7 Foods That Are Unhealthy for Aging Adults

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Every senior deserves to enjoy the occasional treat. However, there are also some foods that are unhealthy for seniors to eat on a regular basis. As you review your aging loved one’s current meal plan, make sure to avoid these unhealthy foods that can cause problems for older adults.

1. Raw Seafood

Clams, mussels, and oysters are often served raw, and your loved one may even find some of these options offered at his or her favorite restaurant buffet. However, these foods aren’t cooked to a high enough temperature to kill off dangerous bacteria. Since seniors have weaker immune systems than younger adults, they’re more vulnerable to developing a foodborne illness. Try swapping raw seafood out for healthier cooked versions, such as tilapia or salmon.

2. Soft Cheeses

Cheese adds valuable calcium to the diet, but soft varieties such as Brie are unpasteurized, which raises similar concerns as those about potential foodborne illnesses in raw seafood. Have your loved one switch to hard cheeses that can still be melted if he or she prefers a softer texture. 

Managing all the aspects of a senior’s health, including diet, can be challenging for a family caregiver. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality at-home care, Richardson Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

3. Grapefruit

This low-fat fruit is a favorite breakfast treat for seniors, who may enjoy it with a drizzle of honey. While it’s high in vitamin C, it can also interact negatively with certain medications used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and insomnia. Ask your loved one’s physician if grapefruit should be removed from the diet. If so, help your loved one adjust by offering fresh berries that have similar flavors and nutritional benefits.

4. Undercooked Eggs

Older adults need to avoid Eggs Benedict and other recipes that involve undercooked eggs. Salmonella is a serious health risk that can easily be picked up by eating raw or undercooked eggs. The good news is your loved one can still eat eggs by simply cooking them longer. 

Preparing meals and monitoring their loved ones’ diets are just a few of the many responsibilities of family caregivers, who also need to make sure to take care of themselves. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Richardson, TX, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite 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.

5. Frozen Pizza

Pizza may have all of the basic food groups in one slice, but it also contains a large amount of unhealthy ingredients. Frozen pizzas are loaded with grease, which increases fat intake, and the toppings often include heavy amounts of processed meat. Try making a pizza with your loved one at home, where you can control what goes on top. Use healthier choices such as freshly grilled chicken instead of fatty or processed meat.

6. Bean Sprouts

These vegetables are lovely additions to salads and rice dishes, but they do pose a risk to seniors. Bean sprouts are grown in warm, moist conditions that are also ripe for growing bacteria. Since sprouts are often served without being cooked, the bacteria may not be properly removed. While your loved one can simply leave sprouts out of the recipe, he or she can also replace them with other options, such as green onions, to add a safer boost of flavor and crunch.

7. Deli Meats

Lunch meats are loaded with salt, and many contain a chemical known to cause cancer. Instead of loading up at the deli counter, seniors can enjoy lunch meats made at home. Roasted turkey, chicken, and beef can be sliced up and put on sandwiches for a tasty and healthy lunch option.

Because of decreased immunity and other age-related health concerns, seniors should avoid these foods to maintain optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. Richardson families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (469) 573-4213.