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Healthy & Unhealthy Foods for Seniors with High Cholesterol

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

High cholesterol levels can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other serious conditions. One of the best ways to lower cholesterol levels is to follow a heart-healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Seniors who want to lower their cholesterol levels should consider this list of healthy and unhealthy foods. 

Unhealthy: Canned Soup

Eating too much salt can lead to high cholesterol in seniors. While seniors may enjoy the convenience of canned soups and frozen dinners, these easy meals are incredibly high in sodium. For a heart-healthy diet, seniors should avoid canned and processed foods. They can try swapping them for homemade soups, which can last for weeks if stored properly. 

Seniors with high cholesterol levels may need some assistance making healthy lifestyle choices. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same senior care services. Lehigh Valley families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Healthy: Oatmeal

Seniors with high cholesterol may not be getting their daily dose of fiber. While dietary guidelines suggest that people eat 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day, many people only consume half this amount. Fiber is essential for seniors who want to lower their cholesterol levels because it drags cholesterol precursors out of the digestive system before they can cause cardiovascular damage. Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber, and seniors who find plain oats boring can add fresh fruits or nuts. 

Unhealthy: Red Meat

Saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol levels. To reduce saturated fat intake, seniors should cut down on their weekly red meat intake. This is especially true when it comes to fast food meals. A single fast food burger often has more grams of saturated fat than people are supposed to consume each day. Seniors who crave burgers and fries should switch to turkey burgers and sweet potato wedges.

Encourage your senior loved one to prepare nutritious meals that can lower his or her cholesterol levels. 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. Lehigh Valley seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.    

Healthy: Tuna and Salmon

Foods that cause high cholesterol contain LDL, a cholesterol-carrying particle. To stave off high cholesterol, it’s essential for seniors to eat foods that lower LDL. Fatty fish like tuna and salmon have omega-3 fatty acids, which lower LDL levels, reduce triglycerides, and provide other benefits. Seniors should swap meals containing red meat for healthy fish dishes. 

Unhealthy: Ice Cream

This dessert can lead to high cholesterol levels because whole-fat dairy products contain too many trans fats. One serving of ice cream often has more fat than a hamburger. Fruit salad is a healthy alternative to ice cream. For seniors who crave frozen desserts, dairy-free sorbet is a comparatively healthy alternative. 

Healthy: Apples

There are several types of fiber, and seniors who want to lower their cholesterol levels should try to consume all of them. Apples contain pectin, which is a soluble fiber. Eating pectin lowers LDL, which in turn lowers cholesterol levels. Strawberries and grapes are also good sources of pectin. Seniors can eat a piece of fruit with their lunch, or they can grab an apple in between meals instead of a bag of chips.

High cholesterol is one of the many health-related challenges seniors may face. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lehigh Valley live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life. Call Home Care Assistance at 484-350-3874 to create a customized care plan for your aging loved one.