Years ago, the food pyramid changed for older adults.
This new "Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults" shifted focus on the foods older adults should eat. Your mom is looking at changing her diet, but you're worried about her being too old for a diet. It's not always a bad thing. Having an elder care services provider on hand to help your mom make good decisions is a good idea to keep your mom healthy.
Ask your mom why she wants to diet? Dieting after the age of 70 isn't a bad idea, as long as she's following a recommended diet plan from her doctor and not a trending fad diet. Here are the diets that doctors recommend for health.
The DASH Diet
The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) includes foods that help regulate blood pressure. It includes foods high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and it avoids foods high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and sugar.
With the DASH Diet, your mom would focus on six to eight servings of whole grains each day. She'd also want four or five servings each of fruits, vegetables, and legumes/nuts/seeds. It includes two or three servings of fat-free dairy and no more than six ounces of lean protein each day.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet focuses on foods and lifestyle practices typical to people in the Mediterranean. The focus is on beans/legumes, vegetables, and whole grains. Fish should be eaten twice a week or more. Butter is not used; instead, olive oil is used for preparing foods. If dessert is needed, it's fresh fruit.
Lifestyle is also important in this diet. Your mom needs to be active with her family and friends. She gets up and joins them for walks and gets outside to engage in activities like gardening and backyard games. Dinners are eaten as a family and not alone.
The MIND Diet
With increasing cases of dementia, the MIND Diet aims to reduce the risk through brain-healthy foods. It's a combination of DASH and Mediterranean diets. The diet starts with multiple servings of vegetables each day, but at least one daily serving of vegetables needs to focus on leafy greens like kale and spinach.
Berries are essential, especially blueberries and strawberries. Two or more servings a week are the goal. For snacks, aim for at least five servings of nuts each week. Olive oil is the best oil to use for cooking. Meals should focus on seafood secondary (once a week) and legumes and beans at least four times a week.
Your mom needs to get up and enjoy 30 minutes or more of moderate activity each day, no matter which diet she follows. This could be a walk one day and time spent swimming laps another.
Elder care services can help your mom with diet and exercise plans. Talk to an agency specialist about your mom's health, her goals, and the tasks she needs help completing each day. The elder care expert will help you understand prices and create a care plan that ensures your mom is safe and happy.