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Diet Recommendation for Seniors with Congestive Heart FailureSeptember 1, 2020 0 Comment Category: Senior Health
Congestive heart failure is a serious condition that makes the heart muscles weak and severely damaged in seniors. This, in turn, prevents the heart from supplying enough oxygen-rich blood to the body and leads to shortness of breath, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, frequent urges to urinate at night, swollen feet, weight gain, as well as many other complications.
Seniors diagnosed with congestive heart failure need proper nutrition and support to cope with its symptoms effectively. That is why nutritionists at assisted living care facilities prepare a low-sodium diet plan for their senior residents. This helps to boost their heart health and allows them to enjoy their day-to-day activities in the senior living community. Below are a few diet recommendations for seniors who have congestive heart failure.
Foods to Avoid in the Diet
As the heart muscles in seniors with congestive heart failure become weakened, many kinds of foods can damage the heart further. That is why assisted living facilities prepare low-sodium meal plans for such seniors.
Foods that have high sodium or salt can cause the body to retain more fluids and lead to increased blood pressure. This can be very dangerous for seniors with congestive heart failure. To steer clear of excessive sodium intake, seniors are advised to avoid consuming foods like frozen dinners, canned soups, smoked, cured, or canned meat, salted snacks and nuts, instant pudding, cottage cheese, salad dressing, and vegetable juice.
Aside from that, foods rich in cholesterol and saturated fat should also be avoided to manage the symptoms of the heart condition. These include fatty pieces of meat, butter, margarine, fried foods, processed grains, white rice, pasta, white bread, and boxed cereals. Saturated fat and cholesterol can lead to the clogging of the arteries, which can disrupt the circulatory system in seniors and cause other complications.
Caregivers at assisted living communities also make sure that seniors with congestive heart failure do not consume alcohol, as that can raise blood pressure and heart rate or lead to an irregular heartbeat. Even red wine, which is usually considered good for the heart, is not recommended to seniors with congestive heart failure. Drinking too much water is also bad for seniors diagnosed with the heart disease.
Foods to Include in the Diet
Seniors in assisted living care facilities are provided healthy and nutritious meals that will help their heart to continue functioning normally. This includes fruits and vegetables that are low in sodium content and high in other essential nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables also have low fat, cholesterol, and calories, while containing many important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that are good for heart health.
Herbs and spices are also good for seniors with congestive heart failure who prefer seasoning their foods with salt. Besides, herbs and spices will also add an extra flavor to the meal while keeping the sodium content low. Caregivers at senior living communities also prepare meal plans with adequate fat to help seniors with the heart condition. They replace butter and shortening with healthier alternatives like olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. Other than that, they also include other sources of healthy fat in the daily diet, such as nuts, cheese, dark chocolate, and avocado.
Healthcare experts recommend including fiber-rich foods in the diet as well to maintain the overall health of seniors. This can be whole-grain cereals and breads, beans, lentils, bran, quinoa, oats, and corn. In any case, caregivers at the assisted living facility will ensure that there is a proper balance of heart-healthy foods in the daily meal so that their senior residents with congestive heart failure can enjoy a quality life without having to constantly worry about their condition.