Keeping cholesterol levels low is a good idea for people of all ages, but especially for seniors, as many age-related illnesses can result from high cholesterol. Here are 5 ways to help keep your senior loved one’s cholesterol low and healthy, brought to you by the staff at Home Care Assistance of Oakville.
1. Cholesterol-Lowering Foods
Encouraging your loved one to eat less saturated fat and more heart-healthy foods can reduce his or her cholesterol levels anywhere from 4 to 12 percent in a manner of weeks. The following foods have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in seniors:
• Fresh fruits and vegetables
• Salmon and other fatty fish
• Olive oil
Motivate your loved one to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis. Activities like walking, swimming, and gardening can help reduce bad cholesterol levels and increase the good ones, but you should make sure any exercise regimen is appropriate for your loved one’s physical condition.
Studies show a diet containing 25 to 30 grams of daily fiber can reduce cholesterol. Oatmeal, an excellent source of soluble fiber, can reduce the body’s absorption of cholesterol from the intestines. Your loved one can also take a daily over-the-counter fiber supplement.
4. Red Wine
There is evidence that a small amount of red wine each day can help increase good cholesterol levels. Experts recommend men consume no more than two glasses of alcohol per day and women should have no more than one. Of course, you should talk with your loved one’s doctor before encouraging him or her to consume wine since alcohol can interact with certain medications.
High cholesterol can lead to blood clots, but dark and bittersweet chocolate contains potent antioxidants that can help keep arteries clear by preventing blood platelets from sticking together.Participants in a study released in 2007 showed a remarkable 24 percent increase in good cholesterol levels after consuming cocoa powder during a 12-week period.
Some seniors may have difficulty keeping their cholesterol levels down due to other illnesses. If your loved one has trouble preparing healthy meals or isn’t mobile enough to participate in exercise as much as he or she might like, a professional hourly caregiver in Oakville can help with these challenges and many more. Call Home Care Assistance today at (905) 337-1200 to schedule a free in-home consultation.