side-effects and complications and lead a healthier life. It is interesting to note that the following foods affect sugar levels-
It is therefore advisable to consume a mixed variety of food items to manage the blood sugar and also remain satiated. Particularly, healthy and good quality carbohydrates, smart fats, vegetables, fruits and proteins are the best foods for senior citizens which reduce diabetic symptoms.
Seniors having diet restrictions find it challenging to make healthy food choices. Eating foods that have a low glycemic index and doing certain simple tactics can help in achieving this. Facilities as senior care at home help in planning a balanced diabetic diet for keeping the body weight and glucose levels with the prescribed limits. Nursing assistants for the elderly assist seniors in limiting the portion size, eating nutritious foods and adhering to timely meal schedules.
Diet Chart for Elderly Diabetic Management
|Diabetic seniors with obesity||1000-1600 Kilo Calories|
|Diabetic seniors without obesity||1400-1800 Kilo Calories|
|Recommended Daily Carbohydrate Intake||1/10th of Total Calorie Intake(approximately 180 gm)|
|Recommended Daily Protein Intake||60gm-110gm|
|Recommended Daily Fat Intake||50-150gm|
|Foods to be eaten|
|Carbohydrates||Whole wheat bread, brown rice, cereals, legumes, pasta|
|Low-fat Items||Low-fat dairy products like skimmed milk and yogurt, avocadoes, olives nuts like almonds and walnuts, olive oil, canola oil, seeds like sesame seeds, flax seeds|
|Fibrous foods||Whole-grain foods, oatmeal, wheat bran|
|Fruits and Vegetables||Apple, papaya, guava, watermelon, broccoli, beans, sweet potatoes, carrot, cucumber, peas, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables like spinach and mint|
|Proteins||Various types of dals, eggs, lentils, tofu paneer, certain fish varieties, skinless chicken/turkey, lean meat like lean cuts of beef/pork|
|Fluids||Plenty of fluids like buttermilk, soy milk, vegetable soup, herbal tea and atleast 2 liters of water per day|
|Foods to be avoided|
|Salts||All forms of canned, packaged and processed foods containing sodium|
|Fats||Saturated and Transfat present in processed foods like potato chips, burgers, pizzas and fried items|
|Sugar||Sucrose or table sugar must be substituted with safe sugar-free sweeteners, honey and jaggery|
|Certain vegetables and fruits||Potatoes, Bananas, Mangoes|
|Refined foods||Maida, White rice|
|Dairy foods||High-fat milk, cheese or butter|
|Non-Vegetarian Items||Red meat, poultry|
|Beverages||Artificial juices, carbonated drinks, coffee, alcohol|
Some Healthy Diet Tips
- Use whole-grain foods and proteins instead of refined items like maida.
- Ensure sufficient fluid intake to keep the body well-hydrated.
- Consume plenty of leafy green vegetables in the form of soups, salads and cooked varieties.
- Switch over to healthy snacks like sprouts, steamed nuts, boiled corn and raw vegetables.
- Develop a consistent meal plan and routine and stick to it.
- Eat smaller quantities of healthy foods at frequent but regular intervals.
- Avoid the habit of sleeping immediately after meals. Preferably a gap of at least two hours must be given after meals before taking rest.
- Do not eat heavy meals for dinner.
- Prevent fasting for long intervals as it causes dangerous consequences due to decreased levels of blood sugar.
Thus a healthy and nutritious platter can form the crux of a Diabetic Diet Chart enabling seniors with sugar problems to control the disease safely and lead a healthier life.