Your mom has been diagnosed with diabetes. It will require management to keep her healthy.
Here are six dietary changes she needs to make.
Watch sugar content. Your mom needs to eat sweet treats like cookies and cakes in moderation. They should only be treats. She also should look for added sugar in crackers, packaged bread, and canned or jarred soups and sauces.
Vegetables are a must. Your mom should eat a mix of vegetables that are not starchy like potatoes. Leafy greens are good. Cruciforms like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are also great choices. Celery is low in calories and high in water, which helps with hydration, too.
Look at the Glycemic Index of Foods
Foods with a low glycemic index can help your mom feel fuller longer. They also are absorbed more slowly so they don’t cause a rapid increase in blood sugars. Some of the foods with a low glycemic index include steel-cut oats, barley, cracked wheat, pumpernickel bread, sweet potatoes, and lentils.
Focus on Water, Seltzer, and Unsweetened Tea or Coffee
If your mom is used to a glass of wine or beer and likes sweet juices and sodas, she’ll need to make changes. Water or seltzer with a slice of lime or lemon can help her get past the urge to have a soda. Herbal teas are a good choice. She can have them hot or iced.
When drinking fruit juices, your mom should carefully read the label to look for added sugars. Some companies add unnecessary sugar to blackcurrant juice, cranberry juices, and even apple juice.
Cut Saturated Fats
Stick to foods that avoid saturated fats. This includes many packaged foods and meats like beef, bacon, sausage, and certain deli meats. Full-fat dairy items can also have saturated fat.
Follow the Plate Method
The American Diabetes Association recommends using the Plate Method when choosing foods. Fill half of a plate with fresh vegetables that are not starchy like potatoes. One of the remaining quarters should have your lean protein like salmon or chicken breast. The other quarter should have a serving of whole grains, such as cooked barley or quinoa.
If she’s struggling with meal preparation, hire senior care professionals to help her create weekly menus, shop for groceries, and prepare meals for her. Many seniors lose interest in cooking or struggle to chop ingredients because of arthritis pain. Your mom doesn’t have to give up on homemade meals with fresh ingredients. Call a senior care adviser to discuss meal preparation services from caregivers.