Maintaining a diet can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Regardless of prior conceptions about what dieting should achieve, true professionals advise incremental changes to your eating habits as you age to promote a healthy lifestyle.
However, you should abandon eating certain foods and following certain eating habits as soon as possible. Older adults should also consider their prior health conditions and possible religious dietary restrictions while trying a new healthy lifestyle. Home care help can assist seniors with the planning and preparation of meals.
What Foods are Best for Older Adults?
Doctors have found that older adults respond best to balanced diets, comprised of foods solely containing essential nutrients. Healthy fats, carbohydrates, lean proteins, vitamins, and minerals should be digested in variable amounts – depending on your weight, prior health risks, and exercise habits. Nutrients allow your body to maintain its normal functioning in conjunction with an appropriate amount of exercise. It is important to intake foods with each type of nutrient in every meal.
Rundown of Important Daily Ingredients Senior Adults Should Eat
It may seem tricky to plan out what you want to eat, but it is already likely you eat many of the healthy foods listed below.
Dark Green Vegetables
Dark green vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, collard greens, and lettuce help heart health and are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Green veggies are the perfect side dish for any meal. Just make sure you don't add any fatty sauce or dressing.
Lean meat is usually chicken, turkey, fish, beef, or pork that contains a low-fat content. These meats are trimmed and prepared in your local grocery store or butchery. Lean meats contain a lot of protein, and healthy fish contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins.
Healthy fats make up three categories of fats: Unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Even though you should eat healthy fats, try to limit the number of healthy fats you eat every day to between 20% to 35% of your caloric intake. Healthy fats can come from avocados, cheese, eggs whites, nuts, yogurt, seeds, and olive oil.
Good carbs, also known as complex carbs, should comprise the majority of carbs you eat daily. Complex carbs contain additional nutrients which don't exist in simple carbs. Fiber, starches, and sugars can be considered the main three groups of carbs. Good carbs include whole-grain bread with no additives, vegetables, whole fruits, nuts, and beans.
What Foods Should Older Adults Avoid?
It is just as important to cut out unhealthy foods from your diet to begin eating healthy foods. Simple carbs and saturated fats will have the most direct negative impact on your health.
Furthermore, spicy foods and tough foods can damage your stomach lining and give rise to further irritation. Alcohol, grapefruit, sugary processed foods, drinks high in caffeine, and raw meat are cardinal foods to begin excluding from your diet.
Always remember to check the nutrition facts on sugar-free or caffeine-free drinks. Those drinks likely contain nasty chemicals that are detrimental to your health, including dehydration. Try replacing alcoholic and caffeinated beverages with water.
Dehydration causes a myriad of negative health symptoms and risks, such as heat stroke, urinary tract infection, blood clots, and kidney and heart problems. Many people say that "if your urine is clear, then you are in the clear."
A simple rule of thumb to determine whether a food is okay to eat is to ask if it is natural or not. Complex chemical processes make up natural foods. These processes consist of the most consumable versions of fats and carbs. You should also be aware that consuming too much of any one type of food, or overeating in general, will not have a positive impact on your health.
Home Instead is committed to providing the best home care in Lafayette, LA, and helping senior adults stick to healthy eating routines and build schedules around mealtime. Our trained and experienced Caregivers are dedicated to enforcing healthy meal plans and diets for you or your aging family member. In addition, our home care professionals can also assist with other tasks, such as picking up and delivering groceries, cooking, and researching recipes to cater to your distinct tastes and preferences.
If you are in need of senior home care services in the Lafayette, LA, area, contact us today for a free Care Consultation to help you decide the best option for you or your family member! Learn more about how our Care Consultations work.