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Seniors diagnosed with cardiovascular disease are often advised to adopt a heart-healthy diet. However, special eating regimens are also useful for older adults who desire to maintain ongoing health. Heart-healthy diets have the potential to help seniors lose weight and lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Here are a few diets that healthcare and nutrition specialists recommend.
1. DASH Diet
The acronym DASH represents Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. As food rich in calcium, potassium, and protein plays a major role in vascular elasticity, this diet encourages eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. Grains, lean meats, poultry, and fish are allowed in limited daily portions. The DASH diet also takes into account sweet tooth cravings and offers recommendations and portion sizes.
A professional caregiver can ensure your senior loved one eats healthy meals and enjoys a higher quality of life. Albuquerque home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
2. Mediterranean Diet
The diet of people living in the Mediterranean region protects the cardiovascular system and has also been shown to inhibit cancer and promote cognitive health. Most meals feature fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, olive oil, and whole grains. Fish and seafood are encouraged at least twice a week. Lean red meats, eggs, cheese, poultry, and dairy products are consumed in moderation. Sweets are reserved for special occasions, and a glass of red wine with a meal is also permitted.
Encourage your loved one to switch to healthy foods, and help him or her prepare nutritious meals. 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. Albuquerque seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
3. Ornish Diet
The diet was named for Dean Ornish who served as a professor of medicine at the University of California. Ornish developed the diet after his own personal experience with cardiovascular disease. This eating regimen limits fats to 10 percent of daily calories. Complex carbohydrates and fibrous foods are encouraged. Two ounces of alcohol a day is permissible. Caffeine, refined carbohydrates, and animal products are prohibited. However, egg whites and one cup of nonfat dairy are permitted. Seniors must also quit smoking, exercise, and adopt stress-management skills.
4. TLC Diet
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet was created by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program. The focus involves cutting back on or eliminating fats, especially saturated fats. The diet encourages large amounts of vegetables, fruits, low-fat or nonfat dairy, and whole grains. Fish or skinned poultry are allowed as long as the preparation includes anything but frying. Dieters are also required to count calories.
5. Flexitarian Diet
The Flexitarian diet was developed by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner and combines flexibility with vegetarian options. While most meals are plant-based, an occasional meat serving is not prohibited. However, dieters are encouraged to get their protein from beans, eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The meal plans also restrict daily calorie counts to 1,500.
6. MIND Diet
The MIND diet combines the concepts of the DASH and Mediterranean diets and recommends food that benefits cardiovascular and cognitive health. The focus involves choosing foods from 10 different groups, including:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Other vegetables
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
- Red wine
Consider hiring a dedicated caregiver if your senior loved one needs assistance preparing nutritious meals. An Albuquerque elderly caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns. To learn about our revolutionary senior care plans, give Home Care Assistance a call at 505-798-0800 today.