Sometimes when we hear that a family member needs to start following a heart healthy diet we think it’s not such a hard thing to do. We all know that a healthy diet is one where the person eats lots of vegetables and avoids eating sugary, fatty foods, right? The truth is, it’s a little more complicated than that. Which foods are low in salt? Which ones have the right kinds of fats? Is the “light” version of a food always better? If your aging relative has been advised to eat a heart healthy diet, here are five tips to make grocery shopping a little easier.
#1 Read the Label
Learning how to read food labels is extremely important. Sometimes the colorful label says that a product is “light” or “healthy.” However, that doesn’t mean they don’t contain unwanted stuff. Sometimes light products are high in sodium to improve the taste lost by taking out fat. And, healthy is a relative term. One version of a product might be healthier than another, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s part of a heart-healthy diet.
#2 Opt for Frozen Produce to Save Time
Fresh vegetables and fruits are the best option, but they can take a lot longer to prepare. Sometimes they are also more expensive. Frozen produce requires less time to prepare. It will also last longer in the freezer than fresh produce would in the fridge. That means you may not have to shop as often.
#3 Choose the Right Dairy
Opt for skim or 1% milk without added flavorings. Chocolate and strawberry milk usually contain added sugar and more calories. Also, look for low-fat cheese. Save treats like ice cream and butter for special occasions.
#4 Buy Whole Grain Products
Just because the label of a loaf of bread uses the word “whole” doesn’t mean it is whole grain. To know if bread and grain products are truly whole grain, read the ingredient list. Look for products that list “whole grain” or a grain preceded by the word “whole” as the first ingredient on the list.
#5 Pick the Right Oils
Use cooking oils in moderation. In fact, if you can avoid using them, that’s even better. Non-stick pans might allow you to cook without using oils. When you do use oils, pick the ones that are low in saturated and trans fat. Good options are canola, olive, safflower, and sunflower oils.
Making sure your aging relative eats well is important to their overall health. Professional in-home caregivers can help you manage the task. Caregivers can assist with meal planning. They can also cook meals for the senior. Caregivers can even go grocery shopping with the older adult to help them read food labels and make good food choices.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING IN-HOME CAREGIVERS IN WESTERN SPRINGS, IL, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE LA GRANGE. CALL TODAY: 708-551-2500.