With age comes wisdom, and as you know, there is a price to pay for almost everything. Ailments and infections grow as we grow, and when we reach the age of 60, the chances of diabetes increase.
At this age, the prevalence of diabetes is three times higher than in middle-aged people. One of the problems with diabetes in seniors is a person may have another condition that makes it more difficult to control blood sugar.
The patient may also develop complications of diabetes due to high blood sugar in the years before diagnosis. Hence, it makes a lot of sense to control diabetes in all stages of its development. Nutrition in seniors with diabetes plays an essential role in controlling this disease.
Diabetes raises blood sugar levels due to impaired production or function of insulin in the body. Diabetes is divided into two types:
- Type 1, in which the body cannot produce insulin.
- Type 2, in which the body cannot use the insulin it has appropriately produced.
Seniors must control diabetes because it leads to many consequences, including kidney failure, nerve damage, blurred vision, heart attacks, stroke, circulatory disorders, hearing loss, and many other problems.
By leading a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet, exercise, adequate sleep, and low stress, you’ll find the answer to the question of how seniors prevent diabetes.
What Fruits Are the Best for Diabetes?
This article will introduce and discuss some of the best fruits for seniors with diabetes.
Fruits are usually sweet, so most people think someone with diabetes should not eat them at all. But medically reviewed, many fruits and fruit juice are good for controlling blood sugar and are actually useful for seniors with diabetes. Fruits contain natural sugars, which can raise blood glucose levels. However, fruits also contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which are important for maintaining overall health. Fiber can help slow down the absorption of sugar in the blood, which can help regulate blood glucose levels.
Sweet and juicy apples can be good for diabetes. Apples are rich in soluble fibre, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They also contain pectin (a polymer derived from gelatinous plant structures found in fruits and vegetables) that helps detoxify the body, eliminate harmful substances, and reduce its need for insulin by up to 35%.
Furthermore, apples will help prevent heart attacks, reduce cancer risk, and prevent eye disorders in people with diabetes.
Cherries have the lowest glucose levels among fruits. The glucose index of this fruit is 22. Cherries contain antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fibre, and vitamin B9.
Besides, cherries contain anthocyanins, which lower blood sugar by increasing insulin production by 50%. The fruit fights heart disease, cancer, and other diseases common among seniors with diabetes.
Guava is rich in lycopene and has much dietary fibre and significant amounts of vitamin C and potassium. All of these nutrients help control blood sugar. Seniors at risk can prevent it by drinking guava leaf tea. Chop up the dried guava leaves for this purpose. Then, pour a tablespoon of chopped leaves into boiling water, brew for 5 minutes, and strain it. Drink this tea once a day.
Grapefruit is rich in soluble fibre and vitamin C and has a glucose index of 25. Besides, this fruit contains a naringin substance, which increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps you lose weight. Having a healthy, fit weight is essential in preventing and controlling diabetes.
Avocados help stabilize blood sugar due to their high fibre and unsaturated fats. These fats also improve heart health. Seniors with diabetes are at risk for heart disease and stroke. Avocados are high in potassium, which helps prevent diabetic neuropathy. You can also use avocado in salads and sandwiches or make a salad dressing by pureeing and combining it with lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and minerals that can help control blood sugar levels, and the antioxidants will lower your blood pressure.
In addition to being full of vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fibre, strawberries are also a source of fibre.
This fruit is low in carbohydrates and has a glucose index of 40. Eating strawberries will make you feel fuller for longer, keep your blood sugar levels steady and increase your energy levels. You can add fresh strawberries to salads or mix them with cereals and use them as a healthy snack and low-sugar dessert.
Oranges are one of the healthiest fruits in the diet of diabetic seniors. Oranges are low in sugar and high in fibre, vitamin C, and other minerals such as thiamine, which help control blood sugar.
Furthermore, oranges have a low glucose index and help blood glucose flow more smoothly. This fruit also helps control or lose weight, thus reducing the risk of diabetes.
Drinking orange juice is not as good as eating fruit because it lacks fibre. Hence, it is better to eat the fruit to control your blood sugar better.
Pears are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, fibre and regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, strengthen the immune system of seniors, and improve gastrointestinal health.
This fruit is beneficial for seniors with type 2 diabetes and can help improve insulin sensitivity.
Kiwi lowers blood sugar levels. This fruit contains vitamins C, E, and A, potassium, and a large amount of beta-carotene, which protects against free radicals and improves seniors’ health.
Besides, kiwi is rich in fibre and carbohydrates and helps control blood sugar and lowers cholesterol. Its glucose index is between 47 and 58.
By calculating the glycemic load, you consider both the quantity and the quality of your foods. It is low if it is less than ten, and the glycemic load above 20 is high. A diet low in glycemic load should include:
- whole grains:
- vegetables without starch
- other foods with a low glycemic index
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in old age and can have many complications. However, it is possible to control the disease with a proper diet. For example, the Mediterranean diet for seniors with diabetes is known as an effective diet for this disease. Fruits play an essential role in managing this disease, and you can reduce or prevent the risk of this disease by adding them to your diet.