Managing diabetes properly is important in order to prevent serious consequences such as the loss of a limb, heart issues, kidney failure, or even death. The good news with most cases of diabetes is that it can be controlled with good eating habits. Whether you are a caregiver of someone with diabetes, or you have it yourself and want to manage your own diet, there are important things to consider when grocery shopping and meal planning.
People who have diabetes are not able to process sugar properly because of insulin resistance. This means that one of the most important parts of diabetes management is to cut down on sugar intake, which can be challenging.
Whether you are receiving in-home care, are in an assisted living center, or you are living independently, planning your meals will not only help to keep your insulin in check, but it will also make mealtime easier. By planning ahead, you can be assured that you are making healthy choices both at the grocery store and while you are eating.
While you want to make smart food choices, you also need them to fit certain eating habits and specific schedules, or else it will be difficult to maintain. It may help to speak with a nutrition consultant who can guide and help you plan meals based on the glycemic index, the plate method, or watching your carbohydrate intake.
Controlling diabetes through diet will also benefit you in that it can reduce your risk for stroke and heart disease. Include a wide variety of food items to make sure you are getting all the essential nutrients and so you don’t get bored. Some good choices are:
- Lean meats
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Beans and legumes
The Plate Method
If eating healthy is a new concept for you, the plate method is a good guide. When you fill your plate, half of it should be filled with non-starchy vegetables, one quarter with protein, and the remaining quarter with starchy foods or grains. One serving of fruit and/or dairy can be added to round out the meal.
Eating this way will help you practice appropriate portion control and make sure you are ingesting high-quality food that is low in sugar. Share your new lifestyle goals with the people around you so that they can support you in your journey.
At Home Helpers, we offer an array of senior care, including diabetes assistance. We can help ensure that sugar levels are monitored and that good communication is maintained with the client and family members.