Following a heart-healthy diet is a staple of most senior care plans because it prevents cardiovascular disease. Since many seniors like indulging in a bowl of ice cream or a juicy burger, it’s important to raise awareness about the connection sugar and fat have with heart disease.
The Subterfuge of Outdated Research
The idea that fat is worse than sugar for the heart appeared in the late 1960s. Back then, a research study was published claiming a high-fat diet was more likely than the consumption of sugar to cause heart problems. This research was conducted by the Sugar Association and was published before the passage of current laws that require authors of medical studies to reveal their sources of funding. As a result, for a long time people believed they could skip the fat but still enjoy sweets. This research study was misleading, and seniors should now be aware that avoiding sweets is crucial to heart health.
The Dangerous Role of Sugar
Sugar can make many foods taste better. It’s often found hiding in foods and drinks such as fruit juice and whole grain cereal. Sugar is also included in lists of ingredients under other names, such as high fructose corn syrup and sucrose, all of which can damage a senior’s heart. Overconsumption of sugar causes weight gain that can lead to obesity. Coupled with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, obesity can cause poor heart health.
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The Reasons Fat Is Still Unhealthy
Fat remains bad for heart health. Saturated fat clogs arteries and increases high blood pressure. It also accumulates in a senior’s body and contributes to obesity. Over time, a high-fat diet places seniors at risk for strokes and heart failure. Many flavorful foods such as fried foods contain high levels of saturated fat, and seniors sometimes have difficulty eliminating them from their diets. Switching to low-fat versions of their favorite foods can help them eat healthier.
Eating a healthy diet is just one way seniors can work toward living a happier and healthier life. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Chandler, AZ, 24-hour care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.
The Importance of Moderation
It might be tempting to clear out your loved one’s pantry. However, your loved one can still eat small amounts of sugary foods as long as he or she exercises regularly and sticks to a healthy diet the rest of the time. Replacing saturated fat and sugar with healthier options can also help. For example, your loved one could use avocado as a spread instead of butter or choose fruit for dessert instead of cake. Slowly moving toward healthier eating can make a big difference in heart health over time.
In Chandler, at-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call (480) 448-6215 to speak with a friendly Care Manager to find out about our flexible care plans.