Carbohydrates are sometimes mistakenly viewed as unhealthy, since many sugary foods, such as cakes and cookies, fall into this category. While many diet plans recommend cutting out carbohydrates completely, seniors should always be wary of going to such extremes. When eaten in moderation, the right types of carbohydrates provide seniors with benefits that enhance their wellbeing.
1. Increase Energy Levels
The body breaks down the starch and sugar in carbohydrates and turns them into energy. For seniors, it’s best to choose complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down to avoid too many fluctuations in their blood sugar. For instance, a piece of whole-grain toast for breakfast will produce fewer spikes in glucose levels than a processed doughnut.
2. Promote a Feeling of Fullness
Seniors who need to manage their weight sometimes experience hunger that makes it difficult to resist cravings. Complex carbohydrates stick around in the digestive system longer, which alleviates hunger pangs. Try giving your loved one a bowl of oatmeal in the morning if he or she wants to snack before lunch, or you could add whole grains to dinner to prevent late-night snacking.
A trained professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support when it comes to helping seniors plan and prepare healthy meals. In Henderson, home 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.
3. Avoid Eliminating Fruits and Vegetables
When people try to switch to an all-protein diet, they omit some of the healthiest foods available. Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates that also provide a wealth of other benefits to seniors. For example, they contain powerful antioxidants and nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, that are essential for keeping the body functioning properly. If your loved one needs to watch his or her blood glucose levels, serve fruits and vegetables that have less sugar in them, such as celery and broccoli.
Some seniors have health conditions that limit their ability to shop for healthy foods or cook nutritious meals without assistance. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Henderson seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
4. Help with Digestion
Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables also contain fiber, which stimulates the digestive system. In addition to keeping your loved one fuller for longer, the fiber pushes the food through the intestines so he or she feels less constipated. However, your loved one may need to slowly increase the amount of carbohydrates eaten if he or she prefers foods that are high in fiber (such as beans), as this prevents negative side effects of taking in too much fiber at once, such as gas pains. Start by adding small servings of one or two of these types of carbs to your loved one’s diet until he or she can eat them comfortably.
5. Provide a Low-Fat Source of Protein
Some of the best carbohydrates also contain high levels of protein, and they can serve as an alternative to higher-fat red meats that may need to be limited in your loved one’s diet. Try swapping out a processed ham sandwich for one that has nut butter instead. Beans, yogurt, and quinoa are a few more carbs that can help your loved one get enough protein without having to load up on too much fat.
Providing nutritional advice and preparing healthy meals are just two of the many ways a professional caregiver can support your loved one. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care. Henderson Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (702) 527-7723 today.