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Why Won’t My Aging Parent Eat?

Posted on: March 31st, 2015 by vgmforbin
As adults age, their appetite may change. We have some advice for helping them maintain a healthy diet.

As adults age, their appetite may change. We have some advice for helping them maintain a healthy diet.

A balanced diet is important for maintaining health, building bone mass and enabling medications to work effectively – especially in senior adults. But if you are caring for an aging loved one, you may find that they do not want to eat properly, or sometimes at all. This can be challenging as a caregiver. LA Medical wants to help you uncover the reasons behind your parent’s eating habits and find the underlying issue. Here are some common reasons why seniors don’t eat properly:

Lessened sense of smell and taste – Eating involves a number of different senses involving smells, colors and tastes. But these senses are often reduced during the aging process. This also lessens an individual’s desire for food. Altering recipes and adding different herbs and spices may help add flavor to dishes that seem bland.

Reduced vision – Favorite dishes may now appear boring as cataracts and other eye conditions affect your parent’s vision. Use colorful foods like salads, red potatoes and orange carrots. Separate each food so that the colors can be easily defined and differentiated.

 Medications – There are some medications that your parent may be taking that affect their sense of taste or appetite. Talk to their doctor to see if there is a substitute medication or an additional prescription that can be used to correct the problem.

Difficulty chewing – Tooth pain, gum problems and dentures can also cause older individuals to experience problems with chewing. Try serving softer foods. Replace raw fruits and vegetables with cooked vegetables or juices. Ground or shredded meats are also easier to chew.

If all of the above attempts fail to motivate your aging parent to eat, talk with a doctor. As a caregiver, it is important that you focus on your loved one’s nutrition. Taking care of someone who is sick or aging can be very draining, both emotionally and physically. LA Medical offers products in our online catalog that can ease your burden.

What Can Spinach Do For You

Posted on: March 24th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Spinach is loaded with health benefits and low in calories, making it a great addition to any diet.

Spinach is loaded with health benefits and low in calories, making it a great addition to any diet.

Our old friend Popeye was definitely on to something – spinach is a great addition to your diet! Spinach is low in calories but packed with nutrients. Dark leafy greens are good for your skin, hair and bone health. They also provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. This can offer a host of positive health effects.

Check out some of the possible health benefits of a spinach-rich diet:

Diabetes management – Spinach contains antioxidants that have been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes.

Cancer prevention – Spinach and other leafy greens contain chlorophyll. This has been shown to help block the carcinogenic effects that are generated when grilling foods at high temperatures.

Lowering blood pressure – Spinach has a high potassium content which helps negate the effects of sodium in the body. Low potassium intake can be just as big of a risk factor in developing high blood pressure as eating a lot of sodium.

Healthy bones – Getting enough vitamin K improves bones’ calcium absorption and helps reduce urinary excretion of calcium. Not getting enough vitamin K has been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture in older adults.

Healthy skin and hair – Spinach is rich in vitamin A, which keeps hair moisturized and is necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues. Dark, leafy greens are also a good source of vitamin C, which provides structure to the skin and hair.

Spinach is very versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. Here are a few ideas for how to add more spinach to your diet:

  • Incorporate it into pastas, soups and casseroles.
  • Add spinach to your wrap or sandwich
  • Add a handful to an omelet or smoothie
  • Make a dip using spinach, like spinach artichoke

As you can see, spinach is loaded with tons of nutrients and health benefits. So take a tip from Popeye and try to incorporate more spinach and greens into you and your family’s daily diet. LA Medical is dedicated to keeping you and your loved ones in the best health possible. Check out our online catalog for more solutions to living an active and healthy life.

Nutrition Tips for Aging Parents

Posted on: March 22nd, 2015 by vgmforbin
While everyone should eat a balanced diet, senior citizens need some additional nutrients to stay healthy and active.

While everyone should eat a balanced diet, senior citizens need some additional nutrients to stay healthy and active.

