Older adults should constantly be on the lookout for new ways to boost their overall health. Even relatively minor dietary changes can have a major impact on the immune system, energy levels, and general wellbeing. Here’s a look at 10 foods seniors need to avoid at all costs if they want to remain as healthy as possible.
1. Raw Seafood
Sushi and sashimi are popular delicacies, but seniors need to take a few precautions before eating raw seafood. As a general rule, seafood should be frozen for at least four full days to kill off potential parasites. Older adults also need to stick to reputable manufacturers and restaurants that only use high-quality ingredients.
Seniors who need help preparing nutritious meals or managing other daily tasks can benefit from professional in-home care. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same senior care services. Waterloo families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Grapefruit and other citrus fruits can negatively interact with certain medications, including various drugs for insomnia, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Seniors should always speak with a doctor about their diet before starting any new medications.
It should come as no surprise that soda is one of the unhealthiest beverages. While some sodas are low in sugar or carbs, they rarely contain any key nutrients. Some of them also use chemical sweeteners that kill off the good bacteria in the gastrointestinal system.
4. Soft Cheese
Softer cheeses tend to have quite a bit of moisture and relatively low acidity, which creates the perfect environment for dangerous germs. Younger adults can generally process these germs in their intestines, but seniors might become sick from them. Cheeses that have been pasteurized at least once are safe for the elderly.
5. Sports Drinks
Even though sports drinks might seem like a good alternative to soda, they are quite unhealthy. Most sports drinks are filled with processed dyes, preservatives, and sweeteners that can wreak havoc on a senior’s blood sugar levels, heart health, teeth, and gums.
6. Processed Meats
Studies continue to show that processed meats should only be eaten in moderation because they contain nitrates, nitrites, and other carcinogens. Roasted meats are a much better option for older adults and those who have a family history of cancer.
7. Raw Eggs
Uncooked and undercooked eggs are used to make a variety of different dishes. Before eating any egg-based sauce or dish, older adults should always make sure the egg has been thoroughly cooked. Salmonella, E. coli, and many other pathogens thrive on the surface of eggs.
Some seniors need help preparing nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Waterloo seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
8. Unpasteurized Milk
Much like eggs and cheeses, milk needs to be heated to a certain temperature to remove bacteria. Buying fresh milk from a local farmer might seem healthier, but raw dairy products can be difficult for the body to process. Seniors who have a low tolerance for traditional milk should consider alternatives such as almond and cashew milk.
9. Multigrain Bread
Multigrain bread is almost always healthier than white bread, but some companies mislabel their baked products. Many bakeries dye their white bread to make it look like whole wheat or multigrain bread. When purchasing a loaf of bread, seniors should check the ingredient list for dyes or sweeteners.
10. Raw Sprouts
Sprouts need to be cooked or thoroughly washed before they are eaten. These vegetable tops grow in a warm environment, which means they could reach the supermarket covered in germs. Tossing the sprouts in boiling water for a few minutes should remove most of the lingering pathogens.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to ensure your loved one avoids unhealthy foods and maintains good health. A Waterloo caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your aging loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (519) 954-2111 today.