6 Foods that Raise Diabetes Risk in Seniors

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More than 25 million people in the United States live with diabetes, a disorder that may damage the cardiovascular system and cause premature aging. Food choices may have a major impact on overall health, and the following foods greatly increase the risk of developing diabetes in the senior years. 

Sweet Foods 

Since diabetes affects the amount of insulin needed to control blood sugar, a steady diet of sugary foods isn’t healthy for seniors. Sweetened beverages are devoid of necessary nutrients and fiber. Similarly, sweet snacks, baked goods, and dehydrated fruits also pose potential blood sugar risks. Sweetened foods cause hyperglycemia, promote insulin resistance, lead to vascular inflammation and unwanted weight gain, and contribute to the development of diabetes.

Diabetes is a major health concern among older adults. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a home care agency you may trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Processed Grains

White bread, pasta, and rice are low in fiber, and they raise blood glucose levels. Diets rich in refined carbohydrates may increase the likelihood of developing diabetes by 2.5 times. Consuming processed white rice on a daily basis raises the risk of developing diabetes by 11 times. Whole grains keep the gastrointestinal system functioning properly while providing nutrients. Unwanted weight gain is another disadvantage of consuming a diet high in processed grains. 

Fried Foods

Fried foods and snacks rank high on the glycemic index and offer little nutrition. These unhealthy foods also provide an abundance of calories.

Processed & Red Meats 

Some seniors alter their diets to include more animal-based protein and reduce the amount of processed carbohydrates. However, consuming a large amount of processed and red meats increases the likelihood of developing diabetes by anywhere from 17 to 41 percent. Researchers theorize that the iron content in red meat may damage the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Bacon, sausage, lunch meat, and similar processed foods contain high levels of sodium, which has the potential for causing hypertension and fluid retention. 

Some seniors need help preparing nutrient-dense meals that lower the risk of diabetes. Whether your aging loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Columbus in-home care experts at Assisting Hands Home Care are here to help.

Foods with Trans Fats 

Foods containing trans fats include fast foods, margarine, and processed baked goods. Trans fats contribute to cardiovascular disease while decreasing insulin sensitivity, which causes elevated blood sugar levels and a higher risk of developing diabetes. 

Starchy Vegetables 

The antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables have the potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, while starchy foods increase the risk. A steady diet of starchy vegetables causes a spike in blood sugar levels and contributes to abnormal weight gain. While having a serving of corn or potatoes isn’t unhealthy, combining them both in the same meal isn’t recommended. Ideally, meals should consist of half non-starchy vegetables, one-fourth protein, and one-fourth starches.

Avoiding unhealthy foods is just one of the many ways older adults may maintain a high quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age may benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Columbus, OH, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 614-678-5887.