It is usually recommended that elderly individuals should try to get a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains. But there are some specific nutrients that caregivers can incorporate into their parent’s diet to help them maintain and improve overall health.

When preparing meals for your elderly parents, consider following these nutritional guidelines:

Omega 3 fatty acids

Try to serve an omega 3 fatty acid-rich food to elderly parents twice per week. These have been found to reduce the inflammation that can cause heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Fatty acids are found in different types of fish as well as flaxseed oil. Omega 3 supplements are also available so check with their doctor to see if that would be beneficial.

Calcium and Vitamin D

The need for these nutrients increases as people age, mostly to preserve bone health. Calcium also helps lower blood pressure. Many adults find it difficult to consume the four cups of milk per day that is needed to get the ideal amount of calcium. Check with your parent’s doctor to see if he or she should try taking a calcium supplement to get a good amount.

Limit sodium content

Many aging adults have high blood pressure. One of the most important things a child can do to reduce their parent’s blood pressure is to prepare meals that are low in sodium. This doesn’t just mean table salt. Avoid frozen, processed or restaurant foods, as these are usually high in sodium. Fruits and vegetables have the lowest sodium content so try to incorporate these into meals as much as possible.

When you are trying to make changes to an aging parent’s diet, it is important to incorporate them slowly. You can help them overcome their skeptical feelings by setting a good example. Eating with your parents is a social activity and it is important that you eat the same foods as them when you eat together. This will make the dietary changes less drastic.

Our goal at LA Medical is to help you and your loved ones live a comfortable life. We offer a full line of products to help both patients and caregivers in our online catalog.

Use Nutrition and Exercise to Manage a Healthy Cholesterol

Posted on: February 17th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
Good nutrition and exercise are the best ways to maintain a healthy cholesterol and overall heart health.

Good nutrition and exercise are the best ways to maintain a healthy cholesterol and overall heart health.

Having high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and strokes. Throughout this month, LA Medical wants to give you some more information about keeping your heart healthy.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in the blood that builds up on the walls of your arteries. This narrows the passageways through the artery, preventing blood from flowing freely to the heart. Since blood carries oxygen to the heart, a clogged up artery keeps oxygen from the heart. This increases your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.

So what can you do to about it? Diet and exercise are the best ways you can manage your cholesterol.

Nutrition

  • Eat plant-based foods like vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains at every meal.
  • Enjoy healthy fats found in olive oil, avocadoes, fish, and nuts. These fats boost your good cholesterol levels while decreasing your bad ones.
  • Get your fiber from whole grains, fruit, beans and vegetables. Fiber will lower your risk of heart disease.

Activity

  • Take a brisk 30 minute walk 5 days a week to lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Find an exercise partner! Peer pressure from a friend keeps you accountable for daily workouts.
  • Jog or walk at inclines on the stairs or treadmills to boost good cholesterol levels.

If you have high cholesterol already, don’t give up! You can lower your cholesterol over time by maintaining healthy diet and exercise habits. If you don’t have high cholesterol, make healthy choices now to keep your risk low. Prevention is often easier than treatment.

LA Medical is celebrating American Heart Month by offering information about ways you can keep your heart healthy. Check out our previous post about how you can Show Your Heart Some Love.

Celebrate National Salad Month

Posted on: May 15th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

May is National Salad Month and with the warmer weather here, there’s no better time to give your oven a rest and enjoy a lighter meal. LA Medical wants you to toss your normal salad regimen this May and try something new!

Salad topping ideas from LA Medical.

Treat yourself to tasteful salad toppers recommended by LA Medical.

Salads often get a bad rap for being too healthy or boring, but salads are actually a quick dinner and a great way to get rid of leftovers! This May try to boost the nutrition and flavor of your salad by focusing on adding color and texture.

