Tips for Following a Plant-Based Diet in the Golden Years

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High-fat diets lead to the development of various cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. However, by switching to plant-based foods, seniors can slow the aging process, boost their energy levels, and enhance their cognitive abilities. Here are a few tips for older adults who want to switch to a plant-based diet.

Learn About the Benefits of Plant-Based Foods

Get as much information as possible about the benefits of following a plant-based diet. Research the internet, read books, or watch documentaries on the subject. Learn what physicians and nutritionists have to say on the topic. The more positive knowledge seniors obtain, the more likely they will become motivated to stick to the lifestyle choice. 

If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Folsom Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Make Gradual Changes

After decades of eating an omnivorous diet, making the switch to consuming only plant-based foods may not be easy. Start by adding more produce, nuts, and whole grains to your loved one’s diet each day. Goal-oriented seniors should consider setting simple goals so they don’t become disappointed if they cannot attain results. Encourage your parent to accept the small changes he or she makes and move forward.

Eat More Plant-Based Foods

Plant-based diets enable seniors to eat more food, as the ingredients are low in calories. Older adults can easily enjoy a feast of baked potatoes, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, grains, and nuts. In time, the body naturally adjusts and provides cues pertaining to hunger and satiety. At first, older adults might want to keep track of the calories and nutrients consumed to ensure they’re getting sufficient nutrition.

Consider Plant-Based Breakfast Varieties

The first meal of the day is typically easier to convert to a plant-based diet. The options might include a bowl of oatmeal or pancakes topped with fresh fruit. Seniors can easily top whole-grain toast with guacamole or nut butter. Scramble tofu with your loved one’s favorite omelet veggies. Once mastering the breakfast routine, move onto developing vegan lunches and dinners. Experiment with ways to convert your parent’s favorite recipes using only plant-based ingredients and create some new recipes. 

Many older adults need help preparing nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Folsom seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Consume Plant-Based Snacks 

For times when your loved one simply doesn’t feel like cooking, plant-based foods are ideal. A handful of nuts, some fresh fruit, or a readymade salad are quick and easy options.

Start Swapping Foods Gradually

Gradually adopting a plant-based diet involves switching foods. Instead of butter or margarine, try mashed avocados, or swap black beans in place of beef. Sweeten foods using dates instead of sugar. Choose breads and pastas made with whole grains. Discourage your loved one from snacking on fat-laden foods. Instead, encourage him or her to snack on fresh fruits or vegetables.

Stock Up on Plant-Based Foods

Fill the shopping list with as many plant-based foods as possible before going to the grocery store. Starchy foods and whole grains provide the most energy. Make sure to include plenty of these types of foods in the pantry. When the current supply of animal or meat-based foods disappears, don’t replace them.

Switching to plant-based foods is not the only way older adults can boost their health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Folsom, California, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly parent, give us a call at 916.226.3737 today.