Helping Senior Citizens Break Holiday Eating Habits
January has arrived and while friends and family might be departing and the holidays are over, that doesn’t mean the holiday eating habits have gone with them!
Though the senior citizens in our lives might have had a routine diet leading up to the holidays, chances are the past few weeks have seen a complete change in both the type and amount of food they consumed.
And when the weather outside is frosty and frightful, what else is there to do but stay inside where it’s warm and just snack? All of those flavorful foods and yummy sweet treats sure aren’t going to eat themselves!
The cold weather certainly has its effects on the body as well. It urges us to eat a bit more calorie dense foods and any extra weight is actually welcomed during winter months. Getting used to eating wonderfully savory and sweet foods for weeks on end takes some readjustment and effort.
And while eating healthy is important for most of us, it’s especially important for the senior citizens in our lives as eating too much of some things may have cascading effects on their health.
Some things to be mindful of are:
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, a common occurrence throughout the holiday season, can dehydrate the body, disrupt sleep, cause liver damage and exacerbate symptoms of certain medical conditions such as osteoporosis.
This might mean that the senior citizen in your life might be experiencing disrupted sleep patterns and it’s important to try and get that back on track.
High Fat Content
Holiday foods that are high in fat can cause weight gain and aggravate symptoms of conditions like arthritis and heart disease. While the scale might not reflect all of those wonderfully rich holiday dishes, that’s not to say that the effects of the high fat contents aren’t present. If a senior citizen is experiencing higher than normal arthritis flare ups, the holiday diet might be a culprit.
Oh, So Sweet
Many holiday desserts contain high levels of sugar which can disrupt blood sugar balance, exacerbating diabetes symptoms and contributing to weight gain. Sugar is found in nearly all products these days, and holiday dishes are notorious for being extra sweet.
After a few weeks of eating confectionery goods and meals with high sugar content, it’s important to start weaning off the sugar. We don’t want to bring the holiday sweet tooth along with us.
Don't Be So Salty!
Processed holiday foods that contain high levels of sodium can increase blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Sodium probably contends with sugar for being the most prevalent mineral in our foods. When each ingredient has added sodium, the final dish is going to be absolutely loaded with salt. After weeks of eating rich and savory foods high in salt, it’s imperative that senior citizens start to cut out the salt.
Those that consume too much salt rapidly increase the chances of having a stroke versus those that moderate their salt intake.
Christian Companions Houston Is Here for You
Here at Christian Companions Houston, we know just how tricky it can be to get our diets back on track after the holidays, especially when trying to do it alone.
Luckily our caregivers are here to assist your loved one in whatever they might need. Our compassionate caregivers are always eager to help in meal planning, cooking, or even just a companion that's great at listening.
Reach out to us today for a free consultation and let’s find a caregiving service that fits the needs of the senior citizen in your life.