One of the hardest parts of living independently as a senior citizen is still being able to care for yourself, especially as it comes to cooking. Too many times, we have seniors fall into one of two categories. One group spends too much of their money eating out at restaurants because they feel they can no longer prepare their own meals. The other group eats at home, but tends to eat unhealthy foods because they are quicker and easier to prepare.
This is dangerous when you consider poor dietary health leads to other health issues, especially at a time when a person’s health may already be in decline due to age. Did you know that, in order to prevent this, Gold Leaf Caregivers could do meal prep for you to help maintain a healthy nutritional diet? Our caregivers can help cook, plan and prepare for the healthy meals, and even do the shopping.
A Healthy Body Creates a Healthier Mind
- Get advice— Contact a health professional to learn what type of diet you should be on. Your doctor can either recommend something for your lifestyle, or they can recommend a nutritionist who can do this.
- Incorporate more healthy proteins—Protein gives you energy to function during the day. That’s why it is so important to find plenty of proteins that are also low-fat. These can include eggs, seafood, and lean meats such as chicken, pork tenderloin, and steak. Beans are another good source and are a really healthy option because they will help you feel full faster, decreasing your tendency to snack later. You can also add more cheese and milk to this list, as these will help seniors with osteoporosis, or weak bones.
- Add more fruits and vegetables—Your mother was right: it’s always a good idea to eat your vegetables. Be sure to go for green, leafy vegetables especially. If you have trouble adding these to your diet, consider making smoothies or stocking them up in thick soups.
- Include more whole grains—Try to add more whole grain foods to your diet, including breads and brown rice. These provide you with important nutrients, but they also help give you fiber that prevents your digestive track from becoming blocked.
- Switch to low fat dairy—Many cheeses and milk provide you with rich protein, but in turn add fat that can be bad for your heart. If you switch to low fat dairy products, you can still enjoy these foods without the negative consequences.
- Avoid processed foods—Start reading the labels on your food. If it contains a “laundry list” of chemicals, preservatives, and additives you can’t even pronounce, much less understand, then it’s probably a good idea to leave them alone. Organic, natural foods are a better bet than overly refined products that often have the nutrients removed in the process.
- Set realistic goals—Another part of maintaining a healthy diet is to start small and set realistic goals. Don’t try to change your whole diet overnight, but change one thing each week until you gradually introduce your new eating plan. Also, don’t try to lose all of your weight overnight. It won’t happen and will just make you depressed that you aren’t making progress.It’s imperative that seniors maintain a proper diet as they get older. As we age, we naturally start to have more health problems. Good nutrition can help stave off some of these issues and keep each of us healthier…longer.