A healthy diet is key to maintaining an active lifestyle and keeping good health in your golden years. Some foods, however, can be detrimental to overall health. Here are some foods seniors should avoid to reduce the risk of illness and poor health.
Deli meats that have been commercially processed—such as ham, salami, and bologna—are full of harmful additives such as sodium and nitrates. Eating these meats regularly can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. An alternative for seniors would be to buy their meat directly from a local butcher.
Fast food may be temporarily satisfying, but it doesn’t offer important nutrients and is heavy on calories. Regular consumption of fast food increases the risk of obesity, especially when coupled with a sedentary lifestyle. This in turn can lead to negative impacts on seniors’ overall health.
For seniors with weaker immune systems or digestive issues, raw or lightly-cooked sprouts can be harmful as they risk containing bacteria such as salmonella. If contaminated sprouts have been consumed, side effects such as sudden weight loss and pneumonia can occur. Seniors can look instead at enjoying other types of vegetables, which can benefit their bodies and minds.
In many cases, soft cheese is produced using milk that hasn’t been pasteurized, which in turn leads to cheese that contains more bacteria. For seniors with sensitive digestive systems, this can be dangerous. Opt instead for pasteurized dairy products kept at the recommended temperatures.
Raw seafood contains bacteria and harmful viruses which could lead seniors to feel ill. Before consuming raw seafood, seniors should consult their doctor or physician to make sure that their digestive systems are strong enough to break down and process the bacteria commonly found in raw seafood.
The high glycemic index of bagels can raise insulin levels and increase inflammation. This in turn can accelerate the aging process or aggravate skin conditions. Opt instead for low-glycemic bread such as whole-wheat or pumpernickel.
For seniors who are treating insomnia, high blood pressure, or anxiety, it is wise to steer away from grapefruit. Grapefruit can intensify the effects of certain drugs, making them risky to consume in conjunction. Before consuming grapefruit, seniors should read their medication bottles or speak to their doctors.
Homemade eggnog, ice cream, and mayonnaise are some foods that contain raw eggs. For seniors, the consumption of raw or undercooked eggs can increase the risk of food poisoning, which in turn can trigger conditions such as sepsis. Seniors should ensure that their eggs are cooked properly in either boiling water or over high heat to avoid the accidental consumption of undercooked eggs and steer away from foods that contain raw eggs.
Keeping a Healthy Diet
Keeping healthy starts with a balanced and nutritious diet. There are a variety of delicious foods available for seniors to help increase energy, stimulate the mind and keep fit so that they can best enjoy their golden years. These foods can serve as alternatives to the foods listed above.