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Diet Fads the Elderly Should Avoid

Many current diet trends that are popular with younger adults may not be the best choice for those in their golden years. Since a senior’s body has different requirements for staying healthy, it’s important for your aging loved one to focus on a diet that will actually benefit his or her wellbeing. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care in Westfield, discusses the negative effects certain fad diets may have on senior health.

The Mediterranean Diet

Though the basis of this diet is actually quite healthy, there are some foods in the Mediterranean diet your loved one should only have in limited quantities or avoid entirely. A nutritional pyramid was created for the Mediterranean diet with healthy eating options such as fruits and vegetables as the foundation. What makes this diet potentially dangerous for your loved one are the unpasteurized cheeses, raw seafood items, and undercooked meats. If your loved one has a weakened immune system, he or she might not be able to combat the germs in these foods.

The Raw Food Diet

Much like other fad diets, the raw food diet has some aspects that can be healthy and some that can be dangerous. Advocates of this diet believe using any heat on food will kill the enzymes and break down the nutrients, rendering the food unhealthy. Raw produce should be a major component of everyone’s diet, but seniors who rigidly stick to the raw food diet might experience a major protein, iron, or calcium deficiency. 

The Baby Food Diet

Adults have different nutritional requirements than babies, which is why the baby food diet can be so dangerous for seniors. Baby food is notorious for having limited fiber, and seniors need much more fiber than the average adult. The baby food diet could also reduce your loved one’s caloric intake to just 800 calories a day, which will almost always result in severe weight loss. 

The Master Cleanse Diet

This diet typically requires an individual to avoid solid food for anywhere from a few days to multiple weeks. Countless studies have shown cleanses are almost always ineffective and can lead to dehydration, severe weight loss, and deficiencies. The average senior’s liver and kidneys should be more than capable of removing toxins from their body without the need for a cleanse.

If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy diet, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to help with grocery shopping, prepare nutritious meals, assist with exercise, and much more. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and Alzheimer’s care for Westfield seniors who need more extensive assistance. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.