When you’re a family caregiver for a senior with diabetes, there’s a lot to know about what and when they should eat. It can all be a bit confusing and overwhelming. You want your aging relative to eat a healthy diet, but you also don’t want them to feel deprived of the things they love. If you’re struggling with determining how to plan and prepare healthy meals for someone with diabetes, learning more can take some of the confusion out of the task.
Kinds of Meal Plans
If you’re brand new to helping a diabetic senior to eat well, it can help to consult a dietitian. A dietitian can help you to determine a meal plan that will work best for your loved one. Some kinds of plans they may recommend are:
• Counting Carbs: Carbohydrates become glucose during the digestive process. They have the biggest influence on blood sugar. Generally, diabetics are advised to eat approximately the same number of carbs each day and at about the same times. To be successful at the carb counting method, you’ll need to learn how to read nutrition labels and determine proper portion sizes.
• Glycemic Index: Some diabetics use a scale called the glycemic index to help them choose which foods to eat. The glycemic index ranks foods that contain carbs according to how they affect blood sugar.
• Plate Method: The plate method divides the plate into sections. Half the plate should be filled with vegetables that are not starchy. One fourth of the plate is for lean protein and the other fourth is for a serving of whole grains. To round out the meal, include a serving of fruit and a glass of water, cup of tea, or coffee.
• Exchange List: This method uses exchange lists that divide foods into categories, like carbs, proteins, and fats. You then choose foods from each category, which helps to control eating too much of one kind of food.
Foods to Limit
You might think that when someone is diabetic, they have to avoid all kinds of foods. However, the foods they need to limit are the same things all people should limit as part of a healthy diet. They include:
• Saturated fats and trans fats.
• Sugary drinks.
Even when you’ve armed yourself with knowledge about diabetes, helping a diabetic senior to eat right is a time-consuming task. Elder care can reduce some of the time you spend planning and preparing meals. Elder care providers can sit with the older adult and assist them with meal planning using the advice provided by the dietitian or doctor. Elder care providers can also take the senior to the grocery store and help them to make good food choices. And, if your aging relative needs help with cooking, elder care providers can even prepare meals and clean up the kitchen afterward.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Wolfforth, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.