Home Instead Senior Care

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Tag: diet tips

The Hypertension Diets for Seniors

Hypertension is a manageable condition otherwise known as high blood pressure, which is when the force of blood against the artery walls is too high. If hypertension is left untreated it can lead to severe consequences including heart attack, stroke, aneurysm or worse. Below we discuss some diets that have shown to make the most significant positive changes in the health of those living with hypertension.  

DASH Diet

The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It’s comprised of dietary guidelines that, when followed, encourage a greater consumption of a variety of nutrients that naturally reduce blood pressure. The basic rules of this diet involve eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products as well as whole grains, lean protein, and nuts.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is very similar to the DASH diet in that they both naturally promote overall health and work to reduce hypertension naturally. This diet is based upon a pyramid structure with a foundation of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, a second tier of fish, a third tier of poultry and dairy, and a top tier of red meats and sweets.

Salt Reduction

The easiest and simplest way to reduce blood pressure and hypertension naturally is to decrease the levels of salt you ingest. According to Harvard Health when you consume too much salt your body holds on to water in an effort to dilute it. Unfortunately this extra water increases your blood volume, which causes your heart to work harder to pump blood through your blood vessels. 

Final Thoughts

When you or your loved one is diagnosed with hypertension the reasons to stay proactive in its management are endless. If your family could use more support when it comes to senior care, nutrition, socialization and more call on the compassionate professionals at Home Instead Senior Care. Our goal has always been to help our clients and their families’ age happily together at home.

High Cholesterol: What It Means and How to Treat It

By now it should be no surprise to hear that heart disease is one of leading causes of death in the United States. Contributing to about 1 in 4 deaths every year, there’s good reason behind our nationwide concern over issues like high cholesterol, one of the more commonly responsible causes of heart disease. And seeing how heart concerns become all the more frequent as we age across the board, knowing what exactly adds to the buildup of bad cholesterol is one of senior caregiver’s primary responsibilities.

What is cholesterol? What differentiates good and bad cholesterol? How can I treat unhealthy amounts of bad cholesterol? In the face of these concerned and varied questions, our team is eager to provide some answers and put those worries to rest. Read on for a bit of a primer and some recommendations on how to work on lowering high cholesterol and ensure you senior enjoys a healthy and fulfilling life with his or her loved ones.

Defining Cholesterol

Obviously, addressing the problem first asks of us to understand the problem inside and out. That begins first and foremost with a clear and concise definition for the ever-notorious “cholesterol”. Cholesterol is a waxy, insoluble substance that can be found in the bloodstream. Contrary to what many may believe, cholesterol actually serves some pretty constructive purposes within the body including producing certain hormones and vitamin D, aiding in the production of bile, and even making new cells! It’s when we move on to the more nefarious forms of cholesterol that we begin to see cause for concern.

We’ve all heard the old distinction between what we label as “good” and “bad” cholesterol. The former is what’s referred to as HDL, or high-density lipoprotein. This is the substance responsible for clearing out the less friendly variant of cholesterol LDL, or, you guessed it, low-density lipoprotein. LDL is what’s responsible for the buildup of plaque along the artery walls, which results in restricted blood flow to the heart and, in turn, heart disease.

Treating High Cholesterol

So now that the stage is set and we have a more in-depth understanding of what our true target is, the natural question asked is what tools or methods can we employ to combat LDL cholesterol? The answer, as worn and repeated as it may be, is diet and, wait for it, exercise. Before you start rolling your eyes and spamming the back arrow, know that a sedentary lifestyle has been proven to be one of, if not the most, influential causes of increased cholesterol and heart disease. Fortunately, unless you’re noticeably overweight (in which case, adopting a plan to drop extra pounds may be necessary), combating cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean you need to start bulking up with protein shakes and slamming barbells half your weight at the gym. Doing anything to avoid having an overly sedentary lifestyle, such as periodic walks, gardening, or even light movement exercises, can do wonders for lowering you or your senior’s cholesterol levels.

As far as diet and nutrition are concerned, we’ve also covered some recommendations in regards to food and even ways of implementing those dietary changes into your senior’s routine in previous posts!

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking after a loved one or yourself, staying on top of your nutrition and cholesterol levels is an absolute must. There’s no denying the dangers of heart disease and if all it takes are a few lifestyle changes to eradicate the possibilities of you or a senior suffering from these complications, we’d say it’s well worth it!