An unhealthy diet increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other serious health issues. It can also negatively impact cognitive health and overall energy levels. Here’s a quick look at some foods older adults need to avoid at all costs and a few alternatives they might enjoy.
1. Processed Meats
The World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society now classify processed meat as a carcinogen. Many processed meat products are filled with nitrites, nitrates, and other ingredients that have been linked to various forms of cancer. Those who enjoy processed meats should stick to products that have been roasted or baked. It’s also a good idea to avoid processed meats that have more than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Some seniors need help preparing healthy meals at home. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Wellesley seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
It should come as no surprise that regularly consuming soda is extremely unhealthy. Even sugar-free sodas usually have no nutritional value. Most sodas are filled with processed sugar, dyes, and other unhealthy additives. Sipping on sparkling water with a few slices of fresh fruit added to it is a great way to curb soda cravings.
3. Sugary Breakfast Cereals
Much like soda, sugary breakfast cereals generally have no nutritional value. Some manufacturers claim certain cereals are part of a complete breakfast, but this is only because the other foods eaten along with the cereal contain high amounts of nutrients. Eating sugary cereal every morning can also result in energy crashes later in the day. A good breakfast should include healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and plenty of lean protein.
Removing unhealthy foods from their diets is one of the many ways seniors can maintain their health and enjoy a high quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. Wellesley, MA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
4. Unpasteurized Dairy Products
For people who have strong immune systems, unpasteurized dairy products aren’t particularly dangerous. However, some older adults have compromised immune systems that can’t fight off the germs in these products. Seniors should only consume dairy products that have been thoroughly pasteurized and sanitized. Most dairy farms are required by law to label any products that haven’t undergone the pasteurization process.
5. Uncooked Seafood
Uncooked seafood is an excellent source of protein, but the flesh is often filled with millions of germs. Cooking the seafood for just a few minutes kills most of these germs without destroying any of the nutrients. Instead of eating raw mussels or clams, seniors might want to try cooked tilapia or salmon, which are extremely easy to cook and packed with nutrients.
6. Canned Soup
Quite a few companies are now producing “healthy” canned soups, but most of these products contain thousands of grams of sodium. When that much sodium is eaten regularly, it increases the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. Making soup at home gives seniors the ability to carefully regulate exactly what’s going into their food.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to help your loved one switch to healthy meals and boost his or her overall wellbeing. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. For a free in-home consultation, call Home Care Assistance at (781) 239-0060 today.