If an older adult you know is prone to indulge in the numerous junk food and fast food choices that are so readily accessible, he or she is in excellent company. Even though these types of foods are fast and easy, they are generally full of calories, cholesterol and fat, and lack fiber as well as other key nutrients that are important to nourish aging bodies. As a matter of fact, as few as 5% of us are consuming enough fiber – something extremely important for the elderly.
What Makes Fiber so Important?
Fiber’s health benefits include:
- Weight control: Low in calories and slower to digest, foods that are full of fiber help people to feel fuller for a longer period.
- Lowered cholesterol: With fiber in the digestive tract, your body absorbs lower levels of cholesterol.
- Blood sugar regularity: Due to the fact that high fiber foods take longer to be digested, more consistent glucose levels are sustained.
- Improved digestive tract functioning: Fiber in the digestive tract stimulates the intestines, reducing problems from constipation.
- Lower cancer risk. Sufficient levels of fiber in the diet help protect against certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer.
Simple Tips to Boost Fiber Intake
If a senior’s diet is lacking in sufficient quantities of fiber, it is necessary to incorporate more fiber slowly and gradually. Introducing too much fiber all at once may cause bloating, gas, and other side effects. Help seniors to increase fiber intake over a few days, while making certain to drink lots of water as well, which will help cut down on unwanted symptoms.
The following high fiber foods are a fantastic place to start. Keep in mind that ideally, it is recommended that adults should be consuming 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed each day, which equates to about 24 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
- Apples (4.4 grams in one single raw, medium-sized apple)
- Raspberries (6.5 grams per cup)
- Pears (5.5 grams in one raw, average-sized pear)
- Strawberries (3 grams per cup)
- Avocado (10 grams per cup)
- Bananas (3.1 grams in one medium-sized banana)
- Carrots (3.6 grams per cup)
- Broccoli (2.4 grams per cup)
- Beets (3.8 grams per cup)
- Brussels sprouts (3.3 grams per cup)
- Artichoke (6.9 grams in one raw globe)
- Kidney beans (12.2 grams per cup, cooked)
- Lentils (13.1 grams per cup, cooked)
- Chickpeas (12.5 grams per cup, cooked)
- Split peas (16.3 grams per cup, cooked)
- Oats (16.5 grams per cup, raw)
- Popcorn (1.15 grams per cup, popped)
- Quinoa (5.2 grams per cup, cooked)
- Almonds (4 grams per 3 tablespoons)
- Sweet potatoes (3.8 grams per medium-sized boiled potato without skin)
- Dark chocolate (3.1 grams per 1-ounce piece)
With a multitude of choices to suit each older adult’s particular taste, it’s not hard to incorporate more fiber into the diet and enhance older adults’ health.
At Absolute Companion Care, a trusted provider of home care in Sparks, MD, we know how a well-balanced diet for older adults helps safeguard overall health and wellness so that they can continue to live engaged and active lives. Our highly-trained care team is here to help promote healthy eating and snacking habits for seniors and provide important companionship during meals, and any other time, day or night. Our care team will also grocery shop, plan and prepare nutritious snacks and meals which are personalized to specific dietary needs or restrictions, and even clean up the kitchen afterwards.
To discover all about the numerous ways Absolute Companion Care’s award-winning home care in Sparks, MD, and the surrounding areas can help a senior you love maintain healthy eating habits and so much more, contact us at 410-357-9640 for a complimentary in-home consultation. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide our award-winning care, please visit our Service Area page.
Absolute Companion Care is licensed as a Residential Services Agency by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Health Care Quality. Our license number is R4138. We are also a Better Business Bureau accredited business with an A+ rating.