6 Dietary Restrictions Aging Adults May Want to Try

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Dietary changes can enhance the health of aging adults. Altering nutritional intake of certain foods can treat medical disorders and promote optimal immune function. Here are six dietary restrictions aging adults may want to try.

1. Sodium

A high sodium intake can raise blood pressure levels, cause the kidneys to work harder, and put stress on the cardiovascular system. Sodium-rich diets also raise the risk for fluid retention, which may be another risk factor in the development of hypertension. Interventions for a sodium restricted diet may include avoiding canned vegetables, not adding table salt to food, limiting the consumption of soft drinks, and monitoring the sodium content in antacid tablets. Encourage your parent to avoid sodium-rich foods, and explain the benefits of a sodium restricted diet, which may include boosting cardiovascular health and lowering blood pressure. 

Quitting sodium-rich foods is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices for older adults. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Lincoln Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Fluid

If your loved one experiences incontinence or wakes up numerous times at night to use the bathroom, a fluid restricted diet may be in order. While it’s important to drink enough water to prevent dehydration, consuming too many liquids may worsen medical conditions such as congestive heart failure. Before suggesting your loved one restricts his or her intake of fluids, check with the physician.

3. Purine

Foods high in purines raise the risk for gout, which can cause severe joint pain, inflammation, and redness. Foods high in purines include bacon, veal, turkey, anchovies, and alcoholic beverages. A low purine diet may decrease the levels of serum uric acid, which is often present during an episode of gout. 

Some seniors need help preparing nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Lincoln seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

4. Fat

When aging adults restrict their fat intake, it may have a positive effect on total cholesterol levels. A low-fat diet may raise your loved one’s levels of good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol. Decreasing the amount of bad cholesterol in the body is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and stroke.

5. Sugar

A diet high in sugar can raise an aging adult’s risk for obesity and may be dangerous for those with diabetes. Lowering the dietary intake of sugar may stabilize serum glucose levels, decrease visceral fat accumulation, and lower cortisol levels. If your loved one has a difficult time giving up sugar, suggest healthy substitutes that may curb cravings. Healthy substitutions for high-sugar foods include fresh fruit and green smoothies.

6. Protein

Restricting protein may enhance renal function and lower systemic inflammation. While protein is an essential nutrient that promotes wound healing, enhances strength, and prevents anemia, too much protein from meat sources may raise blood lipid levels and impair circulation. Check with the doctor to make sure your loved one is healthy enough to switch to a low-protein or protein-free diet.

Hiring a professional caregiver is a good way to help your parent switch to nutritious foods and live a healthier life. In Lincoln, elder care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at 916.226.3737 to schedule a free in-home consultation.