Meal Planning Tips for Seniors with Diabetes

Planning Meals for Seniors with Diabetes: Healthy Options and Tips

Diabetes meal planning can help seniors living with the disease prevent it from getting worse while protecting their overall health.

The American Diabetes Association reports that 25.9% of Americans over the age of 65 have diabetes. Caregiving for a senior with this disease requires proactive meal planning. (diabetes.org)

Commonly known for its effects on glucose (blood sugar) levels, diabetes is a disease many seniors live with. Type II diabetes is more common among seniors. The disease is directly influenced by nutrition. As a result, caregivers and their seniors must plan meals that help keep diabetes under control. (nia.nih.gov)

Healthy Food Choices for Diabetes

Fortunately, living with Type II Diabetes doesn’t mean seniors can’t eat their favorite foods anymore. Diabetes can often be managed simply by making healthy choices. Portion control and consuming healthy foods like vegetables and lean meat are key.

WebMD suggests opting for: Sugar-free foods when possible, Low sodium alternatives, Fresh whole foods, Whole grains, Low fat dairy & Minimal fried foods

Diabetes Meal Planning Methods (diabetes.org)

The Plate Method One easy way to plan a healthy diabetes-friendly meal is the plate method. Select a meal that will fill one quarter of the plate with a lean protein, another quarter with a grain or starchy vegetable, and the remaining half of the plate with a non-starchy vegetable.

Carb Counting Since carbs break down into the glucose that a person with diabetes has trouble regulating, it is best to limit carbs consumed to about 45-60 per meal. Seniors can still enjoy their favorite foods, but are able to choose the right portions with carb counting.

Glycemic Index Often used along with the carb counting method, planning meals around the glycemic index (GI) can make dietary choices easier. Seniors with diabetes choose from foods that are low on the glycemic GI for two meals per day and may opt for just one high or medium GI food each day.

Quick Meal Planning Tips

Swap For Healthier Alternatives If a senior loves particular ingredients or foods, plan meals with healthier alternatives. For example, swap sweet potatoes for fries or use sugar free jam instead of jelly.