Why Older Adults Should Adopt the Mediterranean Diet

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Following a nutritious diet can help older adults live healthier lives. Many medical professionals suggest the Mediterranean diet for seniors because it can stave off different age-related illnesses. Here are some of the reasons this diet might benefit your senior loved one.

Protects Memory 

The Mediterranean diet consists of foods that are close to nature, such as olive oil, vegetables, and unrefined cereals. The diet is low in sugar and free of artificial ingredients, including flavor enhancers, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives. To satisfy your loved one’s sweet cravings, the diet allows foods made with natural sweeteners as well as various types of fruits. 

Eating low amounts of sugar and processed foods is a good way for your loved one to maintain healthier cholesterol levels and prevent clogged arteries. Instead, blood and oxygen flows through the body normally, and the brain can rid itself of the toxins that cause memory loss and cognitive conditions like dementia.

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 attain this goal. Families can trust home care experts to help their aging loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.

Reduces Cancer Risk

Aging puts seniors at higher risk for developing some diseases, including cancer. However, the Mediterranean diet includes foods that can promote your loved one’s health and reduce the risk of cancer. The cornerstone of this diet is plant-based foods, especially fruits and vegetables, which provide the antioxidants the body needs to protect DNA from damage and prevent cell mutation. As a result, inflammation may be lowered and certain cancers can be prevented, including bowel and colon cancer. Following the Mediterranean diet can also lower oxidative stress.

Boosts Heart Health

Hypertension is a condition many seniors develop, but following the Mediterranean diet can keep blood pressure levels down and promote heart health. The high amounts of olive oil used in this diet can decrease blood pressure significantly, and the foods recommended in the diet keep the arteries dilated and clear. Maintaining normal blood pressure levels and a healthy heart can reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular issues.

Family caregivers need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too, which involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. In Cincinnati, senior 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.

Promotes Weight Loss 

Seniors are at higher risk for diabetes due to being inactive, overweight, and stressed. However, the Mediterranean diet can prevent or slow the progression of diabetes and allow your loved one to lose weight without being hungry. The nutrient-dense foods your loved one eats can reduce his or her fat intake. 

The Mediterranean diet focuses on increasing the consumption of high-quality proteins. The fish, dairy products, and free-range meats used in the diet contain fatty acids the body needs to manage a healthy weight, control blood sugar, and boost energy levels. Consuming low amounts of carbohydrates, lean meats, and good fats is essential to losing weight in a healthy way. 

Professional caregivers with training and 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 home care. Cincinnati families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their older loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at 513-993-5025 today.