Tips for Health

Diabetic Diets for Elderly People

By on March 15, 2013 in Health with 0 Comments

A diet for elderly diabetics is pretty much the same as for younger patients.  The only real difference is the appropriate number of calories.  As we age, we tend to slow down a bit and therefore need fewer calories each day than earlier in life.  This may be no more than 1600 for women and 2000 for men.

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Caloric intake can be best regulated by controlling the amount of starch and sugar in the diet.Starches and sugars are the primary source of  energyfor the body as they are made up of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates in food are what affect blood sugar levels.  Too much starch and blood sugar levels rise; too little starch and those levels drop.  In general a diabetic diet allows 8-11 servings of starch per day.  A serving would fit into the palm of your hand.  Whole grains have less effect on blood sugar levels than do the more refined products.

The diet should also include fruits (2-4 servings about the size of a tennis ball) and vegetables (3-5 servings), proteins such as lean meats, fish, chicken or cheese (2-3 3-oz servings), low-fat milk or yoghurt (2-3 8-oz servings)  and fats, sweets and alcohol in very limited amounts.

Portion control is immensely important to keep within an acceptable calorie range.  The new government “plate” guidelines are quite helpful.  One draws an imaginary line down the middle of the plate.  One half is filled with non-starchy vegetables and fruits.  The other half is divided again and one half is for the protein, the other for the starch.

This does not work if the plate is enormous. A normal dinner plate should be just fine, but if calories are still too high, try reducing the size of the plate.  Within each group choose the foods with the greatest concentration of nutrients.

Portrait of elderly couple with fresh vegetables on the table

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