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Nutrition Guidelines for Seniors with Diabetes

Although diabetes is on the rise, most cases are preventable – or at least treatable – with healthy lifestyle changes. Taking steps to control diabetes does not mean living a life of deprivation. Yes, it’s true that eating right is important, but you don’t have to resign yourself to bland or boring meals. With a few guidelines, every senior with diabetes can enjoy pleasurable meals without feeling deprived.

Seniors who live at home with the help of a home care provider should make sure their caregivers are aware of their specific dietary needs. Almost any recipe can be turned into a diabetic meal if caregivers understand the basics of diabetes meal planning. With the assistance of ClearCare’s time-saving homecare system and homecare software, such meal requirements are always easily accessible.

Meal Planning for Diabetics

The first step in preparing diabetes-friendly food is to follow a few meal-planning guidelines. Home care agencies can enter these guidelines into ClearCare’s homecare system and homecare software for caregivers to review before each shift. One of the most recommended meal plans, according to WebMD, is to prepare foods using the Diabetes Food Pyramid. This pyramid is similar to the standard system, with foods divided into six groups including:

  • Breads, grains and starches
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Meat and other proteins
  • Dairy
  • Fat, oils and sweets

The key is to plan meals using more foods from the top of the pyramid and very few from the bottom. A balanced diabetic diet should consist of foods that will help keep blood sugar levels normal. Carbohydrates have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels – even more so than fats and proteins – but you don’t have to avoid them altogether. Typically, it’s best to limit highly refined carbs (like white bread, pasta, soda, and snacks) and focus instead on high-fiber complex carbohydrates. These “slow-release” carbs help keep blood sugar levels even because they are digested more slowly.

Qualified caregivers can keep records of each meal using ClearCare’s homecare system and homecare software, ensuring that the senior always receives a nice variety of foods.

Snacks and Sweets

Eating for diabetes doesn’t mean completely eliminating sugar. Seniors can still enjoy small servings of their favorite desserts on occasion. The crucial element of healthy eating is moderation. Here are a few other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth that won’t harm your body.

  • Start with half the dessert you’d normally eat, and replace the rest with fruit
  • Instead of ice cream, mix frozen bananas and non-fat yogurt for a creamy treat
  • Choose a small piece of dark chocolate over milk chocolate
  • Boost the sweetness of fruit desserts with cinnamon and nutmeg rather than sugar

Our bodies are better able to regulate blood sugar levels when we maintain a regular meal schedule. Caregivers can set specific times in ClearCare’s homecare software for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so that seniors can stay on a regular routine. Keeping a food diary is also recommended. Again, such information can easily be tracked in ClearCare’s web-based homecare system.

The primary goal of any home health care provider is to keep their clients safe, healthy, and happy. This may become more challenging when dealing with seniors who suffer from health problems - like diabetes - but it can still be accomplished. With a dependable homecare system or homecare software such as ClearCare, caregivers can monitor health conditions, plan healthy, diabetes-friendly meals and keep track of important food limitations.

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