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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the number one cause of death for people in the United States. One of the risk factors is age since your heart muscle tends to get thicker or weaker as you get older. Around 70 percent of seniors between the ages of 60 and 79 have cardiovascular disease. While this is sobering, the good news is that it is possible to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. If you are an older adult or a caregiver to a senior you need to know how diet can improve heart health. Eating lots of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and fiber and getting regular physical exercise can help to keep the cardiovascular system in good shape. Whether you or your elderly loved one live alone, with relatives or in a Boynton Beach assisted living facility, you can reduce the risk of heart disease by eating certain foods and avoiding others. Following the tips below can make a significant difference.

Buy Colorful Fruits and Veggies

Adults need at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. When you go shopping, try to get in as many colors as possible since foods of varying colors offer different benefits. Fruits and vegetables are generally low in calories while high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Choose Healthy Fats

Not all fats are bad. While you should avoid meats with visible fat as well as high-fat milk, cheese and yogurt, seniors benefit tremendously from consuming fatty fish. Try to include two servings per week of salmon, herring, trout or other oily fish. These varieties have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Be Sure to Include Nuts and High Fiber Foods

Fiber reduces cholesterol and helps to keep you full, reducing the urge to eat unhealthy snacks. Nuts, beans, whole grain bread, and cereals all contain lots of fiber. Some nuts, like walnuts and almond, also include other nutrients that contribute to a healthy heart.

Read the Labels on Canned and Packaged Foods

You may be surprised to learn how much salt is added to many of the foods you buy. Older adults need about 1500 mg of salt per day. If a single serving of any food contains more than 250 mg of sodium, you should try to find a product that contains less salt. Otherwise, you could easily exceed the recommended daily amount.

Make Sure the Food Is Still Flavorful

No one wants to eat bland meals. After you cut back on unhealthy fats, salt and sugar, you may feel like your dishes just don’t have the same flavor.  Be sure to season veggies with herbs and spices or sauté them in broth or sesame oil. You should also take the time to marinate lean meats so they’re both tender and tasty. Where possible, buy fresh fruits and veggies rather than frozen ones since they pack more flavor.

Ask About the Culinary Options at a Boynton Beach Assisted Living Facility

Whether you’re a senior or a caregiver, you’ll be impressed by what we provide at our assisted living community in Florida. We offer varied meals that take each individual’s medical condition and preferences into consideration.  Contact us today to learn more.

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