Many seniors don’t realize they will need to cut a few foods and ingredients out of their diet as they grow older. Some of these foods harbor certain forms of bacteria, while others are difficult to digest. Here is a close look at some of the unhealthiest foods for people over the age of 65, brought to you by Coast Care Partners, a leading provider of senior home care. La Mesa, California, seniors should avoid the following 8 foods.
1. Diet Soda
Diet soda is often thought of as a healthy alternative to traditional soda, but studies have shown that the chemicals found in low-calorie and low-sugar sodas are actually quite dangerous. One recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine revealed that regularly drinking diet soda can increase a senior’s risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events. Drinking sparkling water with natural flavors is a great way for seniors to wean themselves off unhealthy carbonated beverages.
2. Soft Cheese
Many companies produce soft cheese by leaving the milk unpasteurized, which is why these products often contain more bacteria. Consuming too much bacteria is especially dangerous for a senior who has a weakened immune system or compromised digestive tract. As a general rule, seniors should only eat dairy products that have been safely pasteurized and stored at the correct temperature.
3. Raw Eggs
Raw eggs are used in a variety of foods and beverages ranging from homemade eggnog to ice cream. Uncooked eggs result in thousands of cases of salmonella poisoning every year. Seniors who enjoy eating eggs should always make sure they have been properly cooked over high heat or in boiling water.
4. Deli Meat
Within the last few years, studies have started to show that deli meats might not be as healthy as many people once thought. In addition to being filled with sodium, these meats also contain carcinogens that increase the risk of cancer. Instead of eating processed meat, older adults should stick to fresh meat that contains little or no additives.
Seafood is a great source of lean protein, but seniors who have compromised immune systems shouldn’t eat any raw shellfish. The germs that thrive in raw oysters can lead to nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. Before eating any raw seafood, seniors should first speak with a doctor to see if they are healthy enough to break down the bacteria that can be found in the flesh or shell.
6. Unpasteurized Beverages
The primary goal of pasteurizing milk or juice is to kill off germs lingering in the liquid. While some doctors used to believe pasteurizing destroyed vitamins and minerals, studies have shown this process has almost no impact on the nutritional value of a beverage. Older adults need to stick to beverages that have been properly disinfected, bottled, and stored.
7. Cooking Sprays
Even though these sprays can make cooking easier, whole oils such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil are much healthier. Cooking with healthy fats and oils can drastically reduce a senior’s risk of strokes, arthritis, and skin infections. Some companies also use unsafe propellants in their cooking sprays, like butane, isobutane, and propane.
Sprouts come from a wide variety of healthy vegetables, including broccoli and alfalfa, but they often harbor dangerous bacteria. Seniors who want to enjoy the many benefits of bean sprouts should consume plenty of leafy green vegetables such as spinach and collard greens. Ingesting contaminated sprouts can lead to dangerous side effects ranging from pneumonia to sudden weight loss.
Preparing nutritious meals can be challenging for some seniors. At Coast Care Partners, we offer meal prep as well as many other caregiver services. La Mesa seniors and their families can rely on our dedicated professional caregivers. Call 619-354-2544 today to speak with one of our qualified representatives.