Promoting Healthy Diets in Assisted Living

Posted by Senior Solutions Management Group on Apr 7, 2015 12:02:37 PM | 3 minute read

When your loved one needs the daily care and safety offered by a good assisted living community, it's important to help them make a successful move. One of the keys to success is to focus on quality-of-life issues that are most important to mom or dad. Oftentimes, one of the top concerns is good, healthy food. If dad is used to home-cooked meals, he may balk at the idea of meals prepared by people he doesn't know in a kitchen he can't see. 

zblogstaff10There can be an unfortunate perception that the food in a senior living community is not good. This is a myth that simply doesn't apply to today's assisted living residences, which are focused on serving high-quality, healthy, tasty food. Consider these five key dietary benefits of assisted living:

Promoting Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

A healthy balanced diet tailored for older adults who tend to be more sedentary is important for weight maintenance and overall well-being.

Experienced nutrition staff at assisted living know how to develop menu plans that are not overloaded with high-calorie fat and sugar content, yet still taste great.

Customized Meal Plans for Special Dietary Needs

If mom has diabetes, for example, she must follow a special diet and have someone who can monitor what she eats to keep her blood sugar levels in control.

This is a common situation in assisted living residences, and staff are trained to pay close attention to resident's special dietary restrictions.

Knowledge About the Latest Nutrition Science

There is more and more solid scientific evidence that a healthy diet can boost the immune system, increase cognitive health, reduce the risk of certain diseases, and enhance strength and balance.

Nutritious offerings at assisted living can include lean proteins such as chicken to help build and sustain muscle tone; fiber to lower cholesterol levels and balance blood sugar levels; and healthy desserts that are low in processed sugar.

Fresh Vegetables and Fruits

zblogstock09These are one of the most important components of a healthy diet, no matter your age. Vegetables and fruits in a wide rainbow of colors provide critical vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Scientific studies, for example, indicate that a diet that includes regular consumption of colorful fruit such as blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries can reduce cognitive decline.

This is because these fruits have high levels of natural plant compounds called flavonoids. Adding to the good news about flavonoids is their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help fight the negative effects of  stress and inflammation on the brain.

Healthy Heart Food

Eating certain types of fish, says the Mayo Clinic, can be a heart healthy choice because of the good fatty acids they contain. Look for an assisted living menu that includes fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, lake trout, halibut, and albacore tuna. In addition, nuts such as walnuts, almonds and peanuts contribute to a heart-healthy diet by increasing the health of blood vessels.  

When you're considering assisted living, it's a good idea to tour the community during lunchtime.  Try the food and get a sense of the community's culture, since many residents will likely be in the dining room at that time. Check out the menu and ask your tour guide about the philosophy guiding menu development. Seek out a community that strives to provide fresh, healthy, good-tasting meals to their residents.

Can we give you a tour and a meal at one of our assisted living communitiesContact our staff today to request a tour.

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