It’s no secret that what we eat affects our health, and the same is true for senior citizens. If you’re concerned about your parent’s heart health, the American Heart Association recommends eating a healthy diet to improve heart health. But, what does it mean to eat a heart healthy diet? Knowing these tips could help you and your parent’s senior care provider to prepare heart healthy meals for your mom or dad.
Add Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients that are essential for good health. They are also low-calorie and contain lots of fiber, so they keep a person feeling full and may help weight. When adding vegetables to your parent’s diet, avoid breaded or fried vegetables or those in creamy, fat-filled sauces. In terms of fruit, fresh fruits are best, but canned and frozen fruits are also good options. Stay away from canned or frozen fruits with heavy syrup or added sugar.
Choose the Right Fats
You may think you need to cut all fats from your parent’s diet, but the truth is that the body needs fat, you just need to make healthy choices. Sources of good fats include fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, and non-tropical liquid oils. Reduce fats in the diet from red meats, dairy, and tropical oils, such as palm or coconut. Also, avoid partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats.
Look for the Heart-Check Mark
The American Heart Association has a program for certifying foods as heart healthy. When you are grocery shopping for mom or dad, watch for packaging that contains a red check mark indicating the food has been certified. Some restaurants also have certified menu items.
Watch Portion Dimensions
Overeating is bad for your parent’s health, even if the food they are eating is considered healthy. Familiarize yourself with what proper portion sizes are and stick to them. For example, a serving of pasta is a half-cup and a serving of meet is two or three ounces.
Include Whole Grains
The fiber and nutrients found in whole grains help the body to control blood pressure and improve heart health. Adding more whole grains can be easily accomplished by substituting products that contain refined grains for those with whole grains. Some whole grain options include 100% whole-grain breads, whole-wheat flour, whole-grain pasta, and steel-cut or regular oatmeal.
Too much sodium increases the risk for high blood pressure, so it’s important to reduce sodium in the diet to promote good heart health. The recommended daily allowance of sodium for people who are 51 or older is a maximum of 1,500 mg per day. Much of the sodium people consume comes from processed foods, so read the labels of the foods you purchase and plan meals accordingly.
When you and your parent’s senior care provider make simple substitutions in their diet, like serving more fish and less red meat, your parent reaps the benefits with a healthier heart, which may keep them active and enjoying a good quality of life longer. It’s okay to have a treat now and then, but unhealthy foods should be limited to improve you parent’s heart health.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Sugar Land, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
In 1989 after selling his family owned food service business, Mr. Gerber pursued his compassion for the elderly by completing his geriatric education and training requirements to be a licensed nursing home administrator (LNFA) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Previously he received his undergraduate business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters in business administration (MBA) from the University of Houston.In 2003, Mr. Gerber earned his Certification to be a Senior Advisor (CSA).
Sid Gerber is a Google Verified Author
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