Suitable diets for diabetics

Implementing “suitable” diets at your facility for residents with chronic diseases such as diabetes is important.

This was a key message at Leading Nutrition’s Food for the Ages conference held last week in Melbourne.

According to Leading Nutrition’s senior dietitian, Denise Burbidge, diabetes treatment in aged care should focus on maximising the resident’s quality of life and preventing shortterm complications.

Ms Burbidge claimed “diet restriction was not warranted” for those residents with diabetes in longterm facilities as there was reportedly no evidence to support a “no sugar diet”. She recommended that medication changes may be preferable to diet restrictions to achieve blood glucose control.

However, those seeking a ‘diabetic diet’ were encouraged to eat high fibre carbohydrates (evenly distributed throughout the day), with balanced/varied diets and minimal high sugar foods/fluids.

Leading Nutrition has provided an example of a meal plan which may be appropriate for a diabetic resident:

Breakfast – porridge and toast and a cup of tea with one teaspoon of sugar

Morning tea – fruit-based muffin or full cream yoghurt

Lunch – beef casserole with Basmati rice and vegetables and sponge cake with cream

Afternoon tea – fruit or slice of cake

Dinner – pasta with a meat sauce and steamed vegetables and creamed rice and fruit

Supper – milk with Milo

When implementing an ‘unrestricted’ diabetic diet, Leading Nutrition recommended an initial consultation with a dietitian or GP.

“Gradually making changes to diet by starting with more nourishing desserts and monitoring blood glucose levels regularly is also vital,” Ms Burbidge added.

Are you a diabetic? Share your eating plan with our readers in the comment box below.