Nutrition Matters – Your Parents’ Health Depends on Their Diet
Worldwide, the Global Burden of Disease found around 1 in 5 deaths involve a chronic health condition. In each case, a healthier diet could have prevented the death. Leading issues remain diets that are high in saturated fats, sodium, sugar, and poor protein choices like cured meats and beef are not healthy.
Fixed incomes after retirement and changes in lifestyle make it hard for some seniors to stick to a healthy diet. Arthritis can make it hard to chop ingredients needed for meals. Standing for an extended period of time can be hard when the back, the hips, the knees, or the ankles ache. Lifting a heavy pan from the stove to a sink is hard as muscle strength diminishes.
What Chronic Health Conditions Are Related to Diet?
High blood pressure can run in a family. It can also be impacted by a high-sodium diet, obesity, and stress. Diabetes factors also include obesity and family history, plus a diet high in sugar won’t help. Certain cancers are linked to your diet. For example, red meats and low-fiber diets are believed to be a factor in colorectal cancer.
What Types of Foods Are Preferred?
Nutritionists tend to agree that the Mediterranean diet is the one that people should pattern their diets after. At the top of the list in this diet are fruits and vegetables. Produce needs to be the main component in meals and snacks. A small glass of red wine each day is okay on this diet. Your parents need to make sure that they’re not overindulging.
Grains, nuts and seeds, and lean proteins also deserve attention. Seafood is ideal, but you do need to pay attention to mercury content. For oils, olive oil is best, but sunflower seed, walnut, and avocado oil are okay. Whole grains should also be part of a meal, but it’s important that they are not processed. Some of the best options include whole barley, quinoa, and farro.
Beef, pork, cured meats, and sugary foods are out. White flour isn’t ideal. Whole wheat flour is best for rolls and baguettes. It’s even better if rolls and baguettes are packed with seeds and nuts. Skip the butter and use olive oil with fresh garlic cloves instead.
How Can You Get Your Parents to Make Smarter Choices?
If your parent is after quick meals, how can you get them to make smarter choices? One thing you can do is prepare healthy meals for them that can quickly be put in a slow cooker each morning. You could have chicken breasts seasoned with fresh herbs and individually frozen. Make quinoa or brown rice cakes with fresh herbs and an egg as a binder that are frozen and ready to bake.
Even better, hire homecare aides to cook meals for your parents. Homecare services providers can prepare healthy meals for them, take them shopping, and put away groceries. Call our homecare agency to discuss meal preparation services.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare Services in Santa Monica CA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hearts Home Care today. Proudly Serving the Los Angeles & Ventura County. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (805) 371-0033, (818) 593-0094, (310) 230-5601.
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