Years ago, researchers noted heart disease was seldom found in people who lived in Mediterranean countries, and this was attributed to the diet they followed. The Mediterranean diet is part of a lifestyle that encourages people to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, a moderate amount of red wine, and healthy fats, such as olives and olive oil. Encouraging your aging loved one to try the diet may provide several health benefits.
1. Assists in Shedding Excess Weight
If your loved one is overweight or obese, he or she is at greater risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Following the Mediterranean diet can help your loved one shed extra pounds. A 2004 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that over a 2.5-year period, people who followed the Mediterranean diet experienced an average weight loss of 8.8 pounds, while those who didn’t follow the diet only lost an average of 2.6 pounds.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
If your loved one has high blood pressure or high cholesterol, he or she is at increased risk for having a heart attack or stroke or being diagnosed with heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends the Mediterranean diet as a way to reduce both blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The diet has also been found to reduce inflammation, which may also be a risk factor for heart disease.
Switching to the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices older adults should consider. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
3. Decreases the Risk of Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of kidney disease, eye disorders, and heart disease. Eating a diet rich in the foods found in the Mediterranean diet can reduce your loved one’s risk of type 2 diabetes. A 2011 study published in Diabetes Care found people who followed the Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by 52 percent.
4. Reduces Frailty
Health conditions, stress, and aging can all lead to becoming frail and weak. Following the Mediterranean diet has been found to reduce the risk of frailty. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found seniors over the age of 65 who followed the Mediterranean diet were 50 percent less likely to become frail over a four-year test period versus those who didn’t follow the diet.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality at-home care. Harrisburg families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
5. Decreases the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
One in 10 seniors over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s currently the sixth leading cause of death in the elderly. Following the Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California found following the Mediterranean diet boosted cognitive health in seniors by 30 to 35 percent.
Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Harrisburg, PA, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (717) 540-4663 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.