The remarkable findings of a recent AARP study are in: people who maintain a healthy diet are twice as apt to consider their mental acuity to be very good or excellent compared to those who rarely eat well. In particular, an eating plan rich in fish, fruits and vegetables equated to higher brain health.
The participants’ answers match the recommendations of AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health, that also adds the necessity to reduce intake of salt, fatty foods, and excessive alcohol which have been demonstrated to have a negative effect on brain health. Per Sarah Lock, senior vice president for policy and executive director of GCBH, “Many of us have gotten used to the idea of heart-healthy foods, but now we know that those same foods can make a big difference in our brain health, as well.”
So, why aren’t more seniors following these simple rules? The reasons stated include:
- Eating healthy is too expensive.
- It’s tough to follow a healthy diet.
- Stores selling healthy foods are too far away.
- They won’t enjoy the taste.
- They don’t believe it’s going to make a difference in their health.
That said, a full ninety percent of respondents stated they’d make a plan to eat better if they thought it might lower their threat of heart problems, diabetes, and cognitive decline.
The daily recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate initiative suggest the following diet for seniors:
- 1 ½ – 2 cups of fruits
- 2 – 3 cups of vegetables
- 3 cups of dairy
- 5 – 6 ounces of protein
- 5 – 7 ounces of grain
Consuming numerous different types of these foods on a consistent basis is key. It can also be useful to create a strategy that may help overcome objections to healthy eating, and then to get the help of a trustworthy member of the family, friend, or professional caregiver to help adhere to the strategy.
JFS Care can help make healthy eating possible for senior citizens, by taking seniors grocery shopping or shopping for groceries for them and making sure that the fridge and pantry are well stocked with suitable food choices, planning and preparing healthy meals, and more! We are able to also provide warm and friendly companionship during mealtimes to ease the loneliness which may contribute to unhealthy eating, together with encouragement to ensure excellent food choices. Contact us online or call us at (213) 383-2273 to learn more about our home care Burbank and Los Angeles senior care services.