6 Foods for Older Adults to Avoid

By , 9:00 am on

Eating a proper diet is one of the most important keys to good health for people of all ages. The older seniors get, the more at risk they are for health conditions that make a healthy diet even more essential. If you have a senior loved one whose health is important to you, it may be time to restrict the following foods and ingredients from his or her diet.

1. Salt

Cutting back on salt is important for seniors with hypertension or heart or kidney issues. Over time, too much sodium in the diet can increase blood pressure and put seniors at risk for health issues such as strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure. However, limiting salt intake doesn’t mean just staying away from the salt shaker. Fast foods, frozen foods, canned goods, and other packaged foods contain more sodium than many people realize, so make sure your loved one checks the labels when grocery shopping. Also, encourage experimenting with other herbs and spices that can replace salt while cooking. 

Many seniors require assistance and motivation to follow a healthy diet. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Sugar

Sugar is the other white substance your loved one should probably remove from his or her diet or at least cut back on. Cookies, cake, and ice cream have sugar, but you might be surprised to learn prepackaged foods contain a fairly high amount of sugar as well. Beverages such as sodas and sports drinks also have unusually high amounts of sugar. Too much sugar consumption can lead to or complicate health issues such as obesity, dental disorders, and diabetes.

3. Caffeine

It may be time for your loved one to give up caffeine as well, which means not consuming tea, coffee, and chocolate. With age, getting a good night of high-quality sleep becomes more difficult, and caffeine can have a major impact on sleep quality. Caffeine can also lead to increased anxiety and interfere with heart conditions.

4. Alcohol

A glass of wine or a beer every once in a while probably won’t harm your loved one, but if he or she drinks more than that, it’s time to give up alcohol. Drinking too much can raise blood pressure, and alcohol can negatively affect seniors with diabetes. If your loved one takes prescription medications, you’ll probably find the bottles are labeled with warnings against drinking alcohol while taking them.

5. Raw Vegetables

On the surface, raw vegetables may seem like a healthy food for seniors. However, if your loved one has oral health issues such as sensitive or missing teeth, tough or crunchy vegetables could aggravate those issues. Raw vegetables can lead to stomach pain in seniors with digestive disorders. That said, it’s important to continue eating fresh vegetables for nutritional purposes, so try baking or steaming your loved one’s veggies instead. 

If your parent needs help preparing healthy meals, consider hiring a home caregiver. In Amarillo, senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

6. Grapefruit

As a general rule, grapefruit is a healthy food. However, it can also interfere with several medications. If your loved one takes prescription medications for high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, or sleep disorders, talk to the pharmacist about whether grapefruit will intensify the medicine’s effects.

Some seniors may resist changes in their diet, which can make caregiving more challenging. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Amarillo, TX, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctors’ appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (806) 803-9991.