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Homemade Soups for Elderly People with Restricted Diets

By Nick Paciello, 9:00 am on

A warm and hearty homemade soup can be a welcome meal during the winter months. However, many seniors receiving in-home care in Henderson have specific dietary restrictions to help manage their health. Luckily, there are many soups you can make that meet or can be modified to meet your senior loved one’s dietary needs.

Soups with Healthy Fats

Though your loved one may be on a low-fat diet for weight loss or high cholesterol concerns, not all fat is bad. To prevent clogged arteries, the Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding saturated fats and trans fats, which can lead to high cholesterol. This means replacing rich soups containing cream, butter, and animal fats with soups that have healthy fats. For example, instead of serving a cream of potato soup, try making a substitute featuring healthy fat from avocados or boost heart health with a creamy carrot and walnut bisque packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

Soups with Less Sodium

Salt can enhance the taste of food, but it is not healthy in excess, and many elderly people are on a sodium-restricted diet. In fact, too much salt can increase the risk of heart disease and strokes, according to the American Heart Association. While limiting sodium with low-sodium broths is key, adding foods high in potassium can offset some of the negative effects of sodium. A hearty low-sodium potato and kale soup full of healthy potassium-rich vegetables is a good choice for a chilly winter dinner.

Soups Low in Purines

When uric acid isn’t properly processed and increases in the bloodstream, it can form crystal deposits in joints and cause gout, a painful form of arthritis. The source of uric acid is purines, which are found in a variety of high-protein foods. If your loved one has gout, he or she may have been placed on a low-purine diet to reduce gout symptoms. High-purine chicken broths, meat broths, and extracts, as well as cream, cheese, meat, seafood, and some beans and vegetables should be avoided in favor of low-purine foods. For example, a vegetable and tomato-based gazpacho soup can reduce uric acid levels when consumed regularly.

Soups Low in Potassium and Phosphorus

Many older adults have dietary restrictions on phosphorus and potassium due to kidney disease. While potassium and phosphorus are required for normal body functioning, excess amounts can lead to other issues for seniors with kidney disease. When the body digests protein, it produces a waste product called urea, which can cause fatigue and loss of appetite when built up in the bloodstream. While eating a moderately low-protein diet can help, avoiding dairy, which can increase blood phosphorus levels, and high-potassium foods can lessen the kidney workload. Avoiding cream-based dairy soups and focusing on soups like a low-potassium, vegetable-based cabbage and rice soup with carrots, green beans, and sweet bell peppers can provide nutrition without taxing the kidneys.

Focusing on nutritional needs becomes even more important in the senior years. If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy diet, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can help your loved one with grocery shopping and prepare meals suitable for his or her dietary restrictions. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s care Henderson seniors can rely on. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (702) 527-7723 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.