As we grow older, our metabolism slows down and other complications can occur that were less likely at a younger age, such as hypertension and osteoporosis. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to live a healthy lifestyle and help prevent illnesses from occurring or worsening.
February is American Heart Month and, of course, this is a topic that should be thoroughly discussed with older loved ones. Seniors are encouraged to eat nutritious foods to prevent heart disease, which is why we provide our residents with delicious and healthy meals every day of the week.
If you plan on visiting an older relative or friend, perhaps you might bring them food shopping or provide them with some groceries. It’s important to pay close attention to the nutrition information, however, rather than grabbing items based solely on flavor. Let’s explore what you can do to help ensure your loved one is taking care of his or her heart.
Eat Fruits & Veggies
While there are plenty of “junk foods” on the market that look absolutely delicious, it’s important to consume these in moderation. Focus on fruits and veggies that are rich in minerals and fiber. Did you know that the colors of fruits and veggies indicate the concentration of a specific nutrient? According to senior nutrition expert Heather Schwartz, “…make sure you have a variety of colored fruits and vegetables to ensure you get the rainbow of benefits each color has to offer.”
Stay Away from High-Fat Meats
We can’t forget about meats. Look for meats that end with “loin” such as tenderloin or sirloin because these are leaner cuts. If you’re purchasing ground meat, opt for meats that are less than 20 percent fat.
Purchase Foods Full of Fiber
Fiber offers much nutritional value, helping to lower cholesterol and lose weight. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains as well as almonds and walnuts.
Limit Your Butter Intake
Butter is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to heart disease and cholesterol. According to foodinsight.org, seniors are encouraged to consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day and avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils. Replace butter with Smart Balance spreads or other similar brands such as Brummel and Brown.
By following a healthy diet filled with protein, vitamins, and fiber, we can help ensure our loved ones are taking care of their hearts. If you’re seeking an independent living community or assisted living community in Marlborough, give us a call at 508.460.5200 to schedule a tour. Our retirement community provides residents with three meals a day, all of which are packed with nutrition and flavor.