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What foods should the elderly with diabetes eat?

elderly with diabetes


Taking care of the eating habits of an older adult is very important and even more so if he suffers from diabetes. Currently, diabetes is a disease considered one of the most chronic of the 21st century, due to the complications that it carries if it does not have a routine medical control and even more so in the elderly.

In this health guide, you will know everything that the elderly diabetic needs to eat. To ensure that the older adult with diabetes is receiving the best possible nutrition, keep in mind that the recommendations change with age. In particular take note of these:


In the elderly stage, energy expenditure is decreased by reducing physical activity. Older adults generally need 30% fewer calories than they did when they were young. To know the amount of calories that the elderly adult can consume, it is necessary to know how much physical activity they do per day.


It is preferable to completely eliminate it from the eating plan of the elderly with diabetes. However, sweetening certain foods such as milk, juices or some dessert, should be done in a moderate way. Replace sugar with stevia or any other sweetener. The WHO recommends older adults that their daily sugar intake does not exceed 5% of calories.


Protein consumption should represent 10 to 20% of caloric intake. Older adults with an infection, injury, or other stressful illness need an increase in protein and calories. It is recommended that the elderly eat meat, chicken, fish, legumes, eggs and dried fruits, between 2 to 3 servings daily. They help to renew and repair the tissues of the body.


When it comes to carbohydrates, the amount is more important than the source. Foods that contain sugar can be substituted for other carbohydrates in the meal plan. For example, a slice of bread for breakfast preferably whole grain or ½ cup of rice or pasta for lunch and / or snack that can also be whole grain


To decide how much fat the older adult can consume, the nutritionist will weigh the risk of heart disease against the risk of malnutrition. If a low cholesterol diet is recommended, the restrictions should be set by the American Heart Association guidelines. I recommend consuming foods rich in Omega 3 and low in cholesterol, such as fish and / or dairy (skim).

Consume oils of vegetable origin such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and use olive and canola oil in the preparations of your meals, it can be in salads adding 1 tbsp.

They help prevent heart disease and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Vitamins and minerals

Eat foods rich in vitamins B1, B2, C, D, calcium and magnesium. They help maintain a healthy brain by avoiding degeneration caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

  • Vitamins B1, B2: eggs, liver, avocado, lentils, brewer’s yeast, chickpeas, milk
  • Vitamin D: milk, egg, tuna
  • Vitamin C: orange, tangerine, kiwi, mango, broccoli, green pepper
  • Calcium: milk, broccoli, sesame, pistachios, spinach.
  • Magnesium: almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, wheat bran


The American Dietetic Association recommends that the elderly consume 20 to 35g of fiber per day and in some adults the consumption may be higher. Such as: fruits, legumes, dried fruits, brown rice, oats, barley, wheat, corn and rice bran. Remember that they should be in small portions, not overuse and should always be accompanied by a sufficient amount of water.


Say no to salt and yes to flavor! It is important that the foods consumed by the elderly are well seasoned with natural spices. Replace the salt with: bay leaf, thyme, cumin, garlic, rosemary, among others. Surely the older adult will love it and in turn we are taking care of his heart.

The main thing in the diet for older adults with diabetes is that it be healthy, rich and balanced. Like the diets of other people who do not have this disease, a nutrition plan for diabetes must supply a number of vitamins and minerals for the body to function in a healthy way.

In the same way, it is important to bear in mind that exercise is vital to complement a good diet in the elderly with diabetes. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day.


Take 1.5 to 2 lt. daily of water to avoid dehydration, help dry skin and is recommended when blood sugar levels are high.

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