Four Healthy Tips for Senior Meals
As we enter into our golden years, there is a direct correlation between eating well and living well! In fact, a study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine found that improving diet by just 20% was linked to a 8-17% lower risk of premature death. A healthy diet doesn’t only improve lifespan; it also can foster a sense of energy, drive, and emotional wellbeing that can compliment any senior’s aging in place strategy.
Keep it balanced.
For home health aides, the best way to incorporate a healthy meal is to balance it well. According to the National Council of Aging, this means ensuring that the senior meal includes a lean protein, a whole grain, vegetables or fruits, and a low fat dairy. When you start from this rubric, you can better ascertain what’s missing from your aging loved one’s plate!
Embrace healthy fats.
Not too long ago, we were told that all fat is bad for us. While some fats are to be avoided -looking at you, hydrogenated fats!- many fats can round out a healthy meal. They protect the body against disease and regulate mood.
Not only is fat healthy, fat is flavor! It imbues heft to a plate and provides that feeling of fullness after a good meal. Some wonderful healthy fats that seniors could have include, but are not limited to, walnuts, avocado, olive oil, and Omega 3 rich fish.
Don’t forget to hydrate!
It’s a universal adage, you can always gain from drinking more water. It is recommended that older adults consume a minimum of 1.7 liters of fluid every day. This should be something that provides hydration such as water, natural juice, etc. Drinks like coffee and alcohol are actually desiccants, which dehydrate instead of providing hydration.
Don’t skimp on the flavor.
Who said healthy eating had to be flavorless? To make something taste delicious, you just need to show it some love through spices and herbs. Fresh basil can bring a wow factor to a whole grain pasta. A pinch of turmeric can pack a lot of deliciousness into a veggie scramble. Use your pantry to your advantage to maximize flavor for your aging loved one!
Keep Up with Your Appointments
You want to keep your skin and body healthy as you age. It is crucial to keep up with appointments to the dermatologist, to physical therapy if you need it, and with your primary care physician. These medical professionals may recommend additional vitamins and supplements to keep you healthy.