In the late 1960s, research revealed that eating a high-fat diet was detrimental to heart health. However, we now know this study was flawed. There are multiple dietary factors that influence heart health, and knowing about them can help seniors and their caregivers create meals according to the latest scientific understanding of how sugar and fat contribute to heart disease.
Separating Fact from Fiction
In 2016, more information was revealed about a 1967 study that showed fat was worse than sugar for heart disease risk. Interestingly, the study, which was funded by the Sugar Association, downplayed the dangers of eating too much sugar. One of the researchers who participated in the study went on to become the head of nutrition for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is how the belief that fat is worse than sugar became so pervasive in our society.
Recognizing How Sugar Affects the Heart
Sugar may seem like the good guy because it tastes so good. Yet those sweet snacks can eventually catch up with seniors when they contribute to weight gain and high blood sugar levels that can take a toll on the heart. Obesity caused by sugar can also increase bad cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which can further increase the stress placed upon the cardiovascular system.
Some seniors have a difficult time preparing healthy meals as they get older. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of elderly home care. Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional 24-hour care around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Understanding Why Fat Is Still Not Healthy
Seniors should still avoid foods that contain saturated fats, such as dairy products and fried foods. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 13 grams of saturated fat a day. Seniors can control consumption of saturated fat by skipping baked goods like cakes and cookies. Swapping saturated fats for healthier fats can reduce overall fat intake.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Miami, FL, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Learning the Methods & Benefits of Moderation
Abstaining from fat and sugar completely isn’t practical and may create feelings of deprivation that worsen cravings. Seniors should work with their caregivers to create meal plans that fall within the nutritional guidelines yet still offer a sweet or fatty treat now and then. Moderation can take the form of smaller portion sizes, such as eating half a slice of cake or avoiding fatty foods except on special occasions. Either way, reducing sugar and fat consumption as much as possible can result in better heart health.
If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Miami families can rely on. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. Reach out to us at Assisting Hands Home Care if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today.