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The Medicare Diet: Best Diet for Diabetes in Seniors

Best Diet for Diabetes in Seniors

Posted on December 20, 2022 by Larry Johnson

Even the best diet for diabetics can be complemented by a comprehensive Medicare plan. Call (800) 950-0608 today to chat with a licensed insurance agent about Medicare plans in your area.

A Healthy Diet is a Cornerstone of Effectively Managing Diabetes

Whether you’ve had diabetes for a long time, or you’ve just been diagnosed with it, you’re likely wondering how to manage diabetes. Some of you may be wondering if it can even be managed. The good news is that whether you’re a Type 1 or a Type 2 diabetic, the condition can be managed through three distinct methods:

  • Taking any prescribed medications as directed
  • Eating a healthy diet filled with lean protein and vegetables
  • Getting in regular activity each and every day

If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan that offers prescription drug coverage, diabetic medications, including insulin, are covered. If you have a qualifying Medicare Advantage plan, SilverSneakers can help you get some exercise each day. What about a diabetes diet plan, though?

In some areas, Medicare Advantage plans provide assistance with buying the best foods for diabetes. However, this benefit isn’t provided everywhere. So, how do you discover and follow the best diet for diabetics?

Today, we’ve compiled some of the elements to help you find a great meal plan for diabetics. We’ve included a few recipes incorporating the best foods for diabetics, and we’ll be helping you learn how to manage diabetes.

So, What is Diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects how your body transforms food into energy. In all forms, your body cannot properly process the sugar in your blood. This results in high blood glucose, which can cause a great deal of damage to your body.

There are four primary types of Diabetes Mellitus:

  • Gestational diabetes – A form of high blood sugar level that affects women during pregnancy. Increases one’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future.
  • Prediabetes – Your blood glucose level is high, but not high enough to be considered Type 2 diabetes. If not managed, it develops into Type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes – An autoimmune disorder in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Type 1 is often referred to as Juvenile diabetes because it develops during childhood.
  • Type 2 diabetes – The most common form of diabetes. With Type 2 diabetes, your body cannot manage the amount of insulin in your blood. Often presents in individuals who eat a poor diet and get little activity.

The highest-occurring form of diabetes in seniors is Type 2 diabetes, which can develop at any time during one’s life. Any form of diabetes in seniors can be managed, but knowing how to manage diabetes is key to keeping it under control. If you know how to manage diabetes, and you suffer from Type 2, it can be reversed with proper care.

Best Diet for Diabetes in Seniors

Can My Medicare Plan Cover What I Need to Help Manage My Diabetes?

Your Medicare plan, whether you have Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, can help you get what you need to manage your diabetes. However, each plan has its limitations.

Medicare Part B and most Medicare Advantage plans will pay for a fair amount of your diabetic supplies. They will also help you pay for:

  • Diabetes screenings and prevention services
  • Training on how to manage diabetes yourself
  • Tests for glaucoma and diabetic neuropathy in the feet
  • Therapeutic shoes and inserts

To cover the cost of your medications for diabetes, you’ll need to enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug coverage plan. 

While most Medicare plans won’t include the grocery assistance allowance that’s offered by select Medicare Advantage plans, they will help cover nutrition services. These nutrition services allow you to meet with a dietitian to create a great meal plan that is diabetes-friendly. From there, you can discover a healthy, nourishing diet for diabetes that will help you manage the illness and lead a happy, healthy life.

Best Diet for Diabetes in Seniors

Key Components of a Healthy Diabetes Diet. What is the Best Diet for Diabetics?

First and foremost, any diet for diabetes will require you to cut back a great deal on sugar and carbs. For instance, a diet high in protein, with lean meats, green vegetables, and complex carbohydrates will comprise the best diet for Type 2 diabetes. It’ll also do well to help those with Prediabetes reduce their blood sugar level, and help those with Type 1 diabetes manage their condition as well.

Some of the best foods for diabetics include:

  • Lean chicken or turkey breast
  • Fish – it’s high in Omega-3s and protein
  • Lean cuts of beef (in moderation)
  • Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower
  • Root vegetables, such as carrots and radishes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole grains, such as millet, barley, and old-fashioned oats
  • Butternut squash

Fruits are okay, but must be consumed in moderation due to their sugar content. A prime diet for diabetes eliminates processed foods, fats, and sugars altogether. Healthy fats, lean protein, and complex carbs are best.

Below, you’ll find an excellent recipe that’ll make a great-tasting, filling meal when you’re following a diabetes diet plan.

Sweet and Tangy Salmon with Green Beans – Serves Four

  • 4 – 6 oz. Salmon filets
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Reduced-sodium soy sauce*
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • ½ tsp. Pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. Salt
  • 1 lb. trimmed fresh green beans

*Coconut aminos make for a delicious healthy substitute for soy sauce.

To make this dish, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and place your salmon filets in a large baking pan coated with cooking spray. Melt butter in a small skillet, and stir in your brown sugar, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), dijon mustard, olive oil, pepper, and salt. Brush half of this mixture over your salmon.

Place your green bean legumes in a large bowl and toss them with the remainder of your brown sugar mixture. Roast until the fish begins to flake easily and the green beans are crisp and tender. This typically takes around 14 to 16 minutes. Once it’s done, serve and enjoy!

Managing Diabetes is Tough, But It’s Not Impossible

A diagnosis of diabetes can be tough for anyone to handle. When it’s diagnosed in seniors, it’s easy to feel the need to give up. You must know, however, that diabetes in seniors is easily managed with a mix of exercise, healthy diet, and taking your medications on a proper schedule. Maintaining a healthy diet will make up a great deal of your diabetes treatment!

If you’re curious about Medicare benefits for seniors with diabetes, or other concerns like weight loss, heart health, etc., our licensed agents can answer your questions. Give us a call today at (800) 950-0608 to learn more about Medicare Advantage plans, including Special Needs Plans, in your area that can meet your needs.

About the Author

Larry Johnson

Larry is a content writer with several years of experience in creating informative content for a variety of industries on topics that matter. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

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