If you ask any doctor what to do to prevent heart disease in your aging relative, most of them will say that following a heart-healthy diet is essential. But what does that mean? Which foods should they eat? Which foods should be avoided? Below are some tips for helping your aging relative to start and stick to a heart-healthy diet.
Eat These Foods
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins are the basis of a heart-healthy diet. To make it easier for your aging relative to include more veggies in their diet, try keeping washed and cut vegetables in the refrigerator at all times. This makes them easier for the senior to grab and snack on. It also makes them easier to cook as a side or toss into a main dish. Having a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter where the older adult sees it all the time will make it more likely that they’ll eat a piece now and then.
Read labels and choose those that contain whole grains instead of refined ones. Try swapping white bread for 100% whole wheat bread. Also, try including some grains your older family member may not have tried before, like quinoa or barley.
As for protein, the best sources for lean protein include fish, poultry, lean meat, and eggs. Beans, peas, and lentils are excellent plant-based sources of protein.
Avoid These Ones
Limit foods that contain saturated fat so that the senior gets no more than 6 percent of their calories from saturated fat. Avoid trans fats altogether. Also, remember that not all fruits and vegetables are created equal. Avoid canned vegetables that contain excess sodium, vegetables served in cream sauce, and vegetables that are breaded and fried. Don’t purchase canned or frozen fruits that are packed in heavy syrup or contain excess sugars.
Another thing to avoid is excess sodium. The recommended limit of sodium per day is 2,300 mg, but it’s better to aim for 1,500 mg or less. The best way to do this is to prepare more foods at home instead of eating out or purchasing pre-made or packaged foods. When preparing meals, use herbs and spices to add flavor instead of salt.
Elderly care can assist your older family to eat a heart-healthy diet. An elderly care provider can plan healthy meals and help the senior shop for the ingredients. Elderly care providers can also prepare the meals, even making some ahead of time for the older adult to heat up.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Plainsboro, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care Serving Somerset and Middlesex/Union Counties today. Call (732) 607-8870.