8 Foods to Avoid in the Senior Years

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Consuming the right foods plays a crucial role in an older adult maintaining an active lifestyle and having great health throughout the years. However, there are some foods seniors should stay away from because it could compromise their health. To reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses and poor health, seniors should steer clear of the following eight foods.

1. Sprouts

For older adults with digestive issues or weak immune systems, eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts can be harmful because they’re a breeding ground for an array of bacteria such as salmonella. Eating contaminated sprouts can lead to dangerous side effects such as sudden weight loss and pneumonia. Instead of consuming sprouts, seniors should choose crisp vegetables like green beans.

Some seniors have difficulty preparing nutritious meals and getting to the grocery store to buy the healthy foods they need. 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 home care. Mesa Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Deli Meats

Many commercially processed types of meats like ham, salami, and bologna are full of sodium, nitrates, and other harmful additives. Seniors who regularly eat these types of processed meats raise their risks of cancer and heart disease. If meat is a must-have for sandwiches, seniors should buy lunch meat directly from a local butcher and have it custom sliced to order.

3. Fast Food

Fast foods like french fries and doughnuts may satisfy hunger pangs, but they won’t offer important nutrients. Many older adults become more sedentary through the years, and it becomes difficult to sweat off extra calories. Eating these types of foods could lead to gaining weight, which could negatively impact their overall health.

 

4. Oysters

Older adults who have weak immune systems should avoid eating raw shellfish. The harmful viruses and bacteria that thrive in raw oysters can make seniors feel sick and cause them to vomit. Before eating raw seafood, older adults should talk with their physician to make sure they’re healthy enough to break down and process the bacteria often found in the shell or flesh.

5. Soft Cheese

Many businesses make soft cheese with milk that isn’t pasteurized, which is the reason it often contains more bacteria. Eating too much bacteria is especially dangerous for an older adult who has a sensitive digestive tract or sluggish immune system. As a basic rule, a senior should only consume pasteurized dairy products kept at the correct temperature.

It’s important for family caregivers to help their loved ones maintain a healthy diet. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Mesa, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

6. Bagels

Most bagels have a high glycemic index, which can raise insulin levels and increase inflammation in the body. Increased inflammation can accelerate age or aggravate a skin condition.

 

7. Grapefruit

Seniors who take specific medication to treat insomnia, high blood pressure, or anxiety may want to avoid eating grapefruit because it can intensify the effects of a few drugs and possibly make them dangerous. Seniors should carefully read their medication bottles or talk to their doctor before eating grapefruit.

8. Undercooked Eggs

Raw eggs are used in foods such as homemade eggnog, ice cream, and mayonnaise. Uncooked eggs can increase an older adult’s risk of getting food poisoning, which can trigger sepsis. Even though anyone can get an infection and sepsis, older adults are at a higher risk. Seniors who love eating eggs should ensure they’re properly cooked in boiling water or over a high heat.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Mesa, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, give us a call at (480) 699-4899 today.