Many seniors are diagnosed with high cholesterol. So, what does that mean and how can you help your parent bring her cholesterol levels back to normal numbers to promote healthier living?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced naturally by the liver and found in the blood. The body uses cholesterol for many different things in the body, but it becomes a problem when there is too much in a person’s blood. If your parent is diagnosed with high cholesterol, it means he will need to work on reducing those levels. Since high levels of cholesterol in the blood are mainly caused by eating foods high in saturated fats and trans-fats, and not including foods with unsaturated fats and with fiber, adjusting your parent’s diet at home is one of the best ways for you to help him lower his cholesterol.
Before the next trip to the grocery store with his homecare provider, have your parent look at his shopping list to make sure it includes the healthy foods listed below and excludes the ones that can cause more damage. Sometimes it’s not a matter of completely eliminating a specific food entirely, but is more about proper portion control.
Lots of vegetables!
Your parent should strive for five servings of vegetables a day. A serving is only ½ cup so a large salad for lunch and then a generous portion of steamed broccoli with his dinner will help him easily meet his goals. Here’s a tip: Salads can be a lot of work to prep each day so have your homecare provider prep up five single servings of salads for your parent to grab out of the fridge and then put low-fat dressing or oil on to enjoy.
Stay away from the white versions of pasta, rice and bread. When at the market, your parent should make wholegrain choices whenever the option is available to help him get more fiber in his diet. If your parent is not used to cooking with wholegrain rice and pastas, he will need to make some adjustments to cook times and temperatures. Having a homecare provider help him the first couple times may help.
Use healthy fats
Your parent will still need some fat in his diet, but the key is to choose healthy fats. Such simple things as choosing a margarine spread or salad dressing made from healthy oils can make a difference. Some healthy oils include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive (especially extra virgin), sesame and peanut oil.
Stay away from processed meats
Deli meats such as salami and pepperoni, as well as processed hot dogs, are high in sodium and unhealthy fats. Keep both out of your parent’s diet. If he’s looking to have a sandwich for lunch, try some turkey on wholegrain with lots of vegetables for a healthy alternative.
Limit the number of eggs consumed each week
Your parent can still safely consume 6-7 eggs a week, but should look at having them for breakfast every other day if it’s a breakfast favorite of his. Have him substitute whole-grain oatmeal with a side of berries on his non-egg days to give him the energy he needs.
It’s important to keep on top of your parent’s cholesterol so even after you’ve helped him make these changes, he should continue having regular check ups where his levels are being monitored and hopefully, showing improvement.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of Homecare Services in Huntington NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!
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