Homecare Covington TN
October 3 through 10 is No Salt Week. This is the perfect time for you to evaluate the health benefits that your aging parent can achieve through cutting down on the amount of sodium that they eat and work with them to adjust their regular diet to fit in with this new goal. Sodium is a critical nutrient and without it, your parent’s body cannot function. The average American diet, however, contains many times more of the nutrient that is actually essential for health and functioning. Eating too much salt, particularly when combined with not getting enough water, puts your parent at increased risk of a variety of very serious health complications including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, worsened congestive heart failure, and more.
Reducing the amount of salt that your aging parent eats might be a major change for them. Most people are accustomed to eating foods that are quite high in salt, and the change can leave them feeling as though their food is tasteless or that they are not able to eat the foods that they are accustomed to eating. With a few simple tips and tricks, however, you can help your parent to cut down their salt while still enjoying their meals and snacks.
Use these tips to help reduce the salt in your loved one’s diet during No Salt Week and throughout the rest of the year:
• Focus on produce. When building your parent’s diet, focus primarily on raw fruits and vegetables. These foods are naturally extremely low in sodium and also provide a wide range of essential nutrients that your parent’s body needs to function and thrive. Go for seasonal produce as these tend to be the most flavorful, nutritious, and affordable. If your parent prefers a different fruit or vegetable that is not in season, do not shy away from frozen options as these are packaged at their peak of freshness and provide fantastic versatility and nutrition as long as you do not use options with added seasoning or sauces.
• Always read labels. Never assume that a food is low in sodium. Keep in mind that salt is not just used for flavoring. Salt has been used for centuries as a preservative and is very often used this way even today. This means that even if a food does not seem salty, or is even sweet, it could still contain a large amount of sodium. Always read the nutritional labels on any food that you are using for your parent so that you can control their sodium intake more easily.
• Prepare meals and snacks at home. Convenience foods, prepackaged foods, and foods that contain highly processed ingredients tend to be extremely high in sodium. Instead of relying on these foods, choose fresh, whole ingredients and prepare meals and snacks at your parent’s home so that they can easily control the amount of sodium in the food and still choose the flavors and foods that they most enjoy. Starting homecare for them can make this step far easier. An in-home senior care services provider can help your parent managing their grocery shopping as well as assist them with meal and snack preparation so that they are able to eat healthier, more beneficial food as they age in place.