Living with Diabetes as an Older Adult

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,673
    Barbara Resnick of the American Geriatrics Society discusses ways diabetic adults can adopt a healthier lifestyle.

    Barbara Resnick: Hi! I am Barbara Resnick, President of the American Geriatrics Society. Today I want to talk to you about how you can keep your diabetes under control by adapting a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating and exercise can improve your overall health, help you manage your blood glucose level, and decrease your risk of the complications associated with diabetes. You need to watch what you eat each day and be sure to include protein, fruits and vegetables in your diet. Your healthcare provider will design a diet and an exercise program that is right for you. This plan will also take into account other illnesses or physical limitations that you may have. Here is how to eat well and healthfully when you have diabetes. Generally eat smaller portions as each meal. If you eat out, a good idea is to share what you order with a friend or bring home part of the meal to eat the next day. Eat foods that are kept in the refrigerator rather than in the cabinets. Usually food that contains higher carbohydrates which your body turns into sugars, such as breads, pastas and cereals are stored in cabinets, while fresh fruit and vegetables are kept in the refrigerator. Eat cereals, breads and pastas made with whole grains instead of white flour. Substitute brown rice for white rice and sweet potatoes for white potatoes. Eat a variety of brightly colored low-calorie fruits and vegetables, especially good choices includes spinach, broccoli, carrots, red peppers, berries, cherries, apples, pears, and citrus fruit. Water is always a better option than soda or other sugary juices. Less than 30% of your total daily calorie should come from fat. The healthiest fat for you are those found in foods such as whole grains and certain fishes like salmon. Other good fats include avocadoes, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and peanut butter. Exercise is essential for losing weight and controlling your blood glucose. Even small increases in physical activity can help. People with pre-diabetes or diabetes should work towards 30 minutes a day of moderate level physical activity. The American Geriatric Society's Foundation for Health in Aging has additional resources online available to help you and those you care for.