It matters what you eat as you age. Our bodies change, our nutritional requirements evolve. Food has always been the fuel that keeps us going, gives us the ability to live and thrive, but when we get older the things, we get from our food become more important, more critical towards our overall health and well-being.
Eating healthy is something we all want to do or even plan to do but doesn’t pan out every time. We get a sweet tooth and need that sugar fix or there’s a craving for pizza or some other type of fast food with empty calories. These were the kinds of things we enjoyed eating as kids or even adults but with age comes greater responsibilities for taking care of our bodies. Healthy eating habits are among those duties and that means some foods need to be removed from our nutritional vocabulary.
Maybe you can’t or don’t want to eliminate them from your diet altogether, but they will need to be phased out the older you get. Every time you sit down for a meal, you need to be sure that you are getting the maximum nutrition from that meal. Some foods just don’t provide the body with those nutritional requirements.
So when it comes to senior care in Naples, FL, food should be given a high priority in providing that care. That means cutting down on some of these so-called “problem” foods that don’t serve much purpose in offering the body and mind the rich nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that all seniors truly need in order to live their best lives.
Undercooked or Raw Foods
This can include many types of food that are often served raw or undercooked. We’re talking about eggs that are served sunny-side up with a liquid yolk that may taste great but can pose a threat to seniors with lowered immunity.
The same goes for other proteins such as red meat and fish, both of which can be served rare or raw entirely depending on the dish. Raw and undercooked foods pose a risk of food poisoning which can increase the risk of infections, sepsis, and septic shock in elderly adults. Eating these foods when we are younger can be somewhat less risky because our immune systems are healthy and can fight back against these dangerous infections.
Yes, fruits and vegetables are good for you. But for seniors who are taking certain medications for the treatment of high blood pressure or anxiety, this is one fruit you might want to steer clear of for the time being. The reason being that this form of citrus can heighten, increase, and accelerate the effects of these drugs, possibly making them harmful.
You may notice a warning to this effect on some medication vials but you might not heed such caution because it seems odd or strange that a piece of fruit or its juice could be risky. But always listen to and follow your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions.
There are many foods you can put on your plate that may taste great and even temporarily fill you up, but fail at the most important task of any meal – providing you with nutrition. We mentioned this earlier, about certain foods that you once enjoyed no longer being acceptable to consume on a regular basis.
This is because foods with empty calories threaten to add weight. As seniors age, they grow less active and that makes it tougher to burn these excess calories. Obesity in seniors is a real problem, one that contributes to poor heart health and places undue pressure on joints.
But when you drastically reduce your consumption of these foods, you are taking steps towards living a healthier life.
High Sodium Diet
When you were younger, you probably turned to salt as a way to give your food a little extra oomph in the flavor department. But now that you are older, salt is something you want to try to avoid as much as you can, because it can lead to hypertension. Fortunately, there is a multitude of other herbs and spices that can be just as effective at giving your meal that additional flavor it sorely lacks.
While you are refraining from adding salt to your dishes at home, be sure to read the nutritional labels on the packages of the foods you buy at the supermarket. Check to see the sodium content and look for low sodium alternatives instead. Seniors should restrict their sodium to fewer than 1.2 grams each day.