Eating well-balanced meals and snacks can strengthen memory, cognitive skills, and physical health, which are essential benefits that could slow the progression of dementia and boost your aging loved one’s quality of life. Below you’ll find foods older adults with dementia should avoid.
1. White Rice
Eating white rice can increase insulin to dangerous levels and send harmful toxins to the brain. Instead of white rice, your loved one should eat brown rice or quinoa. He or she should also stay away from foods and snacks made with white flour, such as pasta and cookies. Better options include whole wheat pasta and desserts made with healthy alternatives such as chickpea flour.
Many seniors with dementia find it challenging to plan and prepare healthy meals. In West Hartford, senior care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Processed Cheese
The protein buildup caused by eating processed cheese could speed up cognitive decline. Processed cheese contains visceral fat, which damages brain tissues. As a result, significant parts of the mind don’t function, and the symptoms associated with dementia can worsen at a faster rate. Seniors can boost their brain health by eating low-fat dairy products or organic cheeses. Your loved one should also consider using vegan products when making sandwiches, salads, or other recipes that include cheese.
3. Red Meat
Eating too much red meat raises iron levels and increases the risk of oxidative stress and insulin resistance. Red meat contains high levels of amino acids, which also harm metabolism. The worst meats for seniors living with dementia are sausage, hot dogs, bacon, salami, and pepperoni. Instead of these unhealthy meats, your loved one should consume more fatty fish, poultry, turkey, and other lean unprocessed meats. The way the food is prepared is also significant. For instance, baking and grilling fish and chicken are healthier than frying the seafood or poultry.
Trained caregivers can encourage healthy eating habits and help seniors with dementia avoid foods that can be harmful. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Microwave Popcorn
It’s a convenient snack many seniors enjoy, but microwave popcorn is full of chemicals and calories and offers no real nutritional value. Eating microwave popcorn could cause weight gain, which has a negative impact on brain functioning. To boost their cognitive health and memory, seniors should avoid eating microwave popcorn and turn to healthier options, such as nuts, chia seeds, dark chocolate, and berries. These items contain antioxidants that fight against free radicals in the brain and increase circulation.
5. Unhealthy Beverages
Sodas, some fruit juices, and drinks made with artificial sweeteners are dangerous for seniors with dementia. These beverages weaken blood vessels and make some cells insulin resistant. As a result, more brain cell damage occurs, making the effects of dementia worse. Older adults living with dementia should also avoid alcoholic beverages such as beer because alcohol damages the brain cells. Consuming tea and anti-inflammatory beverages can decrease vascular damage in the brain and slow the progression of dementia.
Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. West Hartford families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (860) 372.4500 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.