8 Foods to Avoid in the Senior Years

8 Foods Older Adults Shouldn’t Eat

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Consuming the right foods plays a crucial role in maintaining an active lifestyle and enjoying optimal health during the golden years. However, there are some foods seniors should stay away from because they could compromise their health. To reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses and poor health, seniors should steer clear of the following foods. 

1. Sprouts

For older adults with digestive issues or weak immune systems, eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts can be harmful because they’re a breeding ground for an array of bacteria, such as salmonella. Eating contaminated sprouts can lead to dangerous side effects, such as sudden weight loss and pneumonia. Instead of consuming sprouts, seniors should choose crisp vegetables like green beans. 

Some seniors have difficulty preparing nutritious meals and getting to the grocery store to buy the healthy foods they need. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of senior care. Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional Care in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Deli Meats

Many commercially processed types of meats like ham, salami, and bologna are full of sodium, nitrates, and other harmful additives. Seniors who regularly eat these types of processed meats raise their risk of cancer and heart disease. If meat is a must-have for sandwiches, seniors should buy lunch meat directly from a local butcher and have it custom sliced to order. 

3. Fast Food

Fast foods like french fries and doughnuts may satisfy hunger pangs, but they don’t offer important nutrients. Many older adults become more sedentary through the years, making it more difficult to burn off extra calories. Eating these types of foods could lead to weight gain, which could negatively impact a senior’s overall health.

4. Oysters

Older adults who have weak immune systems should avoid eating raw shellfish. The harmful viruses and bacteria that thrive in raw oysters can make seniors feel sick and cause them to vomit. Before eating raw seafood, older adults should talk with their physicians to make sure they’re healthy enough to break down and process the bacteria often found in the shells or flesh. 

5. Soft Cheese

Many cheese producers make soft cheese with milk that isn’t pasteurized, which is the reason it often contains more bacteria. Eating too much bacteria is especially dangerous for an older adult who has a sensitive digestive tract or weakened immune system. As a basic rule, seniors should only consume pasteurized dairy products kept at the correct temperature. 

It’s important for family caregivers to help their loved ones maintain a healthy diet. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional home care. Columbia, MD, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

6. Bagels

Most bagels have a high glycemic index, which can raise insulin levels and increase inflammation in the body. Increased inflammation can accelerate aging and aggravate skin conditions.

7. Grapefruit

Seniors who take medications to treat insomnia, high blood pressure, or anxiety may want to avoid eating grapefruit because it can intensify the effects of some of these drugs and even make them dangerous. Seniors should carefully read their medication labels and talk to their doctors before eating grapefruit. 

8. Undercooked Eggs

Raw eggs are used in foods such as homemade eggnog, ice cream, and mayonnaise. Uncooked eggs can increase an older adult’s risk of food poisoning, which can trigger sepsis. Seniors who love eating eggs should ensure they’re thoroughly cooked over high heat. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Columbia, MD, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Assisting Hands Home Care can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact us today at 443-233-1245 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.