When the person you are caring for is diagnosed with diabetes, it’s natural to have questions about what food to eat. Each person with diabetes is different and there is no single diet that suits everyone. When caring for someone with diabetes, keeping their blood sugar levels under control is very important for their overall health but it can seem complicated. You might be feeling unsure about how to help the person you’re caring for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. In this video, we’ll look at ingredients to help keep blood sugar levels low, and give you some helpful tips on how to manage it.
When caring for someone with diabetes, keeping their blood sugar levels under control is very important for their overall health…but it can seem complicated.
You might be feeling unsure about how to help the person you’re caring for maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Let’s start with food, as the food the person you’re caring for eats, will have a big impact on blood sugar levels.
In this video, we’ll look at ingredients to help keep blood sugar levels low, and give you some helpful tips on how to manage it.
A good rule to follow when cooking for someone with diabetes is ‘The Diabetes Plate Method.’ With ‘The Diabetes Plate Method,’ you use the foods you normally eat. This will make it easier to follow and save you money.
When you follow ‘The Diabetes Plate Method,’ picture the plate being sectioned into three parts – one half, and two quarters.
Half of the plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, or spinach.
Divide the other half of the plate into two smaller sections. Fill one-quarter of the plate with lean protein foods. For example chicken, seafood, falafel, or tofu.
Finally, the last quarter of the plate should have grains or starchy vegetables brown rice, tortilla, sweet potatoes, or whole wheat pasta.
Avoid foods that have a lot of refined sugars. This includes items such as pop and candy, and “white” foods such as white bread, regular pasta, white rice, and potatoes.
If these foods can’t be removed totally from their diet, that’s all right. Simply encourage them to have smaller portions of the higher sugar foods when possible.
If you live in an area where access to fresh fruits and vegetables isn’t possible, do the best you can. Frozen and canned vegetables and fruit can be a good substitute. When you can, choose fruits packed in water with no added sugar instead of packed in syrup, or simply rinse the syrup off of the canned fruit before serving.
Sometimes the person you’re caring for may not be able to maintain their blood sugar with diet alone. They may need to take medication to help.
There are many different medications available to help with diabetes.
Some are in pill form and can be taken by mouth. The person you’re caring for may need to use insulin, which is injected using a needle. There are different kinds of insulin: some work quickly, while others are meant to take longer. The doctor may also order insulin injection amounts that change based on what their blood sugar levels are.
Managing insulin injections can be difficult. There’s a lot to think about. Speaking to the diabetes specialist, family doctor, or pharmacist of the person you’re caring for, can help you manage the process.
Regular exercise is a great way to help maintain blood sugar. Talk to their doctor about a safe exercise plan for the person you’re caring for.
Remember that diabetes can be managed with food, regular exercise, and medication. With your help, the person you’re caring for can live a better, healthier life.
For more tips and strategies on diabetes, check out our Care Guide.
Be sure to visit our website for more caregiver support and resources.