Heart disease is one of the world’s number one killer. In fact, it accounts for over 50% of death in elderly men and women aged 60 and up. This is primarily because of a diet high in cholesterol, paired with a less active lifestyle prevalent in many modern societies all over the world.
By lowering your cholesterol, you also lower your risk of heart disease. This is especially important for the elderly. Here are some tips on how you can lower cholesterol in seniors.
Tips for Lowering Cholesterol of Seniors
1. Reduce saturated fats. Avoid saturated-fat rich foods such as butter, cakes, cream, cheese, and fatty red meat. The modern diet is riddled with these kinds of food–and while they taste good, they are not good for you. Give your elderly loved ones healthier alternatives, such as fruits instead of cakes and sweets, soy or skim milk instead of full-cream milk.
2. Stock up on unsaturated fat. Instead of saturated fat-rich food, find better alternatives in unsaturated fat options such as salmon instead of red meat, avocado smoothies instead of ice cream, seeds and nuts instead of potato chips. Unsaturated fat actually reduces cholesterol levels.
3. Bulk up on soluble fiber. Soluble fibers can be absorbed by the body and help lower cholesterol. You can find these in oats, vegetables, fruits, and beans.
4. Exchange vegetable oil for olive oil. Olive oil contains antioxidants that keep you looking and feeling youthful. They also lower cholesterol levels in your blood. Use olive oil for cooking as well as salads, which you should make your elderly loved ones eat more of.
5. Substitute milk and meat with soy products. Soy products such as soy milk and tofu help lower cholesterol levels. They have lower saturated fats and have more fiber. So instead of meat, you can use tofu as a meat substitute.
6. Be active. Encourage your elderly loved ones to be active. Let them walk for at least 15 to 30 minutes daily–this can do wonders to their cholesterol levels. If they want to, you can engage them in more activities, such as yoga, tai-chi, dancing, or jogging, to name a few. Find an activity that they like and are interested in so you can sustain an active lifestyle.