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How Are Carbohydrates Beneficial for Seniors?

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Low-carbohydrate diets have increased in popularity in recent years, but seniors should always be wary of leaving any major element out of their diets. While carbohydrates convert to sugars in the body, these types of foods still hold many benefits for older adults. Work with a physician to make sure your aging loved one gets the carbs he or she needs to stay healthy. Here are a few of the important functions carbs perform.

Enhance Digestion with Proper Fiber Intake

Healthy carbohydrates contain fiber, which is important for enhancing digestive processes in seniors with sluggish systems. For instance, fruits and vegetables such as bananas and broccoli contain carbs along with fiber, so your loved one is better able to prevent painful digestive conditions such as constipation. However, processed grains and sugar-filled foods can contribute to digestive issues. For this reason, you should look for natural sources of carbs if your loved one has constipation. 

Issues with the digestive system are common in seniors, and some older adults need help choosing foods that promote healthy digestion. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Edmonton, AB, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Provide a Healthy Source of Energy

Protein-rich foods such as lean meats can strengthen your loved one’s muscles, but they tend to leave the system more quickly, which could cause your loved one to have lower energy levels if he or she doesn’t round out the diet with carbs. Foods such as whole grains can increase energy levels so your loved one is more active during the day. In fact, adding a small amount of carbs to protein—such as a piece of toast with nut butter—is a great way to energize your loved one before a workout.

Enhance Mental Functioning

Low energy levels can also affect how well your loved one thinks and feels emotionally. The boost of energy carbohydrates provide also helps your loved one think better and retain memories. Over time, a diet that is too low in carbs may cause mood swings and higher rates of depression.

If your loved one needs assistance with preparing balanced meals, a professional caregiver can be a valuable source of ongoing support. Edmonton elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Avoid Consuming Too Much Salt and Fat

At first glance, high-protein diets look like a meat lover’s dream come true. Your loved one may love the idea of eating bacon, steak, and eggs all day, but the truth is these diets are full of unhealthy salt and fat, especially if your loved one opts for processed meats such as sausage or prosciutto. While your loved one’s diet should still include protein, balancing it out with healthy carbohydrates lowers the amount of fat and salt eaten every day.

Prevent Food Cravings

Complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to break down than other types of food, which can keep your loved one feeling fuller for longer, and the sweet taste of fruits prevents sugar cravings. To make sure your loved one enjoys this benefit, serve whole-grain carbs and fruits that take longer to break down. For instance, a bowl of whole-grain oats mixed with bananas is a great way to minimize food cravings throughout the day.

For seniors who find it challenging to manage their diets so they get all the proper nutritional requirements, a trained professional caregiver can be a wonderful asset. 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 home care. Edmonton Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (780) 490-7337 today.