According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.9% of Americans over the age of 65 have diabetes. Our caregivers use proactive meal planning for seniors.
Commonly known for its effects on glucose (blood sugar) levels, diabetes is a disease many seniors live with. Type II diabetes is more common among seniors. The disease is directly influenced by nutrition. Therefore, caregivers and their seniors must plan meals that help keep diabetes under control.
Meal Planning Tips for Seniors with Diabetes
Healthy Food Choices for Diabetes
Fortunately, living with Type II Diabetes doesn’t mean seniors can’t eat their favorite food anymore. Diabetes can often be managed simply by making healthy choices. Portion control and consuming healthy foods like vegetables and lean meat are key.
Our team here at HomeSpark Care suggests opting for the following healthy food choices for Diabetes:
- Sugar-free foods when possible
- Low sodium alternatives
- Fresh, whole foods
- Whole grains
- Low fat dairy
- Minimal friend foods
Diabetes Meal Planning Methods
According to diabetes.org, the following diabetes meal planning methods are great for seniors:
- The Plate Method is one easy way to plan a healthy diabetes-friendly meal. Simply choose a meal that will fill with the following requirements:
- one quarter of the plate with a lean protein
- another quarter with a grain or a starchy vegetable
- the remaining half of the plate with a non-starchy vegetable
- Carbs break down into the glucose that a person with diabetes has trouble regulating. Therefore, it is ideal to limit carb consumption to about 45-60 per meal. Seniors can still enjoy their favorite foods, but are able to choose the right portions with Carb Counting.
- Planning meals around the Glycemic Index (GI) can make dietary choices easier. This method is often used in conjunction with the Carb Counting method. Seniors with diabetes can choose from foods that are low on the glycemic GI for two meals per day. They may also opt for just one high or medium GI food each day.
More Quick Meal Planning Tips for Seniors with Diabetes
The following are a few quick meal planning tips for seniors with diabetes:
- Swap for healthier alternatives. If your senior loves particular ingredients or foods, plan meals with healthier alternatives. For example, swap sweet potatoes for fries or use sugar free jam instead of jelly.
- Keep meals simple. Healthy diets rarely require much preparation when meal planning for a senior. Make it a rule that you cook just one meat, one side and one vegetable. Whenever possible, simply season it all and then grill or steam.
- Develop a routine. Once you have found favored healthy meals, plan to prepare them once a week. A routine will save you the hassle of trying to be creative all of the time.
For more meal planning tips for seniors with diabetes, or to have one of our trusted Bryan/College Station caregivers help your senior loved one, contact us with the link below!