One of the jobs that family caregivers often do for their aging relatives is making sure they eat a healthy, balanced diet. As they prepare meals for the senior, they may take a lot of health conditions into consideration.
Many family caregivers try to cook meals that are heart-healthy.
Unfortunately, knowing which foods should be included in a heart-healthy diet isn’t always easy. However, the American Heart Association has created a way for people to easily identify some foods that are good for the heart.
Look for the Heart-Check
The American Heart Association developed the Heart-Check program about 20 years ago. Foods that are part of the program are marked with a checkmark on the label. The checkmark looks like a red heart with a white checkmark cut out of the middle. The heart checkmark indicates you can include the food as part of a heart-healthy diet.
Heart Check foods are ones that have been examined for certain things, such as:
Nutrients: The food is a good source of naturally occurring nutrients. It contains at least 10 percent of the daily allowance of at least one of six key nutrients, which are vitamins A and C, calcium, protein, iron, and fiber.
Fats: The food has a limited amount of bad fats. It must have 1 gram or less of saturated fat per serving and .5 grams or less of trans fat per serving. Any food that contains partially hydrogenated oil cannot be Heart-Check certified.
Sodium: Heart Check foods must be deemed low in sodium.
Heart Check is a Trustworthy Resource
The Heart-Check program is one that family caregivers can trust when making food choices for their older family members. Some of the reasons it can be trusted are:
- The program has been around for two decades, so it is not a passing fad.
- The American Heart Association bases the criteria for foods fitting the Heart-Check program on scientific evidence.
- The program doesn’t hide anything. The criteria for foods being included in the Heart-Check program is publicly available on their website, heartcheck.org.
- The program ensures that the facts listed on nutrition labels are accurate. If the foods are near limits outlined by the program, the food is lab tested.
- Research conducted in 2014 showed that people who reported eating Heart-