Seniors with heart disease can boost their health by watching what they eat. Make sure to warn your aging loved one about these five foods that are better left alone, and be ready to offer alternatives that could increase his or her longevity.
1. Fast Food Hamburgers
The hamburger meat used in fast food restaurants tends to be heavily laden with salt and saturated fats. Since most fast food restaurants also cook the meat on a flat-surface grill, the fat has nowhere to drip away to, so it accumulates in the patties. If your loved one craves a hamburger, try making one at home with leaner grass-fed beef and a grill with slats that allow the fat to drip away from the food. Layering on high-fat condiments should also be avoided. Instead, load the burger up with healthy toppings such as fresh tomatoes.
Professional caregivers can help seniors prepare their favorite meals at home every day. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Barrie seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
2. Cured Meats
Hamburgers aren’t the only meat source that is bad for the heart. Processed meats such as bacon, ham, and sausage are high in fat and salt. Although, it’s best to eliminate these foods completely, your loved one can look for low-sodium versions if he or she chooses to partake. However, it’s much better to switch to lean sources of fresh meat such as baked chicken or salmon to get protein without all of the unhealthy side effects.
3. Fried Foods
Many conventional frying methods generate trans fats, which are harmful for heart health. Your loved one should avoid french fries and other fried foods. Fried foods from restaurants are especially to be avoided, because they tend to reuse the oil, which increases the amount of trans fats in the food. If your loved one enjoys the crunch of fried foods, try baking things such as sweet potato strips to create a similar effect. You can also use an air fryer to cook many items to the perfect crunch without using oil.
Make sure your loved one avoids harmful foods, especially if he or she has heart disease. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality at-home care, Barrie Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
4. Sugary Cereals
Refined carbohydrates are also bad for the heart. The increased sugar in these foods leads to risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, and they also do nothing to lower cholesterol levels. Instead of sugary cereals, encourage your loved one to choose whole grains that are more effective at removing cholesterol and fat from the system. For instance, whole-grain oats make an excellent breakfast, and your loved one can use natural sugars from fruit to add a touch of sweetness.
5. Cakes and Pastries
Baked goods are loaded with butter, which is a saturated fat, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which is a trans-fat. This combination of unhealthy fats already makes these sweet treats bad for seniors with heart disease, but then the added sugars makes them worse. Your loved one should indulge in processed baked goods rarely, and you can encourage experimenting with making healthier alternatives at home, such as two-ingredient cookies made with bananas and whole-grain oats.
Seniors with heart-related issues can benefit by hiring a reliable caregiver. Barrie elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. To learn about our amazing senior care plans, contact Home Care Assistance today at 705-503-2273.