Stop Eating That! Eight 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.

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 outline the best diet for seniors 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. By following these two basic principles, you’ll be able to alter your diet by eliminating foods senior citizens should avoid.

Let’s take a closer look.

Overweight woman in exercise clothes jump-kicking unhealthy food and drink

What Foods Should Seniors Avoid

As we age, eating habits change. With this natural change, it’s important to understand the worst foods that seniors should avoid entirely. If you are struggling to pay for food, look into food assistance for low income seniors. It’s important to have a healthy nutrition.

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. The bacteria issue puts sprouts on the list of foods seniors should avoid.

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 may include bacteria, not killed by the heat of cooking. Even if this is a long-time favorite, raw meat is on the list of foods senior citizens should avoid.

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 is another food seniors should be strict in avoiding. 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 are among the worst foods for seniors. They may present a salmonella risk. Steer clear of raw eggs for smoothies, eggnog, homemade Cesar dressing, and other recipes calling for raw or undercooked 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 are found in fish, olive oil and nuts. Studies show that limited amounts of healthy fat have benefits for protecting the brain and heart. A natural oil, such as olive oil, adds a lot of flavor, plus health benefits.

7. Fried Foods

What Not to Eat

Seniors should avoid fried foods that are loaded with fat, calories, and preservatives. While fried foods may be long-time favorites, they do not provide full-strength nutrition. Many seniors struggle with weight gain because they are less active. High fat and calorie count can be a factor in what foods should seniors avoid. Cutting out or cutting down on fried foods is a smart way to get the nutrition you deserve and the calories you can burn.

What To Eat

Aim for foods that are whole and close to their natural condition. If you’re seeking crunch, grab a raw carrot. If you’re looking for soothing, have some yoghurt. With a little experimenting, you can find healthy options and plenty of variety.

8. Grapefruit

Sliced grapefruits on a wooden table with rosemary

What Not to Eat

Given that grapefruit can intensify the effects of certain medications, it is another food seniors should avoid. If you’re taking prescription drugs for anxiety, insomnia, or high blood pressure, remember to check the label.

What To Eat

Aim for healthy whole fruits such as apples, pears, and apricots. Talk with your health care provider to confirm that your fruit choices are on the list of the best foods to eat.

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!

Join us at the Senior Assistance Club to find insights into healthy eating and healthy living.