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Healthy Substitutes When Cooking for Seniors

by Richard Bitner
Kitchen Safety Tips for Seniors Receiving In-Home Care

Cooking for seniors is a big part of elderly care. But many family caregivers find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place when cooking for an elderly parent or relative. In cooking for older adults, it can be a struggle to follow healthy eating directives from doctors and health professionals. That’s especially true if your loved one’s taste buds are becoming less and less responsive to flavor, a common problem for the elderly. Healthy Substitutes When Cooking for Seniors
At Visiting Angels, our elderly care professionals are regularly called on to plan and prepare meals for our clients. Over the years, we’ve collected a number of tips for cooking for the elderly, including how to strike the right balance between health and flavor. Healthy Substitutes When Cooking for Seniors
Below, we’ve listed our top healthy substitutes when cooking for seniors.

Swap Spices & Fresh Herbs for Salt

Salt is a natural flavor enhancer, but high salt consumption is linked to cardiovascular problems. In old age, many seniors are told to cut back on their salt intake to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease risks.
This can be a challenge since salt is one of the first flavors that seniors lose sensitivity to. In response, many seniors add more and more salt to their foods to try to make them more flavorful.
If you’re cooking for an elderly loved one, we suggest choosing recipes that rely on fresh herbs and spices to enhance food’s flavor. This will ensure your loved one can taste the added flavor while avoiding the risks associated with heavy sodium intake. Get ideas for which herbs and spices to use here.

Swap Acidic & Naturally Sweet Ingredients for Sugar

Along with salty flavors, seniors quickly lose their ability to taste sweeter foods. Like salt, sugar is a cheap and easy way to make food taste better. And like salt, sugar is linked with an array of health issues.
One solution to this issue is to shift from recipes that focus on sweetness and instead choose dishes with a more citrusy and acidic profile. You’ll still want a little bit of sweetness in these dishes, so rely on naturally sweet foods like fruits, peppers, and sweet potatoes.

Swap Healthy Oils for Unhealthy Fats

Fats are an essential part of any diet, but it’s important to eat the right fats. Saturated and trans fats — such as those found in butter and red meat — can contribute to a range of health problems. But unsaturated fats can have a range of health benefits and often include healthy elements like omega-3 acids.
Some of the best sources of healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, soy products, and fatty fish, such as salmon. These foods can contribute to healthy cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
If you’re having trouble cooking healthy foods for an elderly loved one, consider hiring a professional elderly care provider. Professional caregivers, like those at your local Visiting Angels, can attend to a range of elderly care needs, including meal planning and preparation. Contact your local Visiting Angels office today to get started.

Healthy Substitutes When Cooking for Seniors

Healthy Substitutes When Cooking for Seniors

Healthy Substitutes When Cooking for Seniors

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