The average senior consumes more salt than is recommended for a healthy diet. Whether your older loved one is adding salt to make up for a decreasing sense of taste or turning to processed foods for convenience, it’s important to understand that too much salt can lead to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, and strokes. To help your loved one shake the salting habit and aim for less than a teaspoon of salt a day, here are several tips for enhancing meals while ensuring better long-term health.
1. Limit Convenience Foods
Many seniors turn to convenience foods when they’re fatigued or ill. However, processed foods tend to rely on sodium as a preservative and flavor enhancer. Seniors who are short on time and energy may benefit from meal preparation services, or they can cook and freeze several meals at a time using low-salt recipes. Hiring a caregiver to help with meal preparation and other household chores can be a great way to ensure your loved one gets nutritious, well-balanced meals.
Reducing sodium intake isn’t the only way older adults can boost their health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. 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.
2. Rinse Canned Goods
Keeping fresh fruits and vegetables available for snacks can also help your loved one limit the consumption of salt. However, when canned foods are the only option, it’s important to choose canned goods that are labeled as having no sodium or low amounts of the substance. Your loved one can also rinse canned goods with water before preparation, which can lower the salt in foods that aren’t available in low-sodium options.
3. Use Herbs to Enhance Flavor
Seniors who turn to salt as a way to add flavor to their food will find there are healthier ways to prepare delicious meals. Instead of salt, try using fresh or dried herbs to enhance the natural flavors of a meal. Lemon juice, spices such as oregano, and no-salt rubs can all offer a wide array of tastes without compromising your loved one’s health.
It can be challenging for overworked caregivers to assist seniors with preparing nutritious meals every day. In Mesa, at-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
4. Check Menus for Low-Sodium Options
Many restaurants today are recognizing the importance of senior health and including low-sodium options on their menus. When dining out, make sure to inquire about these options for your loved one, or ask for no extra salt to be added during the meal preparation. By choosing meals carefully, it’s possible to reduce salt intake while still enjoying flavorful and healthy meals.
5. Put Away the Pickled Products
Since pickled cucumbers, olives, peppers, and several other vegetables are cured in salty solutions, they contain a lot of sodium. Encourage your loved one to choose fresh vegetables instead.
6. Don’t Eat Processed Meats
Lunch meat, preserved sausages, bacon, and ham contain massive amounts of sodium. Just an ounce of deli meat contains up to 300 milligrams of sodium, which can increase blood pressure. Try serving thin slices of baked chicken breast or homemade lean roast beef.
From preparing low-sodium meals to exercising on a daily basis, older adults may need help with a wide variety of everyday activities. 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. Mesa seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your parent, give us a call at (480) 699-4899 today.