Diabetes is a chronic condition, which has reached epidemic proportions among people of all ages, especially older adults. It involves many critical consequences such as heart and kidney disease, loss of vision and several other complications. These conditions are also associated with prediabetes, that is type 1. Diet is an important factor that influences overall health, therefore, eating right can maintain blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and reduce inflammation, which may increase the risk of diabetes if found in higher levels.
A team of home care experts, with years of experience at helping seniors lead a healthy lifestyle and age in place, recommend family caregivers to take good care of their senior loved ones with diabetes by avoiding these 5 foods, which are found to increase the intensity of this condition.
1. Sweetened Beverages
Sugary or sweetened beverages are one of the worst drink options for seniors with diabetes as they contain very high amount of carbohydrates. For example, a 12-ounce soda can provides 38 grams and the same amount of sugary lemonade and iced tea has 36 grams of carbohydrates, entirely from sugar.
Additionally, these beverages are loaded with fructose, which is related to insulin resistance and diabetes. It may also lead to metabolic changes promoting harmful cholesterol and triglyceride levels resulting in belly fat.
2. Industrial Trans Fats
Trans fats are very unhealthy for senior with or without diabetes. Unsaturated fatty acids are made more stable by adding hydrogen, thus called trans fats. These are commonly found in margarine, spreads, peanut butter, creamers, and frozen foods. Trans fats are often added to muffins, crackers, and other baked items to extend shelf life.
However, trans fats are not directly related to high blood sugar levels, but increase insulin resistance, inflammation, and belly fat, as well as lower HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and impair arterial function. These effects are very harmful to seniors with diabetes and also increase the risk of heart disease.
3. White Bread, Rice, and Pasta
White bread, pasta, and rice are processed foods high in carbohydrates. Consuming bagels, bread and other foods made from refines flour are known to significantly raise blood sugar levels in seniors with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
This is not exclusively related to wheat items. A study found that gluten free pasta raises blood sugar and rice-based have the greatest effect. Another study found high-carb meals not only increase blood sugar but also works to decrease brain functions in seniors with type 2 diabetes.
These foods contain very little fiber, which obstructs the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
These are three of the major foods that should be avoided in diabetes. Families are suggested to take proper care of their elderly loved one’s diet. They can also consider consulting a reputable phoenix home care provider to make a healthy diet plan to allow their loved ones lead a healthy life in golden years.
Aaron Dyer is associated with Home Care Assistance of Phoenix. He is focused towards helping seniors to maintain an active lifestyle for their well-being and that is what he writes about. He is a qualified nutritionist as well.