According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is a growing concern among the senior population, and this condition can lead to serious consequences when left untreated. In addition to exploring professional treatment, seniors who have been diagnosed with heart disease should also consider making some dietary changes. Here’s a quick look at five foods seniors must avoid if they want to boost their cardiovascular health.
1. Cured Meats
Lean meats are a great source of protein, but seniors need to be wary of any meats that have been cured. The curing process increases the amount of sodium in each serving, and adding extra salt to the diet can be harmful to the heart. Some studies have also revealed that cured meats contain carcinogens that increase the risk of various forms of cancer. Instead of cured meats, seniors should consume meat products that have been roasted or baked.
Eating nutritious meals is just one of the many ways aging adults with heart-related issues can boost their health. If your senior loved one needs help handling an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
2. Fast Food Burgers
Very few foods are as iconic as burgers, but it’s important to keep in mind that burgers are often bad for the cardiovascular system. A traditional burger is packed with saturated fat, sweetened condiments, and empty carbohydrates. After eating a burger, a senior could have elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels for hours. Once his or her body adjusts to those changes, the senior might notice an energy crash after running out of insulin.
3. Diet Soft Drinks
A recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine revealed that the artificial sweeteners found in diet soft drinks can increase the risk of heart disease and cardiac events. Some experts believe those sweeteners suppress the production of vital hormones that protect the heart. Instead of drinking diet soft drinks, seniors might want to make their own carbonated beverages at home with fresh fruit and soda water. They can also add a few splashes of juice to soda water, but they need to keep a close eye on their sugar intake.
Older adults should make sure to avoid harmful foods so they can reduce the risk of developing conditions that affect their quality of life. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Tucson seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
4. Deep-Fried Snacks
The frying process adds quite a bit of saturated fat to foods, which is one of the many reasons seniors need to avoid these items. Regularly eating deep-fried foods can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Quickly sautéing the ingredients in avocado or coconut oil enhances the flavors without adding too much saturated fat to the dish. Another healthy alternative is to quickly bake food on a baking rack.
For many years, doctors believed fatty foods were solely responsible for heart disease, but they now know sugar and processed sweeteners are just as dangerous. Sugar can be harmful to the heart and the rest of the cardiovascular system. Seniors need to avoid sweetened products like candy bars and fruit snacks. If your loved one has a sweet tooth, you can occasionally treat him or her to a piece of fruit or a small glass of juice.
For many families, trying to find the time to prepare nutritious meals can be difficult. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Tucson Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Contact us today at (520) 276-6555 to speak with one of our reliable and friendly Care Managers.