The Right Choices for Making Heart Healthy Meals for Seniors

in , ,
Heart shaped dish with vegetables isolated on wooden background

For more tips on heart healthy meals for seniors, call San Diego Home Caregivers!

Our senior care experts realize that it’s challenging to make heart healthy meals for seniors when nutrition recommendations appear to constantly change. We had been told that saturated fats from options such as butter, red meat and fried food were harmful and could affect a person’s chances of developing heart issues, but later research revealed there isn’t enough evidence that those who gave up these delicacies improved their heart health – and so, we went back to our previous ways due to the go-ahead to choose butter instead of margarine.

And yet, as reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, scientists clarify that the lack of apparent results in reducing fatty foods is likely associated with equally poor dietary choices selected in the place of those fats – such as refined carbs. In the study, it was shared that those who exchanged fatty foods in their diet with healthier options, such as olive oil (a polyunsaturated fat) and whole grains did reduce their heart disease risk up to 25%.

As stated by Adela Hruby, one of many researchers in this study, “We know that people don’t just drop 10% of their calories…and not replace them with other things. What they’re adding in to replace what they’re not eating is really important.”

The study, led by Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was amazingly in-depth, monitoring the results of almost 130,000 participants of both genders over thirty years. Keeping an eye on dietary choices and any heart-related conditions, it was determined that both women and men who consumed carbohydrates instead of fatty foods were attaining a nearly equal threat of cardiovascular disease – a statistic overlooked in previous studies that had determined there was no benefit to decreasing the level of saturated fat in a meal plan.

So, what might be the takeaway from this study? Improved heart health may be gained by not just reducing the total amount of saturated fat in a dietary plan, but also by choosing healthier items instead of foods with high levels of sugar or processed flour-based foods.

San Diego Home Caregivers is always available to plan and prepare heart healthy meals that are not just nutritious, but tasty, helping older adults reduce their risk for heart attacks and disease. We are able to also assist older adults with:

  • Making appropriate dietary choices, and shopping for groceries so that fresh, healthy foods are always on hand
  • Medication reminders
  • Carrying out physician-recommended activity programs
  • Safe accompaniment to doctor appointments as well as other outings
  • And more

You can reach us at (619) 487-9000 to find out more about our home care in Carlsbad and the surrounding areas. For more information on on each of the communities where we provide care, please see our Communities Served page.

Proper Nutrition for Older Adults Helps Maintain Health

in ,

It’s no secret that proper nutrition for older adults is crucial for a healthy body. What many people don’t recognize, however, is that nutritional requirements for adults change as we age, making it difficult to know which diets for the elderly are most beneficial. Nutritional specialists at Tufts University have developed the MyPlate system for older adults, which is a more advanced variation of the earlier food pyramid, supplying updated dietary advice for older individuals in particular.  

Improving Nutrition for Older Adults With MyPlate

The MyPlate for Older Adults model contains important information on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, salt, and fat; however, it also offers guidance on topics such as advised physical activities and fluid consumption, issues that are of special concern for seniors. 

Because activity levels are oftentimes decreased, seniors tend to require fewer calories as they age, but they also still require equal or higher levels of nutrients and regular activity for ideal health. MyPlate for Older Adults recommends: 

  • Bright-colored vegetables, such as peppers and carrots 
  • Deeply-colored fruits, such as berries and melons 
  • Whole, fortified, enriched grains and cereals, like brown rice 
  • Low- and non-fat dairy products, including yogurt and low lactose milk 
  • Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads, which contain less saturated and trans fats 
  • Spices instead of salt 
  • Liquids such as water and fat-free milk 
  • Physical activity, such as walking, resistance training, and light household chores 

In addition, further recommendations include taking advantage of options that are simpler to prepare and decrease waste, such as bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables and individual-portion cups of fruit. 

How Home Care Can Help

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we realize it can be a challenge to help aging loved ones follow a nutritious diet. As a leading San Diego senior care agency, we can help:

  • Plan and prepare nourishing, appetizing meals according to your loved one’s specific nutritional needs
  • Provide transportation and assistance with grocery shopping (or take care of grocery shopping for the older adult)
  • Offer friendly companionship to make mealtimes more enjoyable
  • Provide motivation and encouragement to stay physically active, which helps build appetite

We can also help in a variety of other ways with customized in-home care services, provided by highly skilled, trained, and experienced care professionals.

Contact us online or call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our top-rated home care services in San Diego, North County, La Mesa, and the surrounding areas, and to request a free in-home evaluation. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Communities Served page.

Senior Nutrition: Warning Signs That May Point to a Lack of a Nutrient-Rich Diet

in ,

A mother’s love for her child knows no age limits. And parents of all ages want more than anything to shield their children from difficulty, which in some cases could mean covering up their own challenges. Furthermore, when their loved ones live at a distance, it can be hard to really know without a doubt just how healthy older parents are. 

One of the leading challenges of aging is the decline in satisfying nutritional needs. If you believe your elderly loved ones might possibly not be getting adequate senior nutrition to continue to be healthy and well, this short analysis can help identify possible red flags: 

  1. Has the senior revealed a loss of appetite, trouble with digesting food, or chewing or swallowing challenges? Has there been a decline in food consumption over the past several months as a result? 
  2. Has the older adult experienced a loss of weight over the past several months? Losing weight, particularly for those with a more sedentary way of life, can indicate that the person is not eating properly. 
  3. Does the senior have a problem with mobility? Being confined to the home can create nutritional challenges, as it is more problematic to get groceries or fix meals. 
  4. Has the older person been under psychological stress or experienced an acute disease in the past couple of months? 
  5. What is the older person’s body mass index (BMI)? A BMI of 18.5 or lower can suggest that the person is not eating enough, while a BMI of 30 or higher can signify obesity.  

