According to WebMD (www.mebmd.com), more than 20 million Americans live with diabetes, and most are persons aged 65-and-over. Seniors with diabetes are placed at high risk for developing other serious medical conditions, like heart disease, kidney failure and nerve damage. If you’re currently assisting an aging in place elderly loved one who has diabetes, getting them to stick to a healthier diet is a must. To assist your efforts, here are 5 diabetic-friendly healthy food that your senior can enjoy.

Healthy Food Guidelines for Diabetics

Based on recommendations from the Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org), the overall goals when preparing healthier foods for a senior with diabetes should be:

  • Managing their weight; as 80% of seniors with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
  • Controlling other heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure and fat levels (cholesterol) in their blood.
  • Providing them with 3 portion-controlled meals a day that are served at set mealtimes.

Overall, the Mayo Clinic’s “Diabetes Diet” features foods rich in essential nutrients and fiber that are also low in fats and calories. Other tips for diabetics from the Mayo Clinic include:

  • Restrict sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day.
  • Keep the senior’s daily cholesterol intake below 200 mg per day.
  • Avoid trans fats that are found in processed snacks, baked goods, stick margarines and shortening.
  • Avoid saturated fats found in high-fat dairy and animal products like butter, beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon. Also, limit oils like coconut and palm.

5 Foods That Diabetics Can Have

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