It is hard to know what is healthy and not healthy anymore. There is so much misinformation on the internet that it can be hard to know what to tell your senior mom or dad to keep them healthy. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a senior’s diet. Also, keep in mind the term diet shouldn’t refer to a fad diet but a sustainable healthy diet that a senior’s doctor gives the okay for. A caregiver can be a big help with planning this.
Eating more vegetables than other foods can indeed be good for people; it really may not be the best diet for your senior. They may need chicken or turkey or something else the doctor recommends to stay healthy, which means a senior can’t go 100% plant-based. There are pros and cons to every diet, and that is especially true for seniors thinking about switching to a plant-based diet.
If you notice your senior isn’t getting regular checkups at the doctor and they need to start focusing more on health and diet, it’s time to consider hiring help. Home care assistance is the best for seniors who wish to age in place. Home care assistance can ensure that a senior has a way to their doctor and may even be able to sit in on the appointment if given permission by the senior. This means you know that your senior parent will follow the doctor’s orders and the diet they’re supposed to follow. Here are the pros and cons to think about a plant-based diet and things to mention to the doctor to determine if it’s the best choice for a senior.
Pros of a Plant-Based Diet
Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all examples of plant-based foods. Here are some reasons why this may be a good option for certain seniors.
Plant-Based Diets Have Tons of Vitamins
If you are concerned about how many vitamins and minerals your senior eats, you can get them through fruits and vegetables. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are abundant sources of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that they contain. The doctor may test a senior to find out what minerals they are low on, and this will help you decide which foods a senior should be consuming more of.
It’s a Heart Healthy Option
With reduced levels of cholesterol and saturated fats, as well as more fiber in their diet, which helps create a heart-healthy choice.
There Are Tons of Food Options
It’s not like other diets where you have to cut out particular foods you like or carry a shopping list to make sure you get the “correct” things at the store since there are fewer restrictions on what you can and cannot consume.
Cons of a Plant-Based Diet
You may be wondering what the drawbacks are, and there are some.
It’s Hard to Buy Fresh Produce
Not all seniors can get to the store every two or three days to keep picking up fresh produce, so they may go for canned options. Pre-packaged food is never the best choice but becoming plant-based can be difficult if a senior can’t get to the store often.
They May Become Protein Deficient
Amino acids, which make up protein, can only be found in animal products, milk, and eggs. An adequate protein supply can only be achieved by using plant-based proteins in combination with other sources of protein. Make sure you’re getting enough and the right kinds of amino acids from the plants you consume.