Heart health is a top priority when it comes to culinary planning at senior living communities. Because deaths related to heart disease are so prevalent in the United States, taking steps to reduce the risk should be something to focus on when it comes to diet and meal preparation. Cooking healthy can seem overwhelming for individuals, especially in retirement when you may only cook for one or two people. Convenience cooking and fast food may be easier, but they are not healthy choices. Plenty of low-sodium meals for seniors are easy to prepare on your own or request from dining services at a senior living community.
Senior Health and Wellness
You might be wondering what a low-sodium diet actually means, as well as what its advantages are. A low-sodium diet basically means it has no salt added to the meal or its ingredients. It’s
not called a sodium-free diet because it is nearly impossible to remove sodium from the foods we eat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends less than 2,300mg as the ideal daily sodium consumption. A low-sodium diet is important for seniors because our bodies change how food is processed as we age. Plus, many health conditions – especially those related to the heart – can be better managed with a low-sodium diet.
Some health conditions can be drastically improved by reducing sodium intake. These include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Kidney disease
Make Easy Low-Sodium Meals for Seniors
If you’re dreading bland meals for the rest of your years, don’t worry because plenty of seasonings are available that either contain no salt or are a low-sodium version. Adding these heart-approved extra flavors to meals can add the flavor you want without the extra salt.
Some easy low-sodium meal options for seniors include:
- Fresh veggie platters (aka crudité) with healthy dressing dips like hummus
- Low-sodium soup (try a hearty tomato soup paired with heart-healthy bread)
- Beef stew made with meat that doesn’t have added sodium
- Pasta with low-sodium sauces and meats
- Baked potatoes with added items like low-sodium cheese and vegetables
- Stuffed mushrooms with a side salad (use heart-healthy meat for the stuffing and breadcrumbs that are low in sodium)
One of the biggest perks of a senior living community is having dining services provided for you as part of the experience. So being able to eat heart-healthy, low-sodium meals is not a chore when they are provided for you by a dedicated culinary team.
If you choose to cook on your own, be sure to read the labels, as some things that appear or sound healthy are often loaded with sodium. It’s good practice to pay extra attention to these items, which can be high in sodium, when choosing your next meal:
- Red meat
- Butter and margarine
- Processed meats
- Refined grains
Westminster Place Offers Heart Healthy Dining
When considering a senior living community, considering the food options is essential. “Dining services” is generic terminology, and its definition may change from place to place. If you have the opportunity to tour communities in person, take the time to sample on-site culinary offerings to ensure you’re not signing up for a community that offers less-than-par food services.
Westminster Place is proud to offer delicious and healthy food. Our culinary team is led by Culinary Director Bob Webster, who is committed to ensuring that you enjoy nutritious and tasty meals each and every day.