Years ago, researchers noted heart disease was seldom found in people who lived in Mediterranean countries compared to those in other countries, which was attributed to the diet they followed. The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle that encourages users to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish at least twice a week, a moderate amount of red wine, and healthy fats such as olives and olive oil. Encouraging your aging loved one to try the diet may provide several health benefits.
1. Assists in Shedding Excess Weight
If your loved one is overweight or obese, he or she is at a higher risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Following the Mediterranean diet can help your loved one shed extra pounds. A 2004 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that over a 2.5-year period, people who followed the Mediterranean diet experienced an average weight loss of 8.8 pounds, while those who didn’t follow the diet only lost an average of 2.6 pounds.
Seniors who need help preparing nutritious meals can benefit from professional in-home care. 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. Milford seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
If your loved one has high blood pressure or high cholesterol, he or she is at an increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or being diagnosed with heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends the Mediterranean diet as a way to reduce both blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The diet has also been found to reduce inflammation, which may also be a risk factor for heart disease.
Switching to the Mediterranean diet is just one of the many ways to lower the risk of developing serious health issues. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Milford, CT, 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.
3. Decreases the Risk of Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of kidney disease, eye disorders, and heart disease. Eating a diet rich in foods found in the Mediterranean diet can reduce your loved one’s risk of type 2 diabetes. A 2011 study published in Diabetes Care found non-diabetics who followed the Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by 52 percent.
4. Reduces Frailty
Health conditions, stress, and old age can all lead to becoming frail and weak. Following the Mediterranean diet has been found to reduce the risk of frailty occurring. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found seniors over the age of 65 who followed the Mediterranean diet were 50 percent less likely to become frail over a four-year test period versus those who didn’t follow the diet.
5. Decreases the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
One in ten seniors over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, and it is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the elderly. Following the Mediterranean diet may help your loved one reduce the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. A study done by researchers at the University of California found following the Mediterranean diet boosted cognitive health in seniors by 30 to 35 percent.
In addition to adopting the Mediterranean diet, older adults can boost their health and wellbeing by making other healthy lifestyle choices. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Milford senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (203) 955-1915 today.