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6 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes in the Senior Years

Statistics indicate that approximately 1.7 million people in Australia live with diabetes. If not properly controlled, the disorder may result in blindness, cardiovascular disease, and possible lower limb amputation. While genetics play a role in diabetes development, there are many factors within an older adult’s control. Here are a few simple ways ageing adults can lower their diabetes risk.

1. Add Whole Grains to the Diet

Consuming whole grains or whole-grain products two to three times each day can reduce the risk of diabetes by up to 30 percent. Whole grains contain bran and fibre, which are more complex to digest and convert to glucose. The pancreas undergoes less stress because the sugars are released more slowly into the bloodstream.

Diabetes can affect an older adult’s health, wellbeing, and overall quality of life. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional care workers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust North Coast home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

2. Avoid Sweetened Beverages

Sweetened drinks, sodas, and fruit juices rate high on the glycemic index, and they raise blood sugar levels. For every 12-ounce serving of a sweetened beverage consumed throughout the day, seniors increase their risk of developing diabetes by 25 percent. Sugar causes inflammation, raises insulin resistance and triglycerides, and reduces HDL cholesterol. A steady diet of sweet drinks contributes to weight gain, which also raises diabetes risk. Older adults should consider drinking unsweetened flavoured water, coffee, or tea. While it’s not unhealthy for seniors to enjoy a sweet treat from time to time, sweetened foods in general should be avoided.

3. Consume Healthy Fats

The trans fats found in baked goods, fried foods, margarine, and other processed foods increases the risk of diabetes. However, the polyunsaturated fats contained in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils lower diabetes risk.

4. Give Up Red Meat & Processed Meats

Red meat and processed meats elevate diabetes risk factors. One three-ounce serving of beef, lamb, pork, bacon, deli meat, or hot dogs increases diabetes risk by 20 percent. These meats are rich in iron, nitrate, and sodium that render insulin ineffective and damage the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Conversely, eating fish, low-fat dairy products, nuts, poultry, and whole grains reduces diabetes risk by up to 35 percent.

 From preparing nutritious meals to performing basic housekeeping tasks, older adults may need help with an array of activities. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the North Coast respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

5. Reduce Food Portions

Large food portions cause prolonged high blood sugar levels and put stress on the pancreas. Reducing portion sizes decreases the risk of developing diabetes by up to 46 percent. Overeating and leading a sedentary lifestyle lead to excessive weight gain, which is another risk factor for diabetes.

6. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Evidence suggests moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages increase insulin’s ability to provide glucose to the cells. However, too much alcohol has the opposite effect. Seniors should consider limiting their alcohol intake to reduce their diabetes risk.

Older adults who need help making healthy lifestyle choices should consider professional in-home care. North Coast elderly care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home care workers. If your ageing parent needs in-home care, call Home Care Assistance at (02) 6646 3527 today.