This article is intended to help diabetic senior citizens and their caregivers to help make positive choices when it comes to managing their diabetes through diet and meal planning.
Diabetes is a disease where the body does not function properly in metabolizing glucose. This could leave an individual with either very high or very low blood glucose levels and that can lead to variety of dangerous medical repercussions.
Since their are two different types of diabetes ( type 1 and 2), and diabetic needs will vary from patient to patient. Therefore, it is a great idea to set up a time to meet with a registered dietitian to make a plan that will ensure the diabetic patient is getting the right nutritional intake each day appropriate for his or her age and weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight is extremely important for those affected by diabetes. It is not uncommon for obese individuals living with diabetes to see a significant improvement in their blood glucose levels once they lose weight and practice some of the dietary tips mentioned in this article coupled with exercise appropriate for their age and physical ability. As a person ages they need fewer calories, so eating what you ate when you were 30 years old is probably not needed. Also, eating more protein and less junk food would be a better use of the calories needed.
Often individuals who suffer from diabetes will have specific nutritional deficiencies as well. Simple blood tests can check for deficiency of B vitamins, calcium, folate, and magnesium. If a doctor or nutritionist discovers their patient to be deficient in any of these vital nutrients, they can prescribe an appropriate supplement or recommend food choices rich in whatever vitamin or mineral the patient may be missing in their diet.
Other common nutritional concerns involve sodium and carbohydrate intake. Sweet and starchy food should be consumed in a limited amount because the body is prone to having a high blood sugar range already. Too much sodium is not healthy for anyone, but especially not diabetics. A diet high in salt can increase the chance of heart disease, something diabetics already run a higher chance of developing as opposed to individuals who do not have diabetes.
It can be a challenge for caregivers of diabetic patients to provide a quality meal that is flavorful, but still low in salt. It is essential that doctors and caregivers monitor the weight of their patients since a significant drop or gain in weight could be indicative of glucose levels being out of control. And a higher or lower weight may require adjustments in dosage of medications.
Sadly, aging bodies also tend to lose functionality of taste buds over time, so if their food does not taste good, they might not be getting necessary calories each day. By replacing carbohydrates with protein, it may help the senior get the nutritional intake they lack.
Dietitians can give great recommendations in regards to meal planning and recipe ideas to make sure that the senior is healthy enough for the foods they enjoy most.
Planning ahead is one of the best things a caregiver can do to look after their diabetic patient. Preparing meals that have the correct nutritional value and are appropriately portioned in reheat-able containers can be very helpful in assisting the diabetic patient stay on track.
Having a team that is committed to helping a senior diabetic reach their health goals is key to managing their diabetes and ensuring they have the highest quality of life possible.