Protecting the heart is important, especially as you get older. While age does increase some risks for heart disease, there are also ways to be proactive and lower certain risk factors. Eating a heart-healthy diet is a great place to start. The food you put into your body affects many different organs and processes including the heart.

Seniors can make simple changes to benefit their heart by paying attention to how they shop at grocery store and what types of foods they are buying. In honor of February being American Heart Month, here are some heart-healthy shopping tips for seniors:

  • Shop around the perimeter of the store. This is where the fresh produce, meats, and seafood are typically located. Try to avoid too many processed or prepackaged foods which can be high in sodium, cholesterol, and preservatives.
  • Read labels. The average adult only needs between 1,500-2,000 milligrams of salt each day. Processed foods can have high levels of sodium and quickly exceed these recommended guidelines. Pay attention to saturated and trans-fat levels too.
  • Focus on buying fresh fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. These offer a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are good for the heart. Frozen produce is also a good option, especially if you’re worried about having it spoil before it’s used. If buying canned fruits and vegetables, make sure they don’t have added salt or sugar.
  • Choose whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals as they provide more fiber. Eating nuts and seeds (in moderation) is beneficial as well. They can be higher in calories, but they also contain healthy fats and nutrients.
  • Opt for lean cuts of meats and those with 20 percent or less fat. Also, consider adding more fish such as salmon or trout, which have omega-3 fatty acids. These are good for heart health.
  • Add spices and herbs to enhance flavor instead of salt or butter. Try different combinations to see what tastes best.
    Remember that not all of these changes have to be made at once. Seniors should slowly adjust their diet to incorporate healthier options and give themselves time to adapt to these changes. If underlying health conditions or medications are a concern, they should talk to their doctor before making any modifications.
    It can be difficult for seniors to figure out new meal ideas or know what types of foods to buy and prepare. An in-home caregiver from Always Best Care can support seniors by assisting with creating a shopping list, putting groceries away, preparing and storing meals, reheating dishes, and providing companionship during meal time. This can make incorporating heart- healthy changes a little easier and give seniors the support they need in the kitchen or at the store. A caregiver can also check for and dispose of expired foods so seniors stay safe.

Help your loved one thrive while aging in place and receive the support they need for daily tasks including meals, organization, housekeeping, socialization, and much more with senior care services from Always Best Care. Call (855) 470-2273 to schedule a free consultation.

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