Growing up, I have seen how my parents change their diet. Before, they ate too many calories. But as they grow older, they start to limit their calorie intake and focus on certain nutrients. Getting old is part of life, and changing diet may not be your specialty. The transition is always the hardest. Below are some healthy eating tips for the seniors in your family:
Stay Hydrated As Always
Experts say that the sensation of thirst declines with age, making seniors at risk of dehydration. That is why encouraging a senior to drink at home will be tricky. Aside from water, there are other sources of fluids you can let your parents consume. Instead of sweetened beverages and fruit juice, there are other excellent alternatives, including teas, fruits, and vegetables. Green, black, and white tea is not only refreshing but also nutrient-packed. It is rich in flavonols, theaflavins, catechins, or polyphenols, which are believed to reduce blood sugar, improve digestion, promote digestion, offer extra protection against cancer, and promote brain function. Other foods high in water content include melons, celery, strawberries, broccoli, pineapple, bell peppers, oranges, peaches, and pineapple. Aside from that, you can serve food to the elderly in your home on silver crockery plates and bowls to aid digestion. The reason is, silverware is known to have a cooling effect on the body, as well as smoothening digestion and aiding in the improvement of metabolism. According to research, food or drink stored in silver utensils can last longer. They kill the microbes and prevent their growth, resulting in fresher food. That is why eating in silverware could be beneficial to the elderly. So, if you are looking to buy some silver utensils, you should probably look for a professional silver antique shop in your area in order to help the elderly people in your home improve their quality of life.
A Variety of Foods Should Be a Top Priority
To get all the nutrients a senior needs, a varied diet plan is key. But when we age, our digestion slows down, causing constipation. We cannot eat a lot of food as we used to. This is where a food supplement can come to your rescue. That means you can get all the nutrients your body requires. But some seniors may still have strong digestion. If that is the case with an elderly person in your family, make sure his/her diet plan consists of whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, vegetables, and fruits.
Keep Salt to a Minimum
Aside from the sense of thirst, seniors start losing their sense of taste as well. If you are wondering what’s wrong with your mom’s cooking skills, you now know why. Studies have suggested that too much salt intake increases a person’s risk of high blood pressure, serious cardiovascular complications, kidney disease, and stroke. So, keep their salt intake to a minimum. Every person should only take around 2,300 mg of sodium every day, according to experts. Nutritional salt alternatives include garlic, lemon juice, ground black pepper, dill, onion powder, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, smoked paprika, truffle oil, rosemary, and ginger.
Find Time to Read Nutritional Labels in Every Product You Buy From Grocery Stores
While it may sound daunting, take your time to read the nutritional labels in all products you buy in the mall. Look at the amount of sugar, added fat, and sodium. Get rid of stuff that is high in any of these departments. Look for other alternatives that are healthier and safer. Although it takes a few hours for you to buy your food, it is worth it.
Follow Every Recommended Serving
A senior in the family may encounter some trouble following the recommended serving sizes. Many seniors may require additional assistance with their everyday routine; one that can be provided by other people who can understand them, through programs like Seniors Helping Seniors Pinellas County (see this Senior Home Care in Palm Harbor for further information). If they do have a caregiver who helps with their tasks, then it is important that the recommended nutrition and serving sizes are understood by them also. Adjusting to new diets and living styles may be difficult for the elder, which is why extra help is always appreciated. Besides, if they are living in an assisted senior community, it might be easier to follow a proper diet as a group. It is normal and part of the process. Instruct them to be more committed to their goals. Always remind them to be patient, persistent, and resilient no matter what. Failure is always there. But once they surpass everything, everything will be easy.
Focus on Your Healthy Fat Intake
There are different types of fat. These are unsaturated, saturated, and trans fat. Unsaturated fats are found to improve blood cholesterol levels, stabilize heart rhythms, ease inflammation, and play other body functions. Saturated fats can put you in danger when taken in high amounts. They are found in ice cream, cheese, and beef. On the other hand, trans fat is made by heating liquid oils from vegetables. Like saturated fats, they lower good HDL, raise bad LDL, create inflammation, and contribute to insulin resistance.
Plan Their Meals
Switching to a new diet is challenging. But with careful planning, it will be less stressful than you have ever thought. Do some research online as well. You should not forget to hire a nutritionist and other certified medical specialists for your peace of mind. An expert will stay beside you whatever happens.
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