Which Types of Foods Can Increase the Risk of Stroke?

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Foods that Increase the Risk of Stroke in Montgomery, AL

Many factors affect cardiovascular health. Diet is an important consideration when trying to optimize health in the senior years. There are a variety of foods that can lead to poor cardiovascular health and may cause a stroke.

Convenience Foods

Canned soups, frozen dinners, and fast foods are typically high in salt. Canned soup, in particular, is especially dangerous, as varieties contain between 450 and 1,100 milligrams of sodium per serving. The American Heart Association recommends seniors consume less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. Consuming more than 2,500 milligrams of sodium daily raises the risk of death by 9.5 percent. Many older adults develop salt sensitivities. Eating salty foods may lead to edema, which causes blood pressure to rise. Seniors must limit convenience food intake or eliminate it from their diets completely. 

If your loved one needs help planning and preparing healthy meals, a professional caregiver can be a great source of support. In Montgomery, senior care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Red Meat

Swedish researchers followed the health of 35,000 women for a decade and published the results of their study in the journal Stroke. Among the women studied, those who consumed large quantities of red meat on a daily basis were 42 percent more likely to have a stroke. Red meat is notoriously high in saturated fat, which travels through blood vessels and has the potential to cause blockages. Seniors need to include more lean meat in their diets in the form of poultry. Oily fish is also recommended because it contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

Processed Grains

Breakfast cereals, white bread, and white rice are examples of processed grains. Foods prepared with processed grains are often high in salt, sugar, and trans fats, which raise cholesterol levels and cause vascular inflammation. Some of these foods contain fructose, which stimulates the liver to produce more cholesterol. The processing the foods undergo typically nullifies the healthy components of the grain. As such, these foods should be consumed sparingly.

Processed Meats

Bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and smoked meats are generally high in fat and salt, which have the potential to raise blood pressure. The meats also often harbor harmful bacteria. As the immune systems of older adults are weaker, processed meats may cause systemic infections that lead to vascular inflammation.

If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Montgomery, AL, live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

Store-Bought Baked Foods

Cakes, cookies, crackers, and pastries are typically high in trans fats. Trans fats are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils that make fats solid at room temperature. Eating foods containing trans fats leads to high LDL cholesterol levels, which can result in narrowed blood vessels. Regularly consuming these products also leads to unnecessary weight gain, which can cause cardiovascular problems. Trans fat consumption should be limited to two grams or less daily.

Sweet Foods

Baked goods, sugary beverages, candy, and many prepackaged foods have high sugar content. Sugar leads to vascular inflammation, which in turn leads to edema and undue stress on blood vessels, causing blood pressure to rise to unsafe levels. A regular diet of sweet foods also increases triglyceride levels and may lead to weight gain. 

Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (334) 593-3988.


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