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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Monday, November 14, 2011

The best foods to control diabetes in the elderly

Eating healthy is important for everyone, but it's even more important for the nearly 26 million Americans who have diabetes — half of whom are older than 60. A healthy diet, coupled with regular exercise and medicine (if needed) are the keys to keeping your husband's blood sugar under control.

The American Diabetes Association offers a list of 10 superfoods for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. These foods contain nutrients that are vitally important to people with diabetes, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E. They're also high in fiber, which will help your husband feel full longer and keep his glycemic index low so his blood sugar won't spike. And they'll help keep his blood pressure and cholesterol in check, also critical for diabetics.

Beans: Kidney, pinto, navy, black and other types of beans are rich in nutrients and high in soluble fiber, which will keep blood sugar steady and can help lower cholesterol.

Dark green leafy vegetables: Spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, kale and other dark, leafy green veggies are nutrient-dense, low in calories and carbohydrates. A diabetic can't eat too much of these.

Citrus fruits: Grapefruit, oranges and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which helps heart health. Fiber in whole fruit slows sugar absorption so your husband will get the citrus fruit nutrients without sending his blood sugar soaring.

Sweet potatoes: High in vitamin A and fiber and low in glycemic index, sweet potatoes won't raise your husband's blood sugar at the same level as a regular potato.

Berries: Whole, unsweetened blueberries, strawberries and other berries are full of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber.

Tomatoes: Raw or cooked, this low-calorie food offers vital nutrients such as vitamin C, iron and vitamin E.

Fish with omega-3 fatty acids: Salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are high in omega 3 fatty acids that help heart health and diabetes. But avoid the breaded and deep-fried variety.

Whole grains: Pearl barley, oatmeal, breads and other whole-grain foods are high in fiber and contain nutrients such as magnesium, chromium, folate and omega 3 fatty acids.

Nuts: An ounce of nuts provides important “healthy fats” along with hunger management. They also contain a nice dose of magnesium and fiber. Nuts are high in calories so a small handful each day is enough.

Fat-free milk and yogurt: These dairy foods provide the calcium and vitamin D your husband needs and can help curb cravings for snacks.

More information

For more details on healthy food choices for diabetics, including free recipes, go to diabetes.org or call (800) 342-2383.

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