Diabetes happens to be one of the chronic ailments that affect the lives of people, particularly in old age. Statistics show that an estimated 33% of adults aged 65 or older have diabetes. This population is more at risk of developing diabetes-related complications like hypoglycaemia, kidney failure and heart disease to name a few, as compared to younger people living with the disease.

These are alarming statistics and elderly caregivers need to pay attention to the smallest signs of the onset of diabetes in senior citizens. The risk for diabetes increases as we age and the only way to control is maintaining a healthy and balanced diet along with regular exercise. Elderly care should encompass all aspects of physical and mental health, and dietary needs are an important factor to a senior’s well-being.

That being said, patients with diabetes and their caregivers alike can find it challenging to make the right healthy food choices, but it’s critical that diabetes is managed properly in order to avoid the complications that can accompany the disease. Keeping blood sugars in healthy ranges is easier than you think. It can be quite attainable by controlling portion sizes, meal times and healthy choices.

Below, we give you a list of foods that should be included in the diet of older adults suffering from diabetes, so that you – as a caregiver – can help reduce their blood sugar to a more controllable level.

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are packed full of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They also have minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Leafy greens are a key plant-based source of potassium, vitamin A, and calcium. They also provide protein and fibre. Some researchers say that eating green leafy vegetables is helpful for people with diabetes due to their high antioxidant content and starch-digesting enzymes. Green leafy vegetables include: spinach, collard greens, kale, cabbage, bok choy and broccoli.

  1. Whole Grains

Whole grains contain high levels of fibre and more nutrients than refined white grains. Eating a diet high in fibre is important for people with diabetes because fibre slows down the digestion process. A slower absorption of nutrients helps keep blood sugar levels stable. Whole wheat and whole grains are lower on the glycaemic index scale than white breads and rice. This means that they have less of an impact on blood sugar. Good examples of whole grains are: brown rice, whole-wheat/whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, bulgur, and rye.

  1. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish is a healthful addition to any diet. Fatty fish contains important omega-3 fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). People need a certain amount of healthful fats to keep their body functioning and to promote heart and brain health. Certain fish are a rich source of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These are: salmon, mackerel, sardines, albacore tuna, herring and trout. Vegetarians can eat seaweed, such as kelp and spirulina, as plant-based alternative sources of these fatty acids.

  1. Beans

Beans are an excellent food option for people with diabetes. They are source of plant-based protein, and they can satisfy the appetite while helping people reduce their carbohydrate intake. Beans are also low on the glycaemic index scale and are better for blood sugar regulation than many other starchy foods. Furthermore, eating beans can also help with weight loss and could help regulate a person’s blood pressure and cholesterol. Diabetics can eat: kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, and adzuki beans.

  1. Walnuts

Walnuts are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). Like other omega-3s, ALA is important for good heart health. People with diabetes may have a higher risk of heart disease or stroke, so it is important to get these fatty acids through the diet. Walnuts also provide key nutrients, such as protein, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and iron. A handful of walnuts per day can work wonders!

There are plenty of changes that can be made to a diabetic diet, making it easier to follow for seniors who may otherwise find it unpleasant. Proper nutrition is a vital part of senior citizen care, because in many cases, diabetes can be debilitating. Therefore, as an elderly caregiver, it is your duty to provide a diabetic-friendly meal to your senior loved one. Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor if required.

Author's Bio: 

The author of this article is a professional having years of experience in the field of Digital Marketing and currently associated with Proxgy. The author is an expert in writing on virtual travel, online video shopping and Digital marketing topics.