The Mediterranean diet was originally created to mimic the traditional diet of Mediterranean countries known for their healthy and long-living citizens. Key components in the Mediterranean diet include reducing meat consumption, increasing vegetable and whole grain intake, eating fish twice a week, flavoring meals with herbs instead of salt, cooking with olive oil, and drinking red wine in moderation. If your elderly loved one switches to the Mediterranean diet, he or she can gain the following great benefits.
Enjoy Sustainable Weight Loss
One of the most common reasons doctors recommend the Mediterranean diet is for weight loss that lasts. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes gradual lifestyle changes, so it’s more likely to work than a fad diet that makes seniors starve themselves until they give up and binge eat. The diet encourages seniors to eat more vegetables and less meat and animal products, so it lets them reduce calorie intake without having to count calories.
Keep the Brain Sharp
The Mediterranean diet encourages eating a lot of fish and nuts, which is a particularly effective way to reduce the risk of dementia. Seniors who eat a lot of fatty fish and nuts get omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the brain. The diet also reduces blood pressure, preventing seniors from ending up with vascular dementia. A study from the Annals of Neurology found that seniors who followed the Mediterranean diet for at least four years had a 40 percent lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Lower Blood Pressure Levels
Many seniors have high blood pressure, which causes a variety of issues ranging from heart disease to strokes. The Mediterranean diet can be an excellent way to address this issue. Seniors who follow the diet avoid the sodium and saturated fats that worsen blood pressure issues. Thanks to the high number of Mediterranean diet cookbooks and blogs, it’s easy to find recipes that show seniors how to make food taste good without ingredients that raise blood pressure.
A professional caregiver with training in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits, including eating more nutritious foods. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Sonoma County elderly home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Control Diabetes Symptoms
On the Mediterranean diet, seniors try to avoid sugary processed food and instead eat a lot of whole grains. This eating style changes the way the body metabolizes food. Instead of getting spikes of high blood sugar that can worsen diabetes symptoms, seniors on the Mediterranean diet get a steady supply of energy.
Family caregivers need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too, which involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. In Sonoma County, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
Increase the Chances of Living a Long Life
Research from a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that seniors who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 30 percent lower risk of dying from strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular issues. The diet’s ability to help seniors control their blood pressure and cholesterol means the cardiovascular system can stay healthy longer, which is very beneficial, since cardiovascular issues are some of the most common causes of death in seniors.
Professional caregivers with training and expertise in nutrition can be a wonderful asset for seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Sonoma County, CA, families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (707) 843.4368.