If you determine through answering these questions that an older loved one might be experiencing problems with senior nutrition, it’s a good idea to consult with his or her doctor. San Diego Home Caregivers can also help improve health and wellbeing for older adults through services like: 

  • Food preparation 
  • Transportation to doctor appointments 
  • Light housekeeping 
  • Running errands 
  • Medication reminders 
  • And more  

Our San Diego Home Caregivers team is compassionate, background screened and available for as much or as little care as desired. You can get in touch with us online or call our care team at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our La Jolla elder care and care throughout the surrounding areas.

Holiday Eating with Diabetes: Tips for Having a Delicious Holiday

in ,

This season of holiday celebrations is a perfect occasion to reconnect with friends and family, but let’s face it: holiday eating with diabetes can be difficult as the holidays are often a time for overindulgence in unhealthy food choices. With so many rich, fatty, and sugary delicacies to choose from at every turn, it’s difficult to follow a healthy diet, which can result in significant health problems for those with diabetes. 

These guidelines, however, can help diabetics remain safe throughout the holidays while avoiding feeling deprived of special goodies. Be sure to first contact the doctor for his or her approval on any meal decisions that stray from an approved nutrition plan. 

  • Pick your favorites. Review options during a holiday meal, and determine your top two carbs to enjoy. For example, decide if you’d like to have stuffing or bread, or choose between mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, as opposed to indulging in all of the options. 
  • Bring your own. When attending a holiday get-together at someone’s home, talk with the host concerning your dietary constraints, and offer to bring a healthy dish to share, like a tray of fruits and vegetables or a sugarless dessert. 
  • Snack first. Enjoying a healthy snack before the holiday meal will help keep blood sugar levels consistent and assist in averting the temptation to go overboard. Healthy snack choices for those with diabetes include nuts, vegetables with hummus, celery with peanut butter, string or cottage cheese, or an egg. 
  • Stay hydrated. Having a bottle of water before sitting down to the meal will help create a sense of fullness, making it unlikely that you’ll be inclined to overindulge.  
  • Remain active. After a heavy meal, defy the urge to settle into the recliner and watch TV or fall asleep; instead, provide help with kitchen clean-up chores, play an active game with the children, or take a walk outside 

If in spite of these techniques you end up bingeing or making unhealthy meal selections, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Remember that tomorrow is a new day to resume healthy habits again. Keep a close eye on your blood sugar to guarantee levels stay in the proper range and to avoid the potential for a serious problem, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which could result in a hospitalization and definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit. 

Reach out to the top-rated providers of elderly care in La Mesa, CA and the surrounding areas to learn more diabetic-friendly tips, for assistance with preparing healthy meals, providing medication reminders and support to engage in exercise programs, and much more! We’re available to help throughout the holiday season and beyond to empower seniors to live their best possible lives. Call us at (619) 487-9000 to request a free in-home consultation today! 

The Important Link Between Symptoms of COPD and Nutrition

in ,

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has estimated that as many as 12 million adults are now diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and yet another 12 million may be living with the disease and not even be aware of it. COPD generally hits in middle age, with smoking as the top contributing factor. Ongoing exposure to chemicals and dust also raises a person’s risk factor.

If you or a senior loved one has been diagnosed with COPD, making healthy lifestyle choices can make a significant difference in the severity of symptoms. Not only that, but knowing the links between COPD and nutrition, and following a healthier diet can help those with COPD feel better, gain increased strength needed for breathing, and help fight off chest infections.

Follow the recommendations below from the care team at San Diego Home Caregivers, a top provider of senior care in La Jolla and nearby areas, to better manage the symptoms of COPD:

  • Never skip breakfast. For someone with COPD, breathing burns upwards of ten times more calories than for those without COPD, so starting the day with a healthy and balanced breakfast can provide the calories and nutrients needed for the day.
  • Consume more potassium. COPD patients who take diuretics will need extra potassium. Good choices include oranges, bananas, potatoes, and tomatoes.
  • Drink plenty of non-caffeinated liquids. Fluids help to thin mucus in the air passageways. But caffeine can conflict with some medications and lead to restlessness, so stick with non-caffeinated fluids.
  • Avoid gas-inducing foods. Foods like beans, fried foods, and carbonated beverages that produce gas and bloating may make it more difficult for someone with COPD to breathe. Try to avoid these types of foods to prevent symptom flare-ups.
  • Reduce sodium intake. Sodium can lead to water retention, making it more difficult to breathe, so it’s best to stay away from foods that contain more than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving. Sodium-free spices like parsley, garlic, oregano, basil, curry, onion, rosemary and lemon juice are all wonderful alternatives.

San Diego Home Caregivers, a provider of professional La Jolla senior care and care throughout the surrounding areas, is highly skilled in working with COPD patients and their families to help manage COPD symptoms and ensure the home is safe and free from irritants. Contact us today at (619) 487-9000 to learn more ways we can help seniors with COPD and nutrition.