The news is full of information about which foods seniors should be eating. After all, superfoods such as avocados and walnuts are good for the body as well as the brain. However, your senior loved one also needs to avoid a few unhealthy foods that increase the risk of health issues.
1. Full-Fat Dairy Products
Seniors are often told to consume more dairy because it contains bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D. However, whole milk and full-fat cheese are loaded with calories, and they can raise cholesterol levels. Encourage your loved one to opt for low-fat varieties whenever possible so he or she gets the benefits without the negative health effects.
2. Salad Toppings
Your loved one may feel like he or she is making a healthy choice by eating a salad for lunch or dinner. However, salad dressing, bacon bits, and other toppings also load the plate with unnecessary calories. Have your loved one try adding fresh herbs instead to increase the flavor and nutritional value.
3. Butter and Margarine
Many seniors grew up using butter, and they were also taught that margarine was a healthier alternative if they wanted to cut out calories. However, both of these are known to increase cholesterol levels. Replace butter and margarine with healthier options such as olive oil to achieve similar taste and texture in your loved one’s food.
4. Canned Vegetables and Soups
Canned goods are the ultimate convenience food for seniors, since they tend to only require heating and can last months on the pantry shelf. However, canned goods are also full of sodium. Too much sodium has a dehydrating effect on seniors, and it can lead to high blood pressure. If your loved one insists on using canned goods, encourage him or her to choose those with no salt added.
It’s tempting for family caregivers to serve quick, readymade foods like these when they’re pressed for time, and cooking healthy meals every day can be a challenge. There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite care. Denver, CO, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself.
5. Processed Meats
Bacon, ham, and lunch meat are all savory sources of protein. However, they’re also heavily laden with salt and fat, and some even contain sugar. Seniors should choose lean, unprocessed meat sources to meet their protein needs. A simple cooked chicken breast or filet of fish is a great choice to put on your loved one’s plate.
When seniors live alone, making sure they eat healthy foods can be a challenge for family members. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care. Denver Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
6. Frozen French Fries
Seniors tend to know to stay away from fast-food french fries. However, they may opt for frozen hash browns and other products that were flash-fried before they were packaged. This process already makes them full of fat, and frying them adds a second round of grease. To create a similar option that is healthier, try baking sweet potatoes in the oven. Sweet potatoes are full of nutrition and less starchy than white potatoes.
7. Sweet Baked Goods
Baked bread, cake, and other goodies are full of carbohydrates the body breaks down into sugar. When sugar is added to baked goods, such as doughnuts, the effects are even worse. Seniors should choose baked products made from whole grains and not topped with sugar.
Because nutrition is such a crucial component of managing senior health, aging adults should start replacing harmful foods with a diet full of nutrients and vitamins. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Denver senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Call one of the dedicated Care Managers at Home Care Assistance at (720) 443-3371 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.