A stroke occurs whenever blood flow to the brain is blocked, so it is typically caused by a blood clot or broken blood vessel. Though strokes are linked to circulatory system conditions, diet also has a huge effect on stroke risk. The foods seniors eat can alter their blood pressure and weaken their blood vessels. Seniors should avoid these eight foods because they can potentially increase the chances of having a stroke.
1. Smoked Meats
Bacon, ham, and other smoked meats can increase stroke risk because they are packed with sodium. High sodium levels are one of the main causes of high blood pressure. Another issue with smoked meats is that they often contain a preservative called nitrite, which can make arteries harden and narrow.
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2. Diet Sodas
A 2011 study from Columbia University found seniors who drank at least one diet soda a day had 60 percent more strokes. Though the researchers are not sure of the exact cause behind their results, it is still wise for seniors to cut out the diet soda.
3. Red Meat
Red meat is packed with saturated fat that can raise cholesterol levels. Higher cholesterol leads to higher blood pressure, narrowed blood vessels, and strokes. Chicken, turkey, and fish are typically better options.
4. Canned Soups
Soup is generally a healthy meal for seniors, but canned soups are often loaded with sodium. Just one can of chicken noodle soup can cause seniors to consume more than their daily recommended amount of sodium. Always make sure to read the labels and check sodium levels beforehand if your loved one wants to eat canned soups.
5. Packaged Snacks
Packs of cookies, chips, crackers, and cakes are normally loaded with trans fats. These dangerous fats cause a cholesterol buildup that easily blocks arteries. Trans fats also cause high inflammation levels, which are linked to stroke risks.
6. Frozen Meals
Frozen TV dinners might seem like a convenient option for seniors who do not want to cook, but they often contain unhealthy ingredients. These types of premade, frozen meals are normally filled with sodium. Even vegan options are often packed with salt, so it is important to read labels before serving your loved one a frozen meal.
Encourage your senior loved one to prepare nutritious meals that can boost his or her health. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Lakewood seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Though a moderate amount of red wine can be healthy for the heart, a higher intake causes severe spikes in blood pressure. Seniors should keep their alcohol intake below seven drinks a week and never drink more than three drinks in a single day.
8. Fried Foods
Anything deep fried should be avoided because fried foods often contain a blend of both saturated and trans fats. These fats can raise cholesterol levels and clog arteries.
If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits that promote overall health, consider hiring a professional caregiver. For many seniors in Lakewood, CO, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. Call one of our professional Care Managers at (303) 987-5992 to schedule an in-home consultation or to create a care plan for your elderly loved one.