Heart-Healthy Alternatives to a Senior's 'Meat and Potatoes' Diet
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3 Heart-Healthy Alternatives to a 'Meat and Potatoes' Diet

3 Heart-Healthy Alternatives to a 'Meat and Potatoes' Diet

For seniors, transitioning from their traditional "meat and potatoes" diet to more heart-healthy alternatives can be challenging - but it doesn't have to be.

In fact, many heart-healthy alternatives are available for senior adults looking to reduce their consumption of unhealthy fats and cholesterol while still getting adequate nutrition. Here are three easy-to-implement ways to get on track with a heart-healthy diet, courtesy of Senior Helpers Bakersfield.

Heart-Healthy Alternatives to a 'Meat and Potatoes' Diet 

Seniors interested in making healthier dietary choices should look into incorporating some of the following alternative sources of protein and healthy grains into their diets: 

Plant-Based Protein  

Seniors should move away from red meats like hamburgers or steak which contain large amounts of saturated fat. They can add various types of plant proteins such as beans (black or pinto), lentils, or garbanzo beans to their meal plan. Tofu is also a source of protein that is low in fat but high in calcium, vitamins C and E; tempeh contains all nine essential amino acids needed for a complete protein intake; and texturized vegetable protein gives meat substitutes added flavor without the added sodium found in processed foods. All these replacements are easy to prepare and can be incorporated into almost any meal plan.

Whole Grains   

Whole grains also offer carbohydrates and high fiber content. These can help seniors get through the day with energy while reducing cholesterol levels at the same time. Try trading white bread out for whole wheat varieties like rye, barley, or oat bran (or other favorite alternative grain) when whipping up sandwiches. This will help keep those taste buds tantalized while saving seniors money in the long run. After all, healthier habits could lead to fewer doctor visits and medical bills.

Healthy Fats     

Replacing high trans fats items like deep-fried foods with healthy fats is also a good step. Adding nuts, avocados, and nut butter to meals and snacks is a great way to get the nutrition the body needs without sacrificing some of those favorite flavors that could otherwise trigger cravings.

Start Slow     

Seniors should take care not to make any drastic changes overnight. They can start by gradually switching out heavier proteins one at a time, allowing the palate time to adjust. It's important to take things slow and see how their bodies respond before instituting an entirely new eating plan. Of course, it's always a good idea to consult with a doctor before embarking on a new eating plan.

Start Healthy Habits With Senior Helpers

By trying these heart-healthy alternatives, seniors will be able to feel like their very best selves. Senior Helpers Bakersfield proudly provides seniors in the Bakersfield, Delano, Frazier Park, Kern County, Lamont, McFarland Shafter, Taft, Wasco, and Wofford Heights areas of California with the very best in-home senior care services, helping them live healthy, happy, more fulfilled lives. Contact us today to learn more!