Whether you are the family caregiver for an aging parent or loved one, or you hire a home care aide to take care of their day-to-day needs, diet is an extremely important facet of taking care of a senior. Many foods can be fattening and bad for your health and energy levels, and many others can raise blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol.
If your aging loved one has been feeling a bit sluggish lately, or needs to lose some weight, the Mediterranean diet could be the perfect diet for them. People who live in or near the Mediterranean area of the world share a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish. The foods that they eat are very healthy, and don’t contain excess fat or other additives that can cause us to gain weight or to be unhealthy.
If you would like to try the Mediterranean diet for the senior in your life (or for yourself), you or your home care aide can prepare your loved one’s meals keeping these things in mind:
- Most foods should be natural, and plant-based – This means eating plenty of vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans), and nuts.
- Replace butter with olive oil – There aren’t many Mediterranean recipes that don’t contain at least a bit of olive oil. Olive oil is much healthier for you than butter, and even improves other aspects of your body, like making your hair and nails healthier and shinier.
- Less salt – In America, most food is salted before it is even tasted, and then after it’s tasted, we add more salt! In the Mediterranean diet, though, flavor is added via herbs and spices, not salt. Salt can be used in moderation, of course, but for the most part, your Mediterranean dishes should taste great without it.
- Fish and poultry – While vegetables, beans, and grains are the primary components of the Mediterranean diet, meats like fish, chicken, and turkey should be eaten at least a couple times a week. Red meats like beef should be eaten less frequently, perhaps just once or twice a week.
- Eggs, cheese, and other diary – Eggs can be a great source of protein, and the Mediterranean diet calls for at least one “Egg day” a week, in which eggs are the main source of protein for dinner. Cheese is also a great addition to many dishes (but don’t go overboard), and yogurt is a great way to cultivate healthy bacteria in your gut.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the very few diets that doesn’t involve feeling deprived. The great thing about this diet is that the food, even if it is healthy, is actually really tasty, which will make your aging loved one – and maybe even you! – want to stick with it.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Clark, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.