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Foods Older Adults Need to Avoid

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Older adults should eat a variety of foods to maintain the best health possible. Daily diets should consist of lean meats, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts. There are also several foods seniors should avoid for different health reasons.

Processed Meats

Deli meats, hot dogs, and similar meats are often seasoned and aged without cooking, and they’re likely to contain a parasite known as toxoplasmosis. Cooking the meats ensures the heat kills the microbes. Otherwise, seniors should choose cooked lean poultry and fish. Freezing hot dogs, chorizo, pepperoni, prosciutto, salami, or other aged meats for at least four days before eating also kills the microbes. 

Avoiding processed meat is one of the many ways seniors can prevent heart-related issues. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Windermere, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Raw or Undercooked Eggs

Eggs are typically a healthy food that contains complete proteins. However, raw or undercooked eggs often harbor salmonella. Raw eggs are used as an ingredient in salad dressings like mayonnaise, Caesar dressing, and hollandaise sauce. Soft-boiled eggs are another possible hazard. Seniors should stick to scrambled, baked, or hard-boiled eggs.

Raw Fish

Many people enjoy fresh clams, mussels, oysters, shrimp, and sushi. Although seafood contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals such as omega-3 fatty acids, they may also harbor harmful microbes or parasites. There’s also no way of knowing the quality or origin of the foods. Seniors should stay safe and choose fish and shellfish that have been thoroughly cooked.

Raw Sprouts

Alfalfa, bean, or broccoli sprouts are often added to salads. However, the raw vegetables are liable to be contaminated with E. coli or salmonella. Quick stir-fried foods may not expose the sprouts to heat long enough to prevent illness. Healthy salad alternatives include collard greens, kale, spinach, and Swiss chard. 

Seniors who live alone are at risk of inadequate nutrition. 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. Altamonte Springs seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Soft Cheese

Blue, Brie, and Camembert cheese are unpasteurized, less acidic than other cheeses, and contain mold. They also have a high moisture content, which makes them the ideal breeding ground for listeria and other bacteria. Seniors should cook soft cheeses thoroughly or choose cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Swiss varieties to be safe.

Unpasteurized Juice or Milk

Unpasteurized juice or milk is commonly considered to be healthier because the nutrients haven’t been eliminated during the pasteurization process. However, raw beverages typically have higher bacteria levels. The different microbes in the juice or milk pose a serious health threat.

Other Processed Foods

Canned soups, baked goods, and frozen meals typically contain high levels of fat, salt, and sugar in addition to chemical preservatives. The high fat content may lead to obesity and other health issues. Many older adults develop salt sensitivities, which causes fluid retention and hypertension. Sugar is known to cause inflammation that may exacerbate cardiovascular diseases, immune system disorders, and insulin resistance. Inflammation has also been linked to the development of cognitive impairment. Home-cooked foods are healthier, as seniors have full control over the ingredients.

Eliminating unhealthy foods from the diet can benefit seniors who want to maintain a higher quality of life. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Orlando senior care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Call us at (407) 604-0506 today to learn more about our excellent senior care programs.

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