Food plays a vital role in our lives, and we can’t deny the fact that we are what we eat. We eat to sustain ourselves and to stay healthy.
As you age, some eating habits may change, or perhaps you are restricted to a special diet after developing an allergy or other condition. You may already know the foods you should include in a healthy diet, but do you know what you should avoid?
Here are some foods you should avoid or cut down on as you grow older:
Too much salt can be a problem for older adults, especially if you have a history of hypertension. If your food is lacking flavor, try adding different types of herbs and spices rather than loading up with table salt. Additionally, always review the sodium content on nutritional labels. According to experts from the National Academies of Sciences, Health, and Medicine Division, seniors over 71 should limit their sodium intake to no more than 1.2 grams per day.
Raw or Uncooked Eggs, Meat, and Poultry
Undercooked foods such as eggs, meat, and poultry can cause food poisoning, which can trigger sepsis and septic shock. Although anyone can develop an infection and sepsis, seniors are at higher risk.
Sodas and Sugary Drinks
Sodas and many sports drinks contain a large amount of sugar. For instance, cola can contain 39 grams of sugar in one 12-ounce serving, equivalent to almost 10 teaspoons of sugar! If you have prediabetes, regular consumption of these types of drinks may raise your blood sugar to a diagnosis of diabetes. Excess sugar also leads to obesity and other health issues.
Enjoying an occasional alcoholic beverage is harmless for many people. However, if you live with a chronic illness, such as diabetes, or you take certain types of medications, such as antihistamines, painkillers (analgesics), and medications for hypertension (high blood pressure), alcohol should be avoided.
People taking certain medications for the treatment of high blood pressure, anxiety, or insomnia are advised not to eat grapefruit. The reason is because grapefruit and grapefruit juice can intensify the effects of some drugs, potentially making them dangerous. If your medication label says to avoid grapefruit, it is important to heed this warning.
Caffeine can keep many people from getting a good night’s sleep, increase anxiety, and make the heart beat more quickly or irregularly. This could be dangerous if you have a heart condition. Aside from coffee, caffeine is also found in many teas, some sodas, chocolate, and even some medications, including over-the-counter painkillers.
Foods with Empty Calories
Easy and fast foods, such as doughnuts and French fries, may satisfy your hunger pangs, but they won’t provide you with much-needed nutrients. Because many seniors become naturally less active as they get older, it becomes much more difficult to work off extra calories.
Eating a healthy diet is always a good idea, but as you get older, it’s more important to reduce or avoid the intake of these foods.