If your parent has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, they may feel overwhelmed. They have probably left the doctor’s office with a stack of reading material that could rival Atlas Shrugged. You can help them on the road to a healthy life without developing the complications of diabetes by preparing or suggesting daily meals that provide all the essential nutrients while limiting their carbohydrate intake. If this seems overwhelming for you as well, consider obtaining the services of a senior care provider who has cared for countless seniors with diabetes, knows the ins-and-out of diets and is happy to do the grocery shopping and prepare diabetic- friendly meals.
Carbohydrate (carb) counting is a way of keeping the blood sugar level in check. If done right, and exercise is incorporated as well, it can be a tremendous advantage to managing diabetes. Finding the right amount of carbohydrates per day is very individual and dependent upon weight as well as activity level. Ask your parent’s primary health care providers for their recommended amount.
All carbohydrates are not created equal. There are healthy carbs such as whole grains, fruits, dairy products, beans and vegetables. Vegetables in the starchy category include potatoes, peas and corn and should be kept to a minimum. And then there are the not-so-healthy carbs found in most processed and packaged foods including crackers, pasta and white bread.
Foods that do not contain carbs include meats, fish, poultry, nuts, oils and fats.
Why Count Them?
Carbohydrates create glucose, a simple sugar, when broken down in the body during the digestive process. This enters your bloodstream where insulin helps the body’s cells absorb the sugar for energy. When the pancreas fails to produce the necessary insulin, glucose remains in the bloodstream leading to high blood sugar that eventually damages the arteries which then leads to the host of complications associated with diabetes. Keeping this sugar at a manageable level is the idea behind carbohydrate counting.
How to Count?
Foods with labels are easy to count. The amount of carbohydrates in foods without labels can be found online in one of the numerous carb counters or on your cell phone on one of the many apps. Though your parent’s doctor will have the ultimate say, a general rule is around 45g to 60g per meal. The following represents a typical meal in this range:
1 Small Apple—15g
1 Broiled Chicken Breast—0g
2 Cups of Leafy Greens—14g
2 TB Balsamic Vinegar Dressing—4g
½ Cup Brown Rice—22g
Developing a weekly meal plan can take the guess work out of a carbohydrate meal plan for your parent. This is a good task for one of your family or caregiving team members that live far away and are unable to contribute physically.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Memorial, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
In 1989 after selling his family owned food service business, Mr. Gerber pursued his compassion for the elderly by completing his geriatric education and training requirements to be a licensed nursing home administrator (LNFA) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Previously he received his undergraduate business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters in business administration (MBA) from the University of Houston.In 2003, Mr. Gerber earned his Certification to be a Senior Advisor (CSA).
Sid Gerber is a Google Verified Author
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