We all know that we should eat healthy, and the need for that doesn’t stop just because we’ve reached a certain age. There are some foods that seniors should avoid all together.
Things to Stay Away From
- Deep Fried Foods – Deep frying a food can add 2 or 3 times as many calories to that food. It’s important to exclude things that are deep fried to help the elderly avoid complications like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Processed Carbohydrates – Most processed foods contain calories that are low in helpful nutrients and fiber. These empty calories can mean unwanted weight gain.
- High-sugar Foods – Certain medications can cause dry-mouth, add to that high-sugar foods and you have a recipe for dental disaster. For those who have managed to hold onto their original teeth for all these years, it could be a real blow to loose them now. Many elderly are also battling type 2 diabetes and foods that are high in sugar can aggravate this condition.
- Foods High in Sodium – Many senior citizens have a problem with high blood pressure. One of the contributing factors for high blood pressure is a diet that is high in sodium. One of the culprits that might come as a surprise is canned foods. Most are loaded with extra salt to help preserve the contents. If canned foods are a part of their regular diet, look for those labeled ‘No salt,’ these are usually lower in sodium than the ones labeled, ‘Low sodium.’
While the preceding examples are good for most people to avoid, there are some foods that are especially important for seniors to steer clear of.
Foods Seniors Should Avoid
- Soft Cheeses – Camembert, blue cheese, Brie, and chevre, are usually unpasteurized which means that bacteria large amounts of bacteria can breed in them. The immune systems of seniors generally aren’t as strong as those of someone in the prime of life.
- Sprouts – While most people consider sprouted greens like bean seeds or alfalfa to be healthy, they can pose a danger to the elderly due to the risk of salmonella and E-coli. To get the same health benefits without the risk, replace sprouts with leafy greens like collard, greens, spinach, Kale, or Swiss chard.
- Oysters, Mussels, and Clams – While these seafood can be full of vitamins and minerals, they can also harbor dangerous bacteria. It’s best for seniors to avoid these all together or at least make sure that they are cooked and from a reliable source. It’s a good idea to have them consult their doctor to see if it’s a safe choice.
- Multigrain Bread – Take a look at the ingredients list on that loaf of ‘healthy’ bread. If it is made with various refined flours and high-fructose corn syrup, it isn’t really a healthy choice. Look for ‘whole grain’.
- Low-fat Foods – While choosing something labeled ‘low-fat’ might seem like a smart choice, it may really not be. For one thing, healthy fats, like those found in olive oil, nuts, and fish are good for your heart, brain, and joints. For another, many foods that tout being ‘low-fat’ have replaced that fat with added sugar to enhance the flavor.
As we age, it’s important to be conscious of what we eat. So, to keep a better quality of life, keep eating healthy while steering clear of foods seniors should avoid. Always check with your own physician, nutritionist or health professional for specific dietary recommendations for you.