What Is a Heart Healthy Diet for Seniors Amidst Changing Recommendations?

Heart shaped dish with vegetables isolated on wooden background
Making healthier food choices for seniors is important for heart health.

Our home care professionals in El Dorado Hills and the nearby areas realize that it’s tough to determine the best heart healthy diet for seniors when recommendations appear to continuously change. We had been told that saturated fats from options like butter, red meat and fried foods were detrimental and could affect a person’s chances of developing heart complications, but later research suggested there isn’t enough evidence that people who refrained from eating these foods improved their heart health – and therefore, we went back to our old ways because of the green light to select butter instead of margarine.

However, as revealed in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers clarify that the lack of apparent results in limiting fatty foods is likely associated with equally poor nutritional choices selected in place of those fats – like refined carbs. In the study, it was noted that those who exchanged fatty foods in their diet with healthier options, including olive oil (a polyunsaturated fat) and whole grains did reduce their heart disease risk up to 25%.

As reported by Adela Hruby, one of many researchers in this study, “We know that people don’t just drop 10% of their calories…and not replace them with other things. What they’re adding in to replace what they’re not eating is really important.”

The study, led by Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was quite comprehensive, tracking the results of almost 130,000 subjects of both genders over thirty years. Keeping track of nutritional choices and any heart-related conditions, it was determined that both men and women who consumed carbohydrates in place of fatty foods were developing a nearly equal threat of cardiovascular disease – a statistic overlooked in older studies that had determined there was no benefit to reducing the level of saturated fat in a meal plan.

So what might be the takeaway from this research? Better heart health may be achieved by not just decreasing the total amount of saturated fat in a meal plan, but also by choosing healthier items instead of foods with lots of sugar or processed flour-based foods.

Live Well at Home is readily available to plan and prepare heart-healthy meals that are not just nutritious, but tasty, helping seniors reduce their risk for heart attacks. We are also able to assist aging adults with:

  • Making appropriate dietary choices, as well as shopping for groceries so that fresh, healthy foods are always on hand
  • Medication reminders
  • Providing encouragement to engage in doctor-approved exercise programs
  • Safe transportation to doctor appointments as well as other outings
  • And more

Contact us at 916-459-3220 to learn more about our home care in El Dorado Hills and the nearby areas.

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