Starting a new diet at an older age might be intimidating, but being vegan can be relatively simple and good for seniors. The vegan diet has been found to enhance heart health, decrease blood pressure, cut the risk of cancer, and encourage weight reduction. If you’re a senior thinking about this lifestyle or caring for someone who has been instructed to eat plant-based, here are some tips that may help you.
Take Small Steps If They’re New
Going from eating whatever you want to being vegan is a big jump, which can be a challenge for seniors. They not only need to focus on eating more vegetables but also learn new recipes and read all labels. This can be a huge challenge and may only be possible for some seniors. If your loved one needs help in the kitchen, you may need to find in-home care who can help cook meals or supervise them in the kitchen.
No matter where you are in this journey, diet is essential but it can be beneficial to start with small steps. If you’re accustomed to eating a lot of animal products, it could be tough to stop eating them all at once. Instead, experiment gradually shifting to a vegan diet by eliminating one animal product at a time. Start by eliminating one thing at a time, try red meat first, then packaged foods, etc. Start small until it becomes a good habit.
Focus on Eating Proteins and Vitamins
To preserve muscle mass, a senior needs to focus on eating enough protein and regularly checking their vitamin levels. If a senior is not getting enough variety in each meal, it can cause them to lack protein and other essential vitamins needed to function. Consume lots of high-protein plant-based foods like tofu, tempeh, lentils, beans, quinoa, nuts, and seeds. Green leafy vegetables may also provide protein, but you’ll need to consume more of them to
Understand Healthy Fats Are a Seniors Friends
There are two forms of fat you need to know about, saturated and unsaturated fats. Animal goods such as butter, cheese, milk, and meat include saturated fats, but plant-based oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, and nut butter provide unsaturated fats. The second kind of fat is crucial for a senior’s diet. Saturated fats elevate cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease, while unsaturated fats are the better alternative. This is another essential benefit of a vegan diet for elders. Consequently, vegans must consume healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds. These meals will aid in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.
Look for Vegan or Plant-Based Support Groups
Any significant lifestyle change may be challenging; therefore, it is essential to have a network of support to assist you through the process. If anyone in your family eats plant-based food, it is time to connect with them. There may be other groups like weight watchers for vegans in the local area, and if a senior needs help to get to them, this may be a task for in-home care. Keep in mind that a senior needs to always talk to a doctor before making any lifestyle changes like this.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring In-Home Care in Greer, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.