Following a heart-healthy diet is a staple of most senior care plans because it helps prevent cardiovascular disease. Since many seniors like indulging in a bowl of ice cream or a juicy burger, it is important to raise awareness about the connection sugar and fat have with heart disease.
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 elder home care. Cincinnati families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
The Subterfuge of Outdated Research
The idea that fat is worse than sugar for the heart started in the late 1960s. Back then a research study was published that claimed a high-fat diet was more likely to cause heart problems rather than the consumption of sugar. The research was conducted by the Sugar Association and was published before the establishment of current laws that require medical studies to release their source of funding. As a result, for a long time people believed they could skip the fat but still enjoy sweets. This research study was misleading, and seniors should now be aware that avoiding sweets is crucial to heart health.
The Dangerous Role of Sugar
Sugar can make many foods taste better. Often it is hiding in foods and drinks such as fruit juice or whole-grain cereal. Sugar is also included in the list of ingredients under other names such as corn syrup or sucrose, all of which can damage a senior’s heart. Overconsumption of sugar causes weight gain that can lead to obesity. Coupled with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, obesity can cause poor heart health.
The Reasons Why Fat Is Still Unhealthy
Fat remains bad for heart health. Saturated fat clogs arteries and increases high blood pressure. It also accumulates in a senior’s body and contributes to obesity. Over time, a high-fat diet places seniors at risk for strokes and heart failure. Because many flavorful foods such as fried foods contain high levels of saturated fat, seniors sometimes have difficulty eliminating them from the diet. Switching to low-fat versions of their favorite foods can help them eat healthier.
Eating a healthy diet is just one way seniors can work toward living a happier and healthier life. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Cincinnati Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
The Importance of Moderation
It might be tempting to clear out your loved one’s pantry. However, it is still possible to eat small amounts of these foods as long as your loved one exercises regularly and sticks to a healthy diet the rest of the time. Replacing saturated fat and sugar with healthier options can also help. For example, your loved one could use avocado as a spread instead of butter or choose fruit for dessert instead of cake. Slowly moving toward healthier eating can make a big difference in heart health over time.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be more challenging for seniors living with a cognitive condition like dementia. For trusted and reliable dementia home care, Cincinnati families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are experts in caring for seniors with memory-related conditions, our caregivers are available 24/7, and all of our dementia care programs are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call 513.891.2273 to speak with a friendly Care Manager to find out about our flexible care plans.