8 Foods Aging Adults Should Eat in Moderation

By , 9:00 am on

Changing metabolism, various health conditions, and medications make it important for older adults to avoid or limit certain items in their diet. Even healthy foods can pose a danger to seniors when consumed in high amounts. When it comes to the following foods and beverages, encourage your senior loved one to practice moderation.

1. Convenience Foods

As much as 75 percent of our daily sodium intake comes from convenience foods such as canned soup and frozen dinners. Excessive sodium intake has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease in older adults. A diet high in salt can also speed up bone mineral loss, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Eating convenience foods on a regular basis can have a detrimental impact on a senior’s quality of life.

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Bethlehem, PA, home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

2. Carbonated Drinks

Most carbonated drinks contain phosphoric acid, which can increase the amount of calcium excreted through urination. This calcium loss, when coupled with an inadequate calcium intake, can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Milk, smoothies made with yogurt, or even orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D are bone-healthy beverage choices.

3. Processed Meats

Hot dogs, bacon, and other meats that have been cured, smoked, or processed are rich in salt. Processed meats also contain nitrates to give the product an appealing color, extend its shelf life, and slow the growth of harmful bacteria. Individuals who eat processed meats on a regular basis are at risk of colon cancer. Older adults should only eat deli and other processed meats as an occasional treat instead of as a regular part of their diet.

4. Trans-Fats

Trans-fats are used in everything from margarine and baked goods to fried foods and frozen pizzas. While trans-fats add flavor and extend the shelf life of foods, they also contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Whenever possible, encourage your senior loved one to avoid foods with ingredient labels listing shortening or hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils.

5. Fancy Coffee Drinks

An occasional cup of coffee can reduce your loved one’s risk of diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and other health conditions. However, those benefits are negated with the addition of sugary flavorings, creamers, and whipped toppings that add empty calories and fat. If your loved one cannot drink black coffee, encourage him or her to keep the cream and sugar content within reasonable limits.

If your aging loved one needs assistance with healthy meal preparation and managing other daily activities, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Bethlehem respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

6. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are nutritional foods. They contain antioxidants that can help fight inflammation, cancer, and heart disease. However, consuming these vegetables in excess can contribute to gastrointestinal discomfort and decrease thyroid function.

7. Grapefruit

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interfere with how the body metabolizes certain medications, which causes side effects. Since grapefruit juice can interact with nearly 250 different medications, seniors should consult their doctor about the risk whenever they start a new medication.

8. Alcohol

As people get older, their livers and kidneys become less efficient at metabolizing alcohol. This means seniors tend to become impaired faster than young adults, which can increase the risk of falls and other serious injuries. Certain medications also have potentially deadly side effects when combined with alcohol.

Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Bethlehem live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. For high-quality in-home care services, call us at 484-350-3874 today.