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5 Reasons to Switch to the Mediterranean Diet in the Golden Years

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The Mediterranean diet gets its name from the eating habits of people in Greece, Italy, and Spain. The diet focuses on increasing olive oil, bean, fruit, and vegetable intake, reducing red meat consumption, and getting protein from fish and dairy. Seniors can benefit from eating the Mediterranean diet because it addresses several diseases and health concerns. The Mediterranean diet is associated with the following five benefits.

1. Enhance Cardiovascular Health

The Mediterranean diet has many components that work together to keep the heart strong and healthy. The diet is rich in olive oil, which contains healthy oleic acid and other monounsaturated fats that reduce levels of harmful cholesterol. Many of the legumes and plants in the Mediterranean diet are beneficial because they contain high levels of fiber, which lowers blood pressure and keeps cholesterol levels down.

Switching to the Mediterranean diet is just one of the many ways to lower the risk of developing serious health issues. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Jefferson County families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

2. Boost Cognitive Health

The Mediterranean diet’s ability to keep the cardiovascular system strong and healthy ensures the brain can easily process toxins.According to a 2013 study published in Epidemiology, eating a Mediterranean diet can lower a senior’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study also found that seniors on the Mediterranean diet who did get Alzheimer’s disease had a lower rate of cognitive decline than other older adults with the same condition.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Slowing metabolisms make seniors more likely to gain weight, which can exacerbate their existing medical conditions. The Mediterranean diet’s focus on lean proteins and low-calorie fruits and vegetables can help seniors lose excess weight, and its healthy fat content reduces the need to overeat.

Older adults who need help preparing nutrient-dense, low-fat meals should consider professional in-home care. 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. Jefferson County seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

4. Reduce Diabetes Risk

The body’s ability to process sugar diminishes with age, making seniors susceptible to type 2 diabetes and leading to nerve damage, eyesight loss, and impaired healing ability. A 2014 study from the Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental journal analyzed over 135,000 individuals and found that the Mediterranean diet decreased the risk of developing diabetes by 23 percent. If a senior still develops diabetes, the Mediterranean diet is an excellent option for managing the disease because it does not cause blood sugar spikes.

5. Protect the Body from Cancer

Research from a 2017 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that the Mediterranean diet lowered risks of developing gastric, liver, and esophageal cancer. The diet also reduced the risk of dying from cancer by 6 percent. The Mediterranean diet seems to prevent cancer because it contains many antioxidants that protect the body against free radical damage.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Jefferson County, CO, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To create a customized in-home care plan for your aging loved one, give us a call at (303) 987-5992 today.

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