Rising rates of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are driving up healthcare costs. For American Diabetes Month, learn what foods your parents need to skip and what you can serve in their place. Too many Americans eat an excessive amount of sugar each day.
Why does it matter? Whether they have diabetes or not, these simple switches help improve your parents' dietary habits. In turn, that can improve cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure readings.
Eat Lots of Whole Grains
Fiber is important for adults with prediabetes or diabetes. It helps slow the absorption of sugar. To get enough fiber, whole grains are important.
Instead of white rice, your mom and dad should switch to barley, quinoa, farro, or brown rice. If your dad loves pork fried rice, make it with barley instead. If your mom craves risotto, make it with farro.
When your mom wants a snack, microwave popcorn may be easy, but it's not healthy. Instead, put a third of a cup of dried popcorn kernels in an unbleached paper bag. Fold the top several times and put the bag in the microwave. Microwave for around three and a half minutes.
The air-popped popcorn she makes can be flavored with her favorite oil. She might want to mix avocado oil and cumin, walnut oil and black pepper, or olive oil and garlic.
Choose Unrefined Oils
Extra-virgin olive oil is a better oil than canola. Avoid butter as much as possible. If your dad has a whole-grain baguette and wants to slather it with butter, switch it to olive oil that has chopped raw garlic in it. That dipping sauce is healthier and adds a lot of flavor.
He might like the newer vegan butter substitutes made with oat milk. Those don't contain the saturated fat than butter does.
Learn to Read Labels
Reading labels is important as companies often add sugars that aren't quickly recognized. If the loaf of whole wheat bread you're thinking of buying has fructose, that's a type of sugar. So is corn syrup, malt, and brown rice syrup.
Packaged bread is one area where extra sugar is often added. You should also check for sugar in pasta sauce, canned soups, marinades, salad dressings, and fruit juice.
Elder care services help with meals that meet your parents' changing needs. If they struggle to read labels in stores to check for added sugar, caregivers can do it for them.
If they have a hard time making homemade meals and rely on takeout, consider hiring elder care aides to cook meals for them. Those two small changes can help them improve their diet.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Lone Tree, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.