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Grocery Shopping for the Elderly — How to Provide a Balanced Diet

A balanced and nutritious diet remains one of the most consistent needs for people — from the minute they’re born and well into their golden years. While getting the proper nutrients when you’re growing up helps you develop a healthy body, it becomes even more important when you’re older to get everything you need to maintain your bodily functions and faculties. Specific foods can promote increased brain health, improve physical fitness, and help prevent some diseases from developing. 

Talking About Nutrition

By the time you hit your later years, you have formed specific eating habits that can prove tough to break. Professional elderly care services focus a portion of their day on how to best provide for their patient or loved one regarding their diet. 

Helping them figure out how to incorporate healthier foods into their daily routine without causing too many disruptions is an important part of the equation and should feel like a collaboration. It can be easier to incorporate these foods when there’s an active conversation between the caretaker and the patient. 

What Foods Should They Prioritize?

Every person is different, and their recommended diets reflect these differences. Some might have nutrient deficiencies and must prioritize getting more of a specific nutrient into their daily routine. Others may want to focus on finding an ideal balance between the foods they love and what they need to give their brain a boost. Here are some of our favorite tips to build a balanced diet for the elderly. 

Pick Foods That Provide Nutrients Without the Excess Calories

Overly processed foods can taste amazing and, in some cases, even provide a semblance of the nutritional value you need to maintain your health. However, most of these foods come with the hidden danger of being overloaded with calories — which, in large quantities, lead to dangerous weight gain. 

Fortunately, there are deliciously nutritious foods out there that you can choose from, including:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fat-free or reduced fat milk and cheese
  • Proteins (seafood, lean meat, poultry, and eggs)
  • Beans, nuts, and seeds

Specific recipe and meal preparation services can also provide you with an accessible avenue for discovering new ways to prepare the food itself and have readily available leftovers for later in the week. 

Avoid Purely Empty Calories

A healthy diet should feature a good mix of different food types, each with its own calorie count and considerations. If you have a calorie target in mind for their daily living needs, avoiding empty calories will allow you to incorporate more nutrient-rich foods into the diet. Some empty calorie-dense foods to leave off the grocery list include chips, candy, baked goods, sugary sodas, and alcoholic beverages. 

Watch the Cholesterol and Fat Intake

One of the most important keys to a long and happy life involves prioritizing overall heart health. As we age, our heart naturally weakens; this can make it more challenging for older adults to do the same things they used to because of the strain it puts on the most important muscle in the body. Two of the biggest factors impacting your heart are cholesterol levels and fat intake. 

Sometimes the key to a truly balanced diet comes from actively avoiding foods with delicious ingredients that can negatively affect your heart health. Stay away from foods high in saturated and trans fat can help keep your cholesterol levels balanced. Saturated fats come from animal-based sources, while trans fat comes from processed foods. 

Stay Hydrated

A major component of healthy eating that often gets overlooked at every age pertains to the importance of hydration. As we mature, some people can begin to lose their sense of thirst and not have a ready supply of water nearby. Depending on which medications they require, staying hydrated becomes even more vital. Having a senior care service can help prioritize getting enough water in their daily life. 

Aging With Comfort Can Help Find the Ideal Balanced Diet for the Elderly in Your Life 

While a balanced diet might look different for every person, there are still certain common pieces you can find in every grocery store in the Philadelphia, PA, area. Finding the right combination of healthy foods that provide the most nutritional value and promote total body health can prove challenging without some guidance. The home aide and caregiver services in Philadelphia, PA, offered at Aging With Comfort can help prioritize your shopping list. 

Learn more about how we can help create a balanced diet for the elderly loved ones in your life today!

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