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Top 10 Foods Your Aging Parents Should Never Consume and Why

Foods Seniors Should Avoid

Foods Seniors Should Avoid

Consuming healthy foods is a vital part of sustaining well-being. Fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins make up the core of a nutrient-dense diet. Seniors and their family caregivers may know what healthy foods look like. Even so, the elderly must avoid certain foods, like these top 10.

Getting older prompts changes to appetite and nutritional needs. Elderly individuals require fewer calories, due to having a slower metabolism. As seniors’ sense of taste and smell diminish, their appetite reduces proportionally. Medications and medical health also impact a senior’s food intake.

Healthy foods for youth include eggs, milk, and seafood. However, for seniors, seemingly healthy foods may be harmful. Aging people live with weaker immune systems, making it difficult for their bodies to fight off foodborne illnesses. Some foods may interact with seniors’ medications or worsen health conditions.

  1. Underdone Meats and Raw Eggs

Eggs and meats are loaded with protein. When undercooked, however, these proteins pose a significant danger to seniors. Consuming raw or undercooked eggs, chicken or sushi, for instance, can cause salmonella food poisoning. In high-risk populations, like the elderly, sepsis and septic shock can occur.

Raw eggs are a main ingredient in rich hollandaise sauces and homemade eggnogs, ice creams, and mayonnaise. Reduce the risk of an elderly loved one developing food poisoning by eliminating from his or her diet any homemade foods that contain raw eggs.

  1. Grapefruits

Grapefruit has long been touted as a healthy fruit. While the round, pink fruit offers health benefits, seniors are advised to avoid them. The effects of medications used to treat high blood pressure or insomnia intensify when the body digests grapefruit—resulting in potential danger to seniors.

  1. Soft Cheeses

Soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk contain large amounts of bacteria, like listeria. Since seniors normally have a sensitive digestive tract or a weakened immune system, restrict soft cheeses. Eating soft cheeses that have been cooked is a safe alternative, as the heat kills the bacteria.

  1. Unpasteurized Milk

Similar to soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk should be avoided. Farmers’ markets and local dairy farms produce and sell unpasteurized milk, which may contain salmonella, e. coli, listeria, and other bacteria that are hazardous to seniors. Instead, offer seniors pasteurized milk from supermarkets.

  1. Raw Seafood

Sushi and shellfish, such as oysters, clams, and lobster may cause foodborne illnesses due to the possibility of raw seafood harboring parasitic worms. When a senior insists on having seafood, ensure the product is thoroughly cooked to kill bacteria and parasites.

  1. Sprouts

A senior might ask for a sandwich, perhaps one topped with sprouts. Resist adding sprouts to a meal, since raw sprouts can carry bacteria, such as salmonella. Sprouts also have the likelihood of being contaminated. Contamination can cause ill effects in seniors, such as sudden weight loss.

  1. Processed Meats

A quick lunch can be fixed with commercially processed meats, like ham, salami, and bologna. Think twice about preparing processed meats for seniors, since they are full of additives, such as sodium and nitrates. Regular consumption of processed meats also raises the risk of cancer or heart disease.

  1. Caffeine

Drinking coffees or teas may have been a lifelong habit for seniors. However, consuming caffeine on a regular basis is a habit that must be broken. Caffeine prevents older people from sleeping soundly, increases anxiety, and could force the heart to beat irregularly or more rapidly.

Seniors with a heart condition are advised to avoid caffeine. As a known diuretic, caffeine causes the body to produce more urine. An increase in urine production leads to dehydration. Seniors who are dehydrated have a higher risk for lightheadedness and subsequent falls.

  1. Sugar-laden Beverages

Cold drinks, such as sodas and some sports drinks, contain large amounts of sugar. A 12-ounce can of soda, for instance, is loaded with 39 grams of sugar. Regularly sipping sodas can cause a spike in a senior’s blood sugar, especially if the individual has been diagnosed with prediabetes.

  1. Alcoholic Drinks

An occasional glass of wine might seem harmless, but for seniors on prescription medications, the alcohol can cause serious health repercussions. Older adults often take medications to control illnesses, like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Alcohol mixed with drugs triggers ill health.

Many medications adversely react to alcohol, even when the amount of alcohol is small. In some cases, the alcohol interference renders the medication useless or less effective; plus, alcohol interactions can cause the medicine to become toxic. Mixing alcohol with medications is a risky affair.

Home Care Agency Lake County Illinois

Adult children may have the best of intentions when preparing meals for elderly parents. However, it is important to be aware that certain foods commonly known to be healthy are potentially harmful to aging people. One way to ensure seniors eat right is to utilize Assisting Hands Home Care services.

We are a reputable home care agency staffed with a team of caregivers who are knowledgeable about how various foods impact seniors’ health. Our professional elder care providers are trained to prepare healthy meals that are safe for older adults to consume and that follow dietary restrictions.

Assisting Hands Home Care services are comprehensive. We carry out a range of non-medical home care services designed to assist the senior in the comfort of home. Responsibilities include help with personal hygiene, transportation, meal preparation, grocery shopping, fall risk assessment, and companionship.

Our flexible care programs meet the needs of seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease, those who require hospice home care , and the injured who have returned from a hospital stay. We also offer quality respite care, 24-hour care, live-in care, and companion care.

When the senior in your life would benefit from all-around elder care, choose Assisting Hands Home Care. We provide dependable home care services to seniors living in  Deerfield, Libertyville,  Lake Forest, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove and the surrounding areas in Lake County, Illinois. Call us at (224) 268-9068 for a complimentary in-home consultation.