5 Diet Tips to Keep Aging Loved Ones Healthy
For an aging loved one, a healthy diet means so much more to their well-being than that of a teenage kid. Due to the risks of aging, practicing a nutritional diet is crucial for preventing those risks from turning into something of great concern. A great diet can help with memory, energy levels, ability to fight off illnesses, and overall attitude. If you have a loved one who you believe needs to focus on improving his or her diet, there are several tips that you should know.
Don’t let your loved one get trapped in the assumption that he will have to completely change what they eat. Unless he is eating McDonald’s every day, improving a diet simply means adding healthy elements and decreasing the amount of unhealthy food, but he’ll still be able to have his favorite foods every once in a while.
We’ve put together a few tips to get your loved one’s diet on the right track:
Fruits and Veggies
This one may seem obvious, but we find that many aging loved ones still avoid fruits and vegetables, just like they did when they were kids! Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and vitamins must be included in any healthy diet. Juices are an alternative option for those who aren’t fond of certain types of fruits or vegetables, but juices often contain lower levels of nutrients. For veggies, the darker the green the better. Introduce your loved one to kale, and make sure they are regularly eating spinach and broccoli.
We all know that one of the most common health problems we run into as we age is the weakening of our bones. And we’ve all heard about the importance of calcium for our bones, but as we get older we seem to neglect that reality. Conditions like Osteoporosis and brittle bones are common in seniors, so making sure that your loved one gets the calcium they need is extremely important. Other than the usual dairy products, foods like almonds and kale provide a great source of calcium.
Grains and Proteins
The best thing an aging loved one can do is minimize carbs and replace them with whole grains instead. This will provide the fiber that is needed in a healthy diet. Most everyday foods such as pasta, bread, chips, etc. all come with whole grain options.
Proteins can be the most important facet of a senior’s diet. Make sure that your loved one is getting enough of it, whether it’s through tuna, other fish, nuts, eggs or some kind of meat with little fat such as chicken.
Sodium is bad for us no matter our age, and, unfortunately, it is found in most common foods. The negative effects of sodium include dehydration and high blood pressure, both of which put seniors at high risk. Before you purchase something, be sure to check the ingredients. See how much sodium it has and be sure to look at its percentage of daily intake. If it seems like too much, then put it down!
Keep an eye out for the secret sugars
Many of us make the mistake of assuming that if the amount of sugar listed in the ingredients is small, then there must not be that much in the product. But sometimes that’s not the case. There are many other ingredients that play a huge part in adding sugars that aren’t included in the nutritional chart. Look for words such as corn syrup, fructose and dextrose, just to name a few. You can help avoid these if you stick to buying fresh fruits and vegetables.
Changing your loved one’s diet so that it includes all of these tips can positively affect the body in numerous ways, and these changes will decrease their chances of having problems with metabolism, memory and other unfortunate illnesses.