For years it has been drilled into people’s heads that fat is bad. Now, the focus has shifted from cutting fat out of diets to changing the kinds of fat people eat to healthy fats. If you’re unsure just what that means, you’re not alone. Knowing about the different kinds of fats and which ones are good can help.
A Little About Fats
The body needs fat to stay healthy. It’s used to produce energy, use vitamins, and protect the brain. In the past, people were instructed to cut fats from their diet because they contribute to obesity and heart disease. These days, though, we know that there are different kinds of fat—some are bad, and some are good.
The worst kind of fat is trans fat. Some foods naturally contain a little bit of trans fats, like meat and dairy. It’s the artificial trans fats that cause problems, though. These fats are responsible for raising bad cholesterol levels, lowering good cholesterol, and causing inflammation. They are also linked to serious health problems, like heart disease and stroke.
Saturated fats are also unhealthy, though not as bad as trans fats. Eating too much saturated fat increases bad cholesterol and harms the heart.
Replacing unhealthy fats with good fats can make a difference in your older family member’s health. Instead of trans and saturated fats, look for foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
5 Fatty Foods Seniors Should Eat
So, what kinds of foods contain healthy fats? There are many, but we’ve listed 5 below that you can start adding to your aging relative’s diet today.
- Avocados: Avocados are a versatile fruit that are comprised of about 77 percent fat. Most of the fat in them is monounsaturated fat. In addition to healthy fat, avocados also provide fiber and potassium.
- Dark Chocolate: Having a bite of dark chocolate now and then can keep older adults from craving less healthy sweets. In addition to healthy fats, dark chocolate also has fiber, iron, magnesium, and antioxidants.
- Fish: Some kinds of fish contain lots of healthy fats that are an important part of a heart healthy diet.
- Nuts: Nuts contain lots of healthy fats as well as fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is one of the main components of the Mediterranean diet, a diet that is widely considered one of the healthiest ways to eat.
Elder care can help your older family member to eat less of the bad fats and more of the good ones. Elder care providers can assist with planning meals that don’t include processed foods with trans fats or foods that are high in saturated fats. Elder care providers can also take the senior grocery shopping and help them to make healthier choices in the store. Finally, elder care providers can cook meals that use fresh ingredients like fish, avocados, and nuts.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring elder care in Marietta, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.