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 is a quick look at six 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 is also a good idea to avoid processed meats that have more than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Older adults who need help with meal prep can benefit from the services of a caregiver. Arvada respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
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 is a great way to curb soda cravings.
3. Sugary Breakfast Cereals
Much like soda, sugary breakfast cereals generally have no nutritional value. Some of the cereals claim they are part of a complete breakfast, but this is only because the other foods eaten alongside the cereal are extremely nutrient-dense. 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.
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 those 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.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Arvada, CO, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
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 off most of these germs without destroying any of the macronutrients. 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 is going into their food.
Managing a nutritious diet can help older adults remain healthy. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Arvada senior 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 (720) 642-1600 today.