The goose is getting fat. And the turkey is beginning to suspect a few things.
Thanksgiving may be an odd time to discuss healthy eating, since many of us tend to throw that notion out the window around this time of year. But, especially when it comes to caring for our elderly loved ones, there is no time like the present to consider a few things whilst finalizing that holiday menu.
Obesity and overweight are common issues for seniors. With the elderly population rising (see my previous post), this threat will continue to escalate. Experts suggest, however, that as our age increases, our caloric intake should actually go down. Amy Campbell, a registered dietitian and diabetes expert, asserts that older women only need 1,600 – 2,200 calories a day, and that their male counterparts should stay somewhere between 2,000 – 2,800.
A full-on hardcore diet is unnecessary, Campbell says. But here’s a quick pointer: make sure that your elderly loved one is receiving enough protein, which becomes increasingly important in the later years, combatting such ailments as osteoporosis.
High cholesterol can also be a problem for adults 65 and over. The reason is simple: habit. Try telling someone who’s been eating the same greasy, fried (and let’s not forget, delicious) foods for sixty years, that they should suddenly stop. You’d best immediately duck afterwards. But the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke increase over the years as more unhealthy foods are ingested into our systems. The conversation may be well worth the black eye. NOTE: There’s more than one type of cholesterol, but the ones we want to reduce are triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
So, how might eating well affect your Thanksgiving Day meal? Perhaps not as much as you might think. The biggest food culprits tend to be red meat, eggs, processed baked goods processed with hydrogenated or saturated fat, and fast food (which is practically Thanksgiving sacrilege). These are all pretty avoidable if some effort is utilized. But there is one other not-so-good staple that might be more difficult to say no to:
Yes. WebMD recommends that we limit foods containing more than one percent milk fat, and that includes the B-word. This holiday, try preparing some of your favorite dishes with olive oil instead. This life-saver has become quite popular in diets over the last couple of decades for a good reason. It’s both tasty and healthy.
Speaking of healthy, here are a few foods that Fitness Magazine recommends adding to your dining room table this week (in moderation, of course):
1) Turkey: Thank goodness. National spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association Sarah Krieger points out that a 3-4 ounce serving of white meat with no skin is a great, low-calorie source of zinc, Vitamin B and potassium.
2) Sweet potatoes: The key with this superfood is to not douse them in sugar, or worse. Enjoy them roasted, and reap their many health benefits.
3) Collard greens: Full of antioxidants, they’re a dream – when not infiltrated by pork. Try turkey or olive oil as seasoning instead.
Thanksgiving is a time of year when we celebrate life. And what better way to do so, than to dine on a feast that can actually help to elongate not only your aging parent’s life, but yours, as well?
Happy Thanksgiving from 805Aging!
If you are considering elder care options, we can help. Our professional staff specializes in assisting you to choose the right kind of care for your loved one. Be it at home or in a community, we conduct regular check-ins when you are unable to do so. 805Aging also provides oversight and detailed feedback to the family to keep your loved one safe and well-cared for day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday and every day.
We have the resources. We can hold your hand. We can guide you. Your peace of mind is our main goal, and is well assured. To find out more, call us at 805-750-4755 or visit our website: www.805Aging.com.
There is no manual on how to take care of your parents as they age. They had a baby book when you were young. You have us.