According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there are four key reasons to make sure your elderly parent gets plenty of fiber.
1. Fiber makes you feel full, which reduces caloric intake.
2. Fiber can help lower cholesterol levels.
3. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels.
4. Fiber lowers the risk of being constipated or developing hemorrhoids.
After the age of 50, it’s recommended that men eat 30 grams of fiber each day and that women eat 21 grams. How much fiber is your parent really getting every day? It’s actually easy to reach the target amounts.
Certain fruits, particularly raspberries and pears, offer a good amount of fiber. Just one cup of berries has 8 grams of fiber, while pears have 5.5 grams. Barley and whole grain pasta are also good choices at 6 grams. Some of the best options, however, are beans. Split peas, lentils, and black beans range from 15 to 16.3 grams. A whole steamed artichoke is also very high at 10.3 grams.
Adding Fiber Into Your Mom and Dad’s Meals
If your mom or dad are picky eaters, which can happen as a elderly citizen’s taste buds change, here are tips for getting fiber into their diet. It’s actually easier than you might think.
What does your mom like for breakfast? Is she the type that likes something light, such as a yogurt, or does she prefer hearty meals to start her day? If she likes light, try whole grain bread with an avocado spread on it instead of butter or margarine. One cup of avocado has 10 grams of fiber. If she prefers a hearty breakfast, make a Mexican omelet with black beans, corn, and salsa. Top it with slices of avocado.
When your mom or dad is snacking, make sure almonds, pecans, and pistachios are readily available. One ounce has around 3 grams of fiber. One cup of air-popped popcorn has 3.6 grams.
Your mom and dad love dishes like fried rice, and you can make a few quick changes and boost the fiber. Instead of white rice, use brown rice. Swap rice for farro, a rice-like grain that doubles the amount of fiber you get in brown rice. Farro tastes great and has about 7.5 grams of fiber in one serving.
Enlist the Help of an Elderly Care Professional
Have a caregiver come to your parents’ house once a week or every day and prepare meals for your parents. Elderly care providers can create a menu of appealing foods and take your parents shopping for the ingredients. If your parent is involved in the process, they may be more willing to eat what they picked out. Discuss your mom and dad’s preferences with our elderly care agency today.