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Reasons for Seniors to Try the Mediterranean Diet

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The Mediterranean diet has become very popular over the last few years, and it’s a great option for seniors who would like to be as healthy as possible. This diet focuses on nutrient-dense foods that aren’t packed with saturated fats, processed grains, or sweeteners. Here’s a quick glimpse at just a few of the reasons seniors might want to follow the Mediterranean diet.

Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is extremely common among the elderly, and this metabolic disorder can negatively impact many different aspects of a senior’s health. While being sedentary can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, an unhealthy diet is the primary risk factor. The Mediterranean diet is filled with almost all the nutrients that combat type 2 diabetes, such as fiber, monounsaturated fats, and high-quality protein. 

A professional caregiver with training in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits, including eating more nutritious foods. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust El Dorado County elderly home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Enhance Cardiovascular Health

One of the reasons the Mediterranean diet is so popular is because heart disease and other cardiovascular issues are on the rise. This diet essentially eliminates all the foods that damage the heart and blood vessels, including fatty meats, cured meats, candy, sweetened drinks, and sugary pastries. A recent study published in JAMA Network Open revealed the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 25 percent. 

Family caregivers need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too, which involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. In El Dorado County, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

Boost Brain Health

Researchers still have quite a bit to learn about the connection between dietary habits and brain health, but most experts agree a healthy diet plays a major role in maintaining cognitive abilities. Eating plenty of healthy fats can minimize brain inflammation, which lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders. Some neurologists also believe eliminating sugars and simple carbohydrates further enhances brain health.

Lower the Risk of Cancer

A group of researchers recently looked at 27 separate studies that tracked over 2 million adults, and they discovered cancer rates are much lower among those who follow the Mediterranean diet. As a general rule, those who are on this diet avoid many of the foods that have been directly linked to cancer or contain potentially carcinogenic ingredients. According to the American Cancer Society, some of the worst offenders include processed meats, charred meats, canned goods, white flour, and hydrogenated oils.

Reduce the Risk of Obesity

Obesity is on the rise among the elderly, and being overweight can be incredibly dangerous, increasing the risk of several health complications ranging from diabetes to depression. In addition to cutting out processed sugars and simple carbohydrates, seniors who are following this diet should also limit their caloric intake. Even while consuming fewer calories, many people who are on this diet feel fuller for longer because they’re eating plenty of fiber and protein.

Professional caregivers with expertise in nutrition can be a wonderful asset for seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. El Dorado County families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411.