Even though the occasional treat isn’t a big problem for most seniors, they should try to stick to a nutritious diet, such as the Mediterranean diet. This particular diet has become very popular over the last few years, and many experts agree it’s one of the best options for aging adults who want to enhance all aspects of their health. In addition to being excellent for health, this diet is also packed with a wide variety of tasty foods that seniors are sure to love. Here are some of the main reasons your senior loved one should try the Mediterranean diet.
1. Prevent Heart Disease
Cardiovascular conditions are prevalent among the elderly, and heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in Canada. Avoiding tobacco products and exercising a few times a week can boost heart health, but sticking to a healthy diet is a senior’s first line of defense against heart disease. The Mediterranean diet eliminates almost all the foods that have been linked to cardiovascular issues. It’s also filled with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other compounds that strengthen the heart.
A professional caregiver with training in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits, including eating more nutritious foods. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Victoria senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
2. Boost Brain Health
Researchers still have a lot to learn about the connection between dietary habits and brain health, but most experts agree a healthy diet can boost cognitive abilities and limit a senior’s risk of dementia. A 2016 study published in PLOS One found those who followed the Mediterranean diet were less likely to get Alzheimer’s or experience any signs of sudden cognitive decline. One of the reasons this diet boosts brain health is because it limits the intake of foods that cause brain inflammation.
3. Stabilize Blood Sugar
Fluctuating blood sugar levels are hard on the cardiovascular system, and this issue could eventually result in secondary problems, such as high blood pressure and heart palpitations. Blood sugar spikes are also associated with type 2 diabetes, and that metabolic condition can be devastating when left untreated. Luckily, most of these issues can be avoided by sticking to nutrient-dense foods that provide long-term energy, including a variety of Mediterranean foods such as legumes, nuts, fatty fish, healthy oils, and whole grains.
Family caregivers need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too, which involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. In Victoria, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
4. Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Some of the most popular foods in the world contain well-known carcinogens, and seniors need to avoid those products at all costs. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, older adults should steer clear of processed meats, such as hot dogs, sliced lunch meats, bacon, and sausage. Some studies have also linked charred red meats to various forms of cancer, but more research needs to be done on the subject. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthy sources of protein that have been baked, steamed, or grilled.
5. Lower the Risk of Obesity
Untreated obesity increases the risk of several different health conditions, and the most effective way to stay at a healthy weight is to adhere to a diet that focuses on nutrient-dense foods and portion control. While on the Mediterranean diet, many people feel fuller for longer because they’re consuming large quantities of fiber and high-quality protein. Those on the Mediterranean diet must also avoid foods laden with empty calories, such as soda and candy.
Professional caregivers with training and expertise in nutrition can be a wonderful asset for seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Victoria, BC, families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (250) 592-4881 today.