From November to January, a healthy diet for older adults can be especially challenging during holiday and family get-togethers. For individuals with high cholesterol, however, making appropriate food choices is particularly important.
Yazid Fadl, MD, MPH, Indiana University Health cardiologist, states, “Around the holidays, we tend to let ourselves go, and that’s the absolute worst thing you can do if you have a heart condition, high cholesterol, or blood pressure problems. In a single month, you can eat all the wrong things at once, putting significant stress on your body.”
These five recommendations from Live Free Home Health Care, providers of trusted home care in Laconia and the surrounding communities, will help protect both you and your senior loved ones from health complications this holiday season and beyond:
- Look closely at stress levels. Especially in light of the pandemic, most of us are going through more stress than normal, and the holiday season frequently exacerbates stress as well – leading us to turn to fatty or sugary comfort foods. Furthermore, stress itself can increase cholesterol levels. Take sufficient time for speaking with friends who uplift the spirit, journaling, enjoying relaxing activities, and being deliberate in regards to food choices.
- Do not skip meals. Frequently during the holidays, people choose to bypass breakfast to “save room” for a large holiday feast. Instead, it is much healthier to begin one’s day with a nutritious breakfast and eat small meals more frequently throughout the span of the day, as opposed to overindulging on a single large dinner.
- Make smart beverage choices. Eggnog, alcoholic beverages, hot cocoa – many common holiday drink options are unhealthy for the heart. If an older adults does not want to skip the festive drinks, encourage him or her to drink them in moderation, choosing mainly sparkling or plain water instead.
- Limit cheese intake. As shared by Joan Salge Blake, RD, clinical associate professor at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, cheese is typically the number one source of heart-unhealthy saturated fat for Americans.
- Get moving. Exercise helps increase good cholesterol (HDL), which protects the heart, in addition to helping maintain a healthy BMI. Seniors should be certain to talk with a doctor before starting or changing any physical exercise plan, but exercise is important for all ages and ability levels.
For additional resources and tips to help the older adults you love maintain heart health, get in touch with the aging care team at Live Free Home Health Care. We’re also happy to plan and prepare nutritious meals, provide transportation to physician appointments and exercise classes, offer friendly companionship to brighten every day and reduce stress, and much more.
To learn how we can help a senior you love, reach out to us at 603-217-0149 to learn more about our top-rated home care in Laconia and the surrounding communities, and to set up a free in-home consultation today!