Stop Eating That! Six Foods Seniors Should Avoid

Healthy eating is at the top of the list when it comes to building a happy life as we get older. Yet some of the foods we cherish can now do more harm than good.
Overweight woman in exercise clothes jump-kicking unhealthy food and drink

For healthy eating as we age and ripen, many experts agree that some foods may need to be limited, refined or taken off the menu. Depending on your attachment to said foods, saying goodbye can be easy as pie or feel like you’re losing a lifelong loved one.

At Senior Assistance Club, we attempt to take some of this understandable emotion out of the equation and reduce it down to a simple, two-pronged approach. One. Cut down on anything that may have food-borne bacteria and other negative impacts. Two. Amp up foods loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Let’s take a closer look.

1. Sprouts

What to Avoid
Sprouts are usually considered a super-food, providing exceptional nutritional value. The danger is, when seeds sprout, they can grow bacteria such as salmonella and E-coli. Contaminated seeds can make seniors very ill, which may lead to further conditions including pneumonia.

What To Eat
Plant-based foods that aren’t sprouts! This includes a rainbow assortment of vegetables and fruits. Top of the green list includes leafy greens such as kale and Swiss chard. Look for colorful vegetables and fruits, loaded with plant micro nutrients that could reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Keep vegetables and fruits in your home and in view. Look for brilliance, freshness and variety.

2. Raw Meat

Beef tartare with egg yolk on a black wooden table

What to Avoid
Raw Meat such as steak tartar can be considered a delicacy. Unfortunately, raw meat dishes are may include bacteria, not killed by the heat of cooking.

What to Eat
High quality lean and cooked white meat such as chicken or turkey is ideal for seniors. Protein portions can support optimal brain function, energy levels and joint health.

3. Raw Fish

What to Avoid
Raw fish, while loved all over the globe, can pose a problem for seniors. This includes raw salmon, raw clams, mussels and oysters. Even though your taste buds may favor them, these sea critters are also known to harbor dangerous bacteria, parasites and viruses.

If you’re a sashimi lover, at the very least, be selective. To find good fish, it’s helpful to find the source. Evaluate what is safe to eat and check for freshness and freezing protocols.

What to Eat
High-quality cooked seafood is considered a source of minerals, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association (AHA) affirms that omega-3’s have been linked to: decreasing the risk of arrhythmia; decreasing triglycerides, decreasing the growth rate of arterial plaque. In addition, omega-3’s are shown to improve the ratio of HDL (“good”) cholesterol to total cholesterol.

Ordering food directly from Alaska is a great way to get the freshest and healthiest fish delivered to your doorstep.

4. Raw Eggs

What Not to Eat
While raw eggs can look like a quick-and-easy addition to an energy drink, they may present a salmonella risk. Steer clear of raw eggs for smoothies, eggnog, homemade Cesar dressing and other recipes calling for raw or under cooked eggs.

What to Eat
Cooked Eggs! Eggs are a terrific source of protein and energy and don’t lose those qualities when cooked. They are also affordable, readily available and extremely versatile. Think scrambled, poached and soft-boiled for a strong start to the day.

5. Sodas and Diet Soda

Top view of aluminum cans of soda with liquid glistening on the rim

What Not To Eat
Soda and diet soda. The long list of chemicals, dyes, artificial sweeteners and preservatives is enough to make you stop in your tracks. Here’s a short rule: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t drink it.

What to Eat
Still and sparkling mineral waters. Seniors can make healthy choices with fresh spring water. Check out calcium rich, San Faustino sparkling water. This water has been sourced since 1894, from a spring in Villa San Faustino Italy.

6. Low Fat Boxed Foods

What Not To Eat
Low-fat boxed foods are often ‘low fat’ because they are high-sugar or high-salt. The war on fat is worth waging, but not by opting for false foods and boxed promises.

What to Eat
Healthy fats that are found in fish, olive oil and nuts. Studies show that limited amounts of healthy fat has benefits for protecting the brain and heart. A natural oil, such as olive oil, adds a lot of flavor plus health benefits.

Assistance Club Summary

Maximizing healthy food choices is within reach and a daily gift you can give yourself. By eliminating what’s harmful and opting for wiser selections, you’re proactively supporting your longevity and quality of life. And it tastes pretty good too!