In commemoration of National Diabetes Month, Senior Care Corner is exploring the latest report about healthy diets for you and your senior loved ones.
It is not uncommon for the people we love to be trying diets to lose weight or control a chronic condition such as diabetes. By altering the types and amounts of foods we eat we may be shortchanging our nutrition, which can lead to poor health. Slow, steady weight loss is the key to health, as drastic weight loss can be harmful.
Many popular diets are based on excluding large groups of foods such as carbs or white foods. This may mean your senior loved one is also leaving out important nutrients for which their bodies hunger.
Madelyn Fernstrom, founding director of the UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center and author of The Real You Diet, has reviewed twenty diet programs to determine if the nutritional components are provided within the framework of the particular program and if the diets are safe. You can find the entire article here.
The best diets for healthy eating from her review have been ranked with a score from 1 to 5 for nutritional content and safety. The highest marks went to DASH, TLC, Mediterranean, Mayo Clinic, Volumetrics, and Weight Watchers meal programs. “The ones that get high scores in safety and in nutritional value — they’re very similar to each other”. All these diets have in common the fact that they are largely plant based, with lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains and occasional treats.
The lower scoring diets were often too restrictive, lacking in essential nutrients or cooked in such a way that would make them unsafe.
If your senior loved one suffers from diabetes and has been told to lose some weight, seek sound medical advice from your doctor or dietitian to help plan a meal program that will continue to help manage blood sugar, control weight and provide all the essential nutrients needed everyday.
Don’t gamble with your health — or theirs!