While the exact cause of type 2 diabetes is still unknown, it is often possible to prevent this disease through strategic lifestyle changes. Maintaining healthy habits can dramatically reduce a senior’s likelihood of developing this illness. Following are five simple strategies suggested by Allentown elderly care professionals that are worth implementing right now.
1. Stop Smoking
Smokers have a far greater likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. Moreover, people with type 2 diabetes who smoke will have an extremely difficult time managing their illness. Smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict, which limits the amount of blood flowing to the lower extremities. A doctor can recommend a good smoking cessation program. There are also many new smoking cessation medications that can be prescribed to assist your loved one in these efforts.
2. Engage in Regular Exercise
At every stage of life, routine exercise is the most effective way for people to maintain healthy, balanced body weights. Moderate levels of physical activity will keep the metabolism working at an acceptable pace, preserve bone density, and promote the development and retention of lean muscle mass. More importantly, physical exercise helps the body regulate HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose for better health overall.
3. Eat Healthy, Home-Cooked Meals
A lot of seniors are subsisting on fast food and other ready-made meals due to the increased challenges of cooking. These foods have low nutritional values and many of the ingredients convert instantly into sugar. These meals provide limited energy and cause blood glucose levels to soar. Nutritious, home-cooked meals are therefore a great form of diabetes prevention. Seniors should focus on consuming whole grains and other complex carbohydrates, legumes, fresh fruits and veggies, and plenty of lean proteins. If your loved one struggles with meal preparation, caregivers in Allentown are available on a part-time basis and can help with grocery shopping, nutritious meal planning, and cooking.
4. Incorporate Heart-Healthy Fats into the Diet
Heart-healthy fats are an important addition to any diabetes prevention diet. These include avocados and avocado oil, olives, nuts, nut butters and coconut oil. Two to three servings of fatty fish like tuna, salmon or mackerel per week can be beneficial as well. All of these things will provide ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which fight the inflammation that is known to increase insulin resistance.
5. Consult with the Doctor
Some seniors are more genetically predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes than others. If your loved one has a family history of this illness or has an increased risk due to smoking or obesity, consulting with a physician will help your elderly relative establish an individualized prevention plan. Regular testing and early intervention can also make diabetes management after diagnosis significantly easier.
For more information about maintaining health and wellness in the golden years, don’t hesitate to call Home Care Assistance at 484-350-3874 today. Our hourly, live-in, and respite care Allentown families count on ensures seniors have the support needed to eat well, exercise regularly, and maintaining overall wellness. Reach out today and schedule an in-person consultation with a friendly Care Manager.