When an older adult is newly diagnosed with diabetes, one of the steps needed to manage the condition is determining the type of meal plan to follow. One option is carbohydrate counting. This meal plan sounds complicated when you first hear about it, but it has the advantage of allowing diabetics more flexibility in their meals.
How it Works
The amount of carbs a diabetic eats is important because they have the biggest effect on blood sugar levels. The sugars and starches in carbs are broken down into glucose, a simple form of sugar. The glucose then gets into the body’s bloodstream and raises blood sugar levels. By counting carbs, diabetics can match their insulin dose to the amount of carbs they’ve eaten, which helps regulate blood sugar. When blood glucose levels are maintained, diabetics:
- Remain healthy longer.
- Enjoy a better quality of life because they feel better and have more energy.
- Prevent diabetic complications.
Determining the Amount of Carbs
In order to count carbs, diabetics must first know how to determine the amount of carbs in the foods they are eating. One of the best ways to know the amount of carbs in a food is to read the nutritional label. When it comes to car counting, there are two key pieces of information on the label: serving size and total carbohydrates. The serving size is particularly important because it helps to plan a meal with proper portion sizes and accurately count carbs. For example, if a one cup serving of a food contains 31 grams of carbohydrates, but the diabetic eats two cups, they must track that they have eaten 62 grams of carbs and not 31 grams.
Counting carbs in homemade foods is a little more complicated. When preparing a recipe, you’ll have to add up the carbohydrates of all of the ingredients used and then divide it by the number of servings a recipe makes. Be sure to pay attention to the serving size of each of the ingredients and the amount of the ingredient used. So, if a serving of a particular ingredient is one cup, but the recipe calls for only half a cup, be sure to divide the carbs listed on the nutritional label by two.
At first, counting carbs can be time consuming and difficult. However, as time goes on and you become more familiar with foods, it becomes much easier.
If you have a senior family member who was recently diagnosed with diabetes, a home care provider can help them to manage the condition. Home care providers can assist with calculating carbs and preparing healthy meals. They can also help to track the foods the diabetic has eaten, which can be important in determining how well a meal plan is working. Home care providers can also remind seniors to test blood sugar levels and take medications.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOMECARE IN BUCKEYE, AZ, CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY (623) 748-3301.