Diabetes diagnosis is increasing among the elderly. As you age, you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes due to poor eating habits and inactivity. However, you can lower your chances by improving your diet and avoiding some foods. Here is a look at some foods you should avoid to decrease your chances of developing diabetes as a senior.
Donuts, Cakes, and Cookies
Sweet treats made of processed flour lack nutritional value and increase blood glucose levels leading to weight gain. Instead of having pastries, opt for lower-quality carbohydrates such as fruits. You can add apples, berries, and other types of fruits to slow down glucose absorption in the body, thus helping lower the sugar levels in seniors.
Processed Meat and Red Meat
Most seniors will alter their diet to include animal-based protein to reduce the amount of processed carbohydrates they take. However, consuming large amounts of processed or red meat can increase the chances of developing diabetes from 17 percent to 41 percent.
Some of the food you should avoid include bacon, lunch meat, sausage, and similar processed foods with high sodium levels. Sodium added to processed meat also causes fluid retention and hypertension, increasing the chances of more complications with diabetes.
Food with Trans Fats
Seniors should avoid food containing trans fats. Such foods include margarine, fast food, and processed baked foods. Studies show that trans fats play a huge role in developing cardiovascular problems and decreasing insulin sensitivity. This often leads to elevated blood sugar levels, thus increasing the chances of developing diabetes.
Processed grain foods include pasta, rice, pasta, and white bread, which are low in fiber. These foods also lead to raised blood sugar levels. Diets with refined or processed foods increase the chances of developing diabetes by 2.5 times.
Additionally, eating processed white rice daily increases the chances of developing diabetes by 11 times. You can swap these foods with their whole-grain options to keep the digestive system working correctly while the body gets the proper nutrients. Consuming processed grains also increase the chances of weight gain, which is a risk factor for developing diabetes.
Snacks and fried food have a high glycemic index and offer little nutrition. They also have dense calories, increasing the chances of developing diabetes due to spikes in glucose levels.
Most vegetables are great for seniors, but some can lead to excessive weight gain and, in some cases, increased blood sugar levels. Potatoes, corn, peas, and other starchy vegetables make it hard for the body to regulate blood sugar levels due to their carbohydrate levels. If you love eating starchy vegetables, combine them with leafy greens like spinach, kale, and mustard.
Eating dairy products regularly can also contribute to weight gain. Excess weight leads to the release of fat molecules in the blood, which negatively affects the insulin responsive-cells, which can eventually lead to diabetes.
Seniors should avoid full-fat dairy products that increase their chances of developing diabetes, including cream cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. When out grocery shopping, opt for low-fat and nonfat dairy products.
Sweetened teas, sodas, lemonades, and other alcoholic drinks contain high amounts of sugar, putting seniors at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Most beverages have added sugar which offers no nutritional value to an aging adult. Sugar often leads to insulin resistance and high blood pressure. Rather than having these sweetened beverages, you should opt for water, unsweetened tea, and natural fruit juices.
Sweetened Breakfast Cereal
Boxed breakfast cereals have loads of sugar. A cup of cereal often contains 15 grams of sugar and 28 grams of carbs, which are detrimental to managing your blood sugar levels. If you want cereal, look for the one with 1 gram of sugar and 2 grams of carbs.
Diabetes is an avoidable condition, but many older adults are susceptible. Therefore, taking the necessary steps to reduce the risk through your food choices is essential. Eating the food on the post occasionally will not harm you but ensure that you have a healthy eating plan to keep your blood sugar levels at a healthy range.