6 Foods That Increase the Risk of Diabetes in Older Adults

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There are many foods that appeal to seniors, but not all foods are good for their health. An unhealthy snack, side dish, or entrée could put your aging loved one’s health in jeopardy and lead to serious conditions such as diabetes. Here are some foods that can increase a senior’s risk of developing diabetes. 

1. Red Meat 

Consuming red meat on a regular basis can lead to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, which increase the risk of diabetes. The worst types of red meat include steak, bacon, and sausage. Instead of eating red meat, older adults need to eat lean, unprocessed meats and seafood. Eating salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish can lower blood pressure and prevent inflammation. 

Giving up red meat is just one of the many ways older adults can enhance their quality of life. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Barrie elderly care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

2. White Breads and Pastas 

Eating white bread and pasta can lead to excessive weight gain and increase blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels continue to rise, your loved one could develop type 2 diabetes. Encourage your loved one to switch to whole-grain breads to balance his or her blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. 

3. Starchy Vegetables 

Although most vegetables are good for seniors, some are not. Corn, peas, potatoes, and other starchy vegetables make it difficult to regulate blood sugar due to the overall carbohydrate content. If your loved one is going to eat a starchy vegetable, make sure he or she combines it with leafy green produce such as kale, mustard greens, or spinach. 

As they progress in age, senior citizens may need help preparing nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Barrie seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

4. Dairy Fats 

Eating full-fat dairy products can contribute to weight gain. Being overweight can release fat molecules into the blood, which negatively impacts insulin-responsive cells and leads to diabetes. Full-fat dairy products that can increase a senior’s risk of diabetes include milk, full-fat yogurt, cream cheese, and ice cream. When grocery shopping for your loved one, purchase nonfat or low-fat dairy products. 

5. Butter 

Eating foods that are high in saturated fat, like butter, can make cells resistant to insulin. As a result, sugar accumulates in the blood, leading to weight gain and a reduction of insulin sensitivity in the body. Seniors should cook with olive oil and other vegetable-based oils instead of butter. However, older adults should be mindful of how much oil they cook with, since oil is very calorie-dense. Eating meals prepared in excess oil can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. 

6. Sugary Beverages 

Sodas, lemonades, sweetened teas, and many alcoholic drinks contain high amounts of sugar that put seniors at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Most of these beverages contain excess sugar and offer little or no nutritional value to an aging adult. The sugar can lead to high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Your loved one should drink water, natural fruit juices, and unsweetened tea instead of sugary beverages.

Diabetes is just one of the many health issues aging adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Barrie families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To create a customized in-home care plan for your senior loved one, give us a call at 705-503-2273 today.