The need to make some dietary adjustments can come as a surprise to some older adults, only becoming evident when they experience unexpected digestive issues or a nutritional deficiency is pointed out by a doctor. To provide a better idea of what’s good and what’s not so good when it comes to dietary selections, here are some of the worst diets for older adults.
Diets Lacking Fruits & Vegetables
Metabolism naturally slows with age, which means seniors’ diets should include essential vitamins such as B12, B6, and D to compensate for the slower rate at which foods are broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. A healthy diet for aging adults should include plenty of leafy greens and colorful fruits or dietary supplements to make up for deficiencies that can’t be corrected through diet alone.
Handling all the aspects of a loved one’s health, including diet, can be challenging for a family caregiver. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior home care, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Diets High in Red Meat
Meat provides the protein the body needs, but not all meats are healthy. Elderly people should avoid sausage, steak, pork chops, lamb, and other types of red meat altogether. The saturated fats in these meats can increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Older adults who want to increase their brain health, reduce the risk of bone disorders, and boost their immunity should eat lean meats and fatty fish instead of red meat. If your loved one wants to eat a hamburger, he or she should use ground turkey or choose a plant-based alternative.
Preparing meals and monitoring their loved ones’ diets are just a couple of the many responsibilities of family caregivers. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Rowlett, TX, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Diets Full of Sugar
Cakes, cookies, and candy bars are foods your loved one should avoid if he or she wants to maintain a healthy weight. Eating these foods could also put your parent at a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and age-related conditions such as dementia. These foods don’t provide the nutrients aging adults need. Eating pastries, pies, and items made with white sugar and flour will leave your loved one’s hunger unsatisfied, causing him or her to overeat and gain more weight. Instead of eating sweet treats, your loved one should choose healthy options, such as gluten-free smoothies, Greek yogurt, and fruits that have natural sugars.
Fad diets aren’t healthy at any age. However, for older adults, fad diets can pose serious health risks. Such diets tend to result in severe nutritional losses that may affect everything from muscle strength to vision.
Diets that Involve Skipping Meals
The worst diets for elderly people are those that involve skipping meals. Not only does this lead to unhealthy binges when hunger builds up, but it can also rob the body of essential nutrients, often resulting in a lack of energy and increased susceptibility to illnesses.
Because of decreased immunity and other age-related health concerns, aging adults should avoid the diets listed above to maintain optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional homecare services. Rowlett families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (972) 722-7833