Unhealthy “Healthy” Foods for Seniors with Advanced Conditions

By Home Care Assistance, 8:00 am on

The geriatric GI tract needs extra TLC and seniors need to be more cognizant of the foods they consume on a regular basis. Certain foods generally considered to be healthy are not senior-friendly, especially for seniors living with age related conditions.  Home Care Assistance, the trusted Denton County live-in care specialists, share just a few specific foods that can worse some of the most common conditions experienced by seniors and older adults.

Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s is a progressive disease that causes tremors, rigidity, slowed movement, and poor coordination. However, dietary changes can help in the management of symptoms. This includes avoiding:

  • High Protein Foods – Eating more than a modest amount of protein can interfere with the levodopa medication used to treat Parkinson’s. Foods that are known to be healthy that should be consumed judiciously are dairy products, such as cottage cheese and milk. Eating protein-rich food early in the day can also help defer problems.
  • Fava Beans – These beans contain a natural form of levodopa, so eating them, especially in large amounts, can lead to an overdose. Before adding fava beans to the diet, a person with Parkinson’s should discuss this with their doctor.  Alternatives are lentils, navy beans, kidney beans, and split peas.

If you have an aging parent or loved one who is living with Parkinson’s, it is important to take these dietary changes into consideration. You may also want to learn more about in-home Parkinson’s care in Denton County which can help ensure safety, comfort and quality of life through each stage of the disease.

Gout & Diabetes

Gout is a type of arthritis that is common among people with diabetes. It causes joints to become tender, red, stiff, and swollen. It occurs when the body isn’t able to flush out uric acid. The uric acid turns into crystals that accumulate in the joints. The big toe joint is a common site of gout, but it can also arise in the joints of the ankles, feet, knees, hands, wrists, and elbows.

Purines in certain foods are converted to uric acid, contributing to the symptoms of gout. Following are healthy foods high in purines that should be consumed with caution to avoid gout:

  • Turkey
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Sardines
  • Salmon

To further protect against the incidence of gout, nutritionists recommend low-fat dairy foods, complex carbohydrates, citrus fruits, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and purple grapes.

Stroke

Stroke survivors may have difficulty swallowing. Caution should be taken with foods that pose a risk for choking and the following foods should also be avoided to help reduce the risk for stroke recurrence.

  • Whole Eggs – The yolks are high in cholesterol. Swap out yolks for the whites.
  • Whole Dairy Products – High-fat milk products such as 2%, whole milk, and full-fat cheese should be avoided to promote better overall health.
  • Butter Replacements – Margarines and spreads are considered to be healthy alternatives to butter. However, they should be avoided if they contain trans-fats. These are identified on product labels as partially hydrogenated oils, which raise bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol.

The statements in this article are offered as suggestions. They should not be followed if they conflict with a doctor’s recommendations. Always discuss dietary considerations with your doctor first, before making changes. Your physician can guide you as to what foods are healthy or not for your condition.

To learn more about healthy senior eating for seniors with advanced conditions for care for senior living with an advanced condition, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide Denton County elder care that enables seniors to live at home, no matter what their abilities. Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our friendly Care Managers by calling 405-285-4191 and see if home care is the right fit for your aging loved one.