Senior Care in South Eastern North Carolina… Are your loved ones getting the nutrition they need?

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 8/22/2013 12:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
A nutritious diet is one key to good health. Including a balance of vitamins, minerals, protein and carbohydrates is important for everybody and senior citizens in particular. Seniors and those that are cooking for them, such as family members and in home health care specialists, should pay special attention to foods that are low in cholesterol, fat and sugar, but high in vitamins and protein. A variety of fruits and vegetables, milk and cheeses, protein and whole grains is important for any diet. Interim Healthcare can help its patients choose the right types of foods for a healthy diet. Within our personal care services we offer meal preparation and planning and shopping assistance to help keep seniors on track with a well-balanced diet.
 
Where to find foods with high concentrations of vitamins and minerals can be perplexing sometimes. Here are a few tips. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends healthy diets including foods from five of the six food groups to promote good health and lower risks of chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. The five food groups for a well-balanced daily diet are fruits; vegetables; breads and cereals; milk and cheeses; meat, fish, dry beans and poultry. Fats, sweets and alcohol also make up a food group, but eating choices from this group should be limited.
 
Seniors should especially focus on calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamins A, C and E. Here are a few ideas on which foods are rich sources of these.
 
Foods that have no cholesterol are especially good for you. Fruits and vegetables fall into this group. Most of them are low in fat as well. Find vitamin A in fruits and vegetables like Chinese cabbage, pumpkin, spinach and cantaloupe.  Other foods high in vitamin A include picked herring, liver and cooked cereals.
 
Vitamin E is great for the skin and helps the body in healing. Find high levels of this vitamin in tomato products, avocados, spinach, nuts, peanut butter and herring. Look for it in lower cholesterol oil, such as canola. Sources rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, guava, strawberries, pineapple, green pepper, broccoli, kale and peas.
 
Calcium is found in foods traditionally referred to as “dairy products.” Milk that is low-fat or no-fat is especially good for you, although other types of milk have calcium as well. Cheese and yogurt also have high calcium levels. Other high-calcium foods not in this food group are oatmeal, tofu, pink salmon, white beans, okra, clams, collards and molasses.
 
Foods high in fiber help the body stay regular. High-fiber foods include various types of beans, such as kidney, pinto, black, soy, and Navy. Also look to artichokes, crackers, pears, bulgur, bananas, parsnips, oat muffins and apples for a rich source of fiber.
 
Protein is the body’s fundamental building block. It replaces enzymes and cells, an important function in seniors. While some foods high in protein are also high in cholesterol and fat, varying sources of protein and choosing carefully will keep a nutritious diet on track. Eat foods like poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and meat.
 
At Interim HealthCare we know how important it is for seniors to get the proper nutrition. If you’re concerned that a loved one isn’t eating properly or may have some difficulty preparing meals but they are determined to remain independent contact us to see how with just a few hours a week we come in and prepare some meals to ensure they are getting the nutrition they need.

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