Caregivers in Tempe AZ
October 1 is World Vegetarian Day. This is the ideal opportunity for you to work with your aging parent to help them improve their health by trading out some or even all of the meat in their current diet and turning to a more plant-based eating pattern. Focusing on more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes in their diet is a fantastic way to give your parent many potential health benefits, including cutting down on the amount of fat, calories, and cholesterol that they eat, and increasing the vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
You do not have to completely remove meat, poultry, fish, pork, and animal products from your parent’s diet for them to gain health benefits. Instead, try reducing the amount that they eat by changing up one or two meals every day, or having one or two days each week that are completely meat-free.
• Bulk up with dietary fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient that most people do not get enough of in their daily diet. Found in fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains, fiber is critical for healthy digestion and can manage cholesterol levels. It also helps to make food more satisfying. This means that your parent’s meals will be more filling and keep your parent fulfilled for longer even without meat. Add more dietary fiber into your parent’s meals to make the more filling and keep your parent from being hungry.
• Choose “meaty” alternatives. There are many plant foods that can give your aging parent a texture and mouthfeel that is very similar to meat. This helps them to enjoy plant-based meals more and stay more satisfied. Mushroom caps are a fantastic replacement for burgers and steaks, and can be chopped up to add a meaty texture to sauces and stir-fry. Beans are perfect for bulking up chili, soups, tacos, burritos, and more. Beans have the added benefit of containing a good dose of protein for a complete meal.
• Do not shy away from flavor. Your elderly loved one may balk at the idea of cutting meat out of their diet or reducing the amount of meat that they eat because they worry that the food will not taste as good. Make their meals appealing and delicious by adding plenty of flavor with herbs, spices, and vinegars. Much of the time the meat in a meal is primarily for texture, and if you maintain the same level of flavor with familiar ingredients you can replace the meat and still make the meal as satisfying and delicious. For example, do not just take the ground beef out of your parent’s tacos and replace it with beans. Instead, add taco seasoning or your own blend of cumin, red pepper, garlic, and onion to the beans to make them flavorful. Add a small amount of olive oil to provide a satisfying mouthfeel and to give your parent the small amount of fat that they need in order to absorb the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables that they eat with their meal.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Tempe, AZ, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today: 480-377-6770.