For years, doctors, nutritionists, and scientists have been telling seniors that eating well can be the key to living a long and healthy life. Eating a balanced diet and choosing the right types of foods will not only improve short-term health, but also prevent a myriad of diseases. For seniors and their Lancaster caregivers, it’s important to know just how big of a role diet can play in health and longevity. Read on for 5 diseases that good nutrition can help prevent.
1. Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of seniors. Each year, more people succumb to heart problems than to all types of cancer combined. Fortunately, replacing bad fats, like trans and saturated, with healthy fats, like mono and polyunsaturated, can significantly reduce this risk. Choose healthy oils for cooking, and reach for snacks like avocados, nuts, olives, and peanut butter.
Certain types of cancer have been linked to poor diet and nutrition in the elderly population. Maintaining a healthy weight can be the key to keeping cancer risk low. By choosing low-fat foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, the risk of cancer is significantly reduced. Healthy organic and non-processed foods are the best choice.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become porous and weak. It is considered an age-related illness and mainly effects women. The disease can be slowed or even prevented by getting the daily recommended amount of vitamin D and calcium. Aim for roughly 500 milligrams of calcium each day and 600 IU of vitamin D. Vitamin D can be found in vitamin-enhanced foods and supplements, or by spending time outdoors on a sunny day.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 out of 3 seniors are obese, and breast cancer, kidney cancer, and esophagus cancer have all been linked to obesity. It has also been linked to numerous other health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight is the easiest way to prevent weight-related ailments. Ideally, diets should contain mostly fruits, veggies, and lean meats, and avoid sugar, bad fats, and processed foods.
Type 2 diabetes, or adult onset diabetes, is a condition where the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels. It increases in frequency with age, and is related to other health conditions such as kidney disease and heart disease. The risk of developing diabetes as an adult can be decreased by avoiding processed baked foods, foods high in sugars, soft drinks, fruit juices and other unhealthy indulgences. Instead, choose naturally sweet foods, like fresh fruits, or a small piece of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate to cure a craving for sweets.
Want to ensure your senior loved one is eating a balanced diet and getting regular physical exercises? Consider an hourly or live-on caregiver from Home Care Assistance Lancaster. We provide trusted home care for seniors, including specialized Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care in Lancaster. Our caregivers are available 24/7 and can assist with healthy meal prep, mobility, transportation, and personal grooming. Give us a call at (717) 540-4663 or click here to learn more about our care services available near you!