With age the responsibility towards maintaining one’s health increases. A shift towards sedentary lifestyle post retirement leads to obesity and related diseases. The risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease increases as one gets older. Surveys indicate that “more than 67% people between the age of 60-79 years suffer from some kind of heart disease”. However, age is not the actual reason behind deteriorating heart health. Instead, it is leading a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits that are the reasons behind it. By making a few lifestyle changes and following the below diet for elderly people you can help your ageing elderly maintain their heart health.
- Rainbow on the Plate: Increase the portion of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. Try to include fruits and vegetables of different colours and serve them a nutritious and filling platter. The more colours, the better will be the health and elderly nutrition quotient. Besides, some fruits and vegetables are fibrous too and can take care of the fiber intake of your senior, as well.
- Lean Proteins, A Must: Along with fruits and vegetables, make lean proteins a part of the diet for senior citizens. Eggs, salmon, fish, tuna and beans are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and are suitable for not only their hearts health but overall health too. Try to serve them lean proteins during the daytime so that it is easy for them to digest and it benefits their health.
- No Unhealthy Fats: Include fat in your elderly’s diet but choose it wisely. There are saturated and trans fats present in different foods. While saturated fats are there in whole milk and dairy products, trans fat is usually there in processed foods. Include more nuts and seeds, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are healthy fats that reduce the risk of heart diseases and bad cholesterol and take care of the nutritional needs of elderly.
- Remove Processed Foods: Most of the packaged foods are high in calories, sodium and sugar and low in nutrients. Moreover, such food options are also difficult for your ageing elderly to digest. Remove all the processed and packaged foods from diet of elderly. These high calories foods lead to weight gain, bad cholesterol and high level of sugar and salt leads to blood pressure and diabetes.
- Portion Control & Exercise: Of course, you can make your older adult indulge in their favourite food once in a while. However, exercise portion control because keeping a check on the size of the waistline is directly in proportion to the risk of heart disease. Along with processed foods, even when it comes to everyday meals take care of the portions. With regulating portions, you should also make sure that they work out. Keeping them physically active will go a long way in preventing heart diseases and facilitate healthy living for seniors.
- Quit Smoking, Limit Alcohol: To take care of your senior’s heart, you will have to take several measures like to quit smoking and limit the intake of alcohol. Smoking is hazardous for heart health so stopping it is the only option. When it comes to alcohol consumption regulating it is also important as it increases blood pressure and triglyceride levels. It is a must along with inculcating healthy eating in elderly.