LA Medical wants you to shake up your common, everyday salad, this May. Try implementing these healthy, but yummy, toppings to your salad to mix things up:

  1. Start with the greens- instead of using only iceberg lettuce, try mixing in spinach, kale or red leaf lettuce.
  2. Add your favorite veggies for flavor and crunch- cucumber, tomato, shredded carrot, red onion, baby peas and olives are just a few options.
  3. Have a sweet tooth? Fruits add sweetness to your salad. Mandarin oranges, grapefruit, blackberries and strawberries are great toppings to make any salad more flavorful and colorful.
  4. Don’t forget the protein- low fat cheese, fish, chicken breast, black or pinto beans add protein, fiber and flavor to any salad.
  5. If you’re looking for a crunch, try adding nuts and seeds like pistachios, walnuts or almonds.
  6. Make a homemade salad dressing out of olive oil and lemon juice. If it still needs a little something, add some salt and pepper! This is a healthy alternative to Italian dressing that will still give your taste buds a pop!

Just remember, salads aren’t created by following a recipe- throw in your favorite food and see how it turns out. If you create or have a favorite salad, tell LA Medical about it on our Facebook page. We would love to hear how you celebrated National Salad Month!

Eat Right While Learning About Proper Nutrition

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Nutrition-Month“Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” is the theme for National Nutrition Month. LA Medical Retail wants to know how informed you are about good nutrition.

What is nutrition? Nutrition is more than just eating; it’s about eating the right amount of the right foods. A heavier person may have better nutritional intake than a thin person so looks can be deceiving.

Proper nutrition focuses on the type of food you eat and the amount of food you eat and encourages making good food choices every day in ways that work for each person. The epidemic of obesity in this country over the last few years has brought much needed attention to nutrition. Health.gov offers these easy tips for eating more nutritiously:

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
  • Have fruits and vegetables on your plate.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk or consider soy milk.
  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals, and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water or tea instead of sugary drinks.

Remember the food pyramid? The old fashioned food pyramid has been replaced by a colorful plate that better shows a simple way to eat more nutritious meals.  The plate shows an easy-to-follow guide for fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, and a side of dairy with suggested amounts indicated by color. Log on to www.choosemyplate.gov to see the plate and use this as a guide when preparing meals.

We know that eating right can be hard to get used to, so take it slow. Take a look at your next plate, and start there. Note how much of what is on our plate compared to the suggested plate. Can you add another serving of vegetables? Can you reduce the size of the meat and grains? Start small for better success.

LA Medical Retail wants to see you healthy and happy, so when you do need any type of home medical equipment, please visit our online catalog or visit us in person.

 

LA Medical Wants You to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” and Be Healthy

Posted on: March 19th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger
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Portion control, eating more fresh veggies and fruit, and consuming less high sodium food are three easy ways to better your nutrition.

March is National Nutrition Month. The theme for 2013 is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” LA Medical wants all of our friends and customers to be healthy and informed about good nutrition.

What is nutrition? Nutrition is not just having enough to eat. Watch any TV news and you’ll see shots of people who had had too much to eat and are overweight or obese.  They have certainly had enough to eat, but not necessarily enough nutritious food. On the reverse of that, seeing a super skinny actress or model doesn’t mean they are eating the right amount of nutritious food either.  How do you strike the right balance?

Proper nutrition focuses on the type of food you eat and the amount of food you eat and encouragers making good food choices every day in ways that work for each person.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics try to make it simple to understand and follow in our everyday lives. The old fashioned food pyramid has been replaced by a colorful plate (who ate off of a pyramid anyway?) that shows a simple way to eat more nutritious meals.  The plate shows a place for fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins and a side of dairy with suggested amounts indicated by color.

Health.gov offers these easy tips for eating more nutritiously:

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles are the keys to avoiding many of the health problems that LA Medical sees in our customers every day.  We love our customers and want to see you all live as well and healthy as possible. When you do need any type of home medical equipment, please visit our online catalog or visit is in person.