6 Unhealthy Foods that Increase the Risk of Diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease that impacts the body’s ability to create or use insulin. While this medical condition is devastating when left untreated, most people can avoid it entirely with healthy dietary habits. Here are six unhealthy foods that could increase a senior’s risk of type 2 diabetes. 

1. Processed Meats

In addition to containing carcinogens, processed meats might impact insulin production as well. A recent study revealed one serving of processed meat per day can increase the risk of diabetes by just over eight percent. Some experts believe the preservatives in these meats strain the pancreas and impact how much insulin the body produces.  Many seniors require assistance with eliminating unhealthy foods from their diets. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Sweet Drinks

Sweet drinks like soda and fruit juice are incredibly hard on the body, and they should only be consumed on rare occasions. The average individual only needs around 20 grams of sugar per day, and a single soda may contain twice the recommended amount of sugar. Diet soda is a better option than regular soda, but artificial sweeteners come with their own risks. Instead of soda, your loved one might want to try carbonated water flavored with fresh fruit. 

3. Candies

Eating candy every day can have a major impact on blood sugar levels because they’re packed with sweeteners as well as low-quality carbohydrates. If your loved one has a sweet tooth, encourage him or her to try foods that are naturally sweet, such as berries and grapes. While fruit is much healthier than candy, your loved one shouldn’t consume more than one or two servings per day. The natural sugars found in fruit can impact blood sugar levels as well. 

4. Pastries

When eaten together, refined flour and processed sugar can drastically alter insulin levels. After the initial energy rush, the body stops producing insulin so blood sugar levels can stabilize. These glucose spikes are very tough on the metabolic system, which is just one of the reasons pastries should be avoided. If your loved one is looking for a midday snack, he or she should stick to foods that are high in protein and unsaturated fat.  Preparing nutritious meals and snacks for older adults can be challenging for overworked family caregivers. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Palm Beach, Florida, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

5. Full-Fat Dairy Products

Fat is an essential macronutrient, but seniors should limit their intake of saturated fat. Studies have shown saturated fat can increase the risk of insulin resistance, which is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Having the occasional glass of milk or slice of cheese is fine, but your loved one shouldn’t have dozens of servings of full-fat dairy products every week. 

6. Refined Pasta

Refined pasta is another type of food seniors need to avoid if they have prediabetes or family histories of diabetes. Unlike whole grains, refined pasta tends to be high in carbohydrates and low in fiber. One of the most effective ways to increase insulin production and regulation is to eat foods that are high in fiber. Instead of refined pasta, your loved one should try pasta made from beans or barley.  If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care. Palm Beach Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (561) 429-8292.

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