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Are Sugar and Fat the Culprits of Heart Disease?

Too much of anything can be bad, especially if it is too much sugar and fat. A diet full of sugar and saturated fats could increase your loved one’s risk of heart disease, even if he or she isn’t overweight.

Heart disease is just one of many serious conditions the elderly are at risk for. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly care. Albuquerque families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Here are 4 reasons why foods high in sugar and fat are linked to heart conditions.

1. Causes High Cholesterol

When your senior loved one has a large amount of saturated fat in his or her diet, the risk of heart disease rises. Certain foods can increase the levels of bad fat, known as LDL cholesterol, in your loved one’s body. To prevent this, your loved one needs to limit his or her intake of the following foods or avoid eating them altogether:

  • Cookies, pies, cakes, and other baked goods
  • Cream cheese, butter, and other dairy products (try low-fat and fat-free products instead)
  • Beef, lamb, poultry with skin, and pork 
  • Fried foods 

2. Increases Diabetes Risk

Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease. Because of high sugar levels in the blood, your loved one is at a higher risk of developing diabetes. The sugars and fats prevent your loved one from keeping his or her glucose levels under control. Diabetes can cause harmful changes to the structure and function of the heart. This increases the risk of stroke and heart disease, two of the leading causes of death among seniors. 

Professional caregivers can encourage your loved one to focus on healthy habits to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions, and they can also be a great benefit to families. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs a live-in home caregiver, Albuquerque, NM, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.

3. Triggers Hypertension

High blood pressure is a major factor in heart disease, and eating fats can put your loved one at risk for hypertension. Not all fats are bad, and your loved one can eat healthy fats like nuts, vegetables, and fish. However, hydrogenated fats typically found in processed foods can cause high blood pressure. Your loved one should avoid saturated fats. If this is not possible, try to make sure saturated fats make up less than 10 percent of his or her total energy and less than 7 percent if he or she has diabetes or another high-risk illness. 

4. Decreases Physical Activity

Eating sugars and fats can make your loved one lose energy and grow tired easily. The brain chemical that keeps seniors awake and alert is inhibited when he or she consumes too much sugar and fat. High intake of sugars can also decrease the activity of orexin cells, which can make your loved one sleepy. This makes it difficult for him or her to get the exercise necessary to maintain a healthy weight and may simultaneously cause weight gain and feelings of tiredness. Daily exercise can help your loved one reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack.

In addition to helping seniors reduce the risk of heart disease, caregivers can also help them manage the symptoms of dementia. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional in-home dementia care. Albuquerque, NM, families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. Call 505-798-0800 to speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager about our elderly care services.