Healthy (and Tasty) Food Choices for Diabetic Seniors
Do you remember when you could eat anything you wanted to without any obvious consequences? Unfortunately, times change – and so does the human body. As you enter your senior years, one of those age-related changes may be the onset of diabetes.
But that doesn’t mean you have to live like a monk, denying yourself anything that might taste remotely good. On the contrary, there are a whole world of nutritious, delicious menu options that can help you keep your blood sugar stable with no feeling of sacrifice. Let’s look at some of these exciting new ways to eat.
Diabetes, Age, and Dietary Risks
Diabetes is a depressingly common phenomenon, afflicting over 30 million Americans. But seniors seem especially vulnerable to this disease, with about 1 in 4 developing diabetes at some point. Why does the risk increase with age? A combination of loss of muscle mass, increased body fat, sedentary lifestyle, and metabolic sluggishness (all common developments in older people) can make your body more resistant to the effects of insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar. When your pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar effectively, you end up with diabetes.
Since certain foods can send your blood sugar spiking out of control, you may have to modify your diet to avoid or limit these foods. Examples include white bread, sugary sodas, fruit juices, white rice (and other highly-processed grains), whole milk and other whole-fat dairy products. Alcohol is another beverage best avoided.
Delicious Substitutions and Additions
The good news is that there are many creative ways to get all the richness and flavor you want from your daily diet without worsening your diabetes. Many simple substitutions of one ingredient for another can give you a whole new take on your favorite dishes.
For instance, you may have seen a product called “riced cauliflower” or “cauliflower rice” at the supermarket or health food store. This is cauliflower that has been grated into little rice-like bits. The result can cook up into a serving that resembles white rice to a surprising degree. Like white rice, its mild flavor easily takes on the flavors of whatever you serve on it or alongside it. Cauliflower rice is also loaded with Vitamin B6 (which can help defend against diabetic neuropathy) and Vitamin C (an antioxidant that can help fight cardiovascular issues).
Wondering what do drink instead of your usual cocktail? Become a tea aficionado. Both green tea and chamomile tea can actually help lower blood sugar. If you miss your glass of milk, almond milk is a diabetic-friendly substitute for whole cow’s milk.
Some smart additions to your meals can also help you manage your diabetes. Nuts are a spectacular example, as many different kinds of nuts (include walnuts, cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts) can protect your heart. They can even help prevent diabetes if your insulin resistance hasn’t yet reached that stage. So sprinkle some almonds onto your favorite dish!
Yes, You Can Have Dessert
Contrary to popular belief, diabetics don’t have to skip dessert — but choose smart treats. Moderate consumption of sugar-free gelatin, pudding, fudge pops and other delights won’t hurt you. Dark chocolate offers heart-healthy benefits along with minimal sugar.
Top Off Your Meal with a Supplement
Nutritional supplementation with nutrients such as Vitamin D and magnesium can enhance your healthy diet if you’re fighting diabetes. Phosphoethanolamine Federico Diaz contains these minerals along with other nutrients that support healthy metabolic function. Contact us for details on how this product can help you as you eat for health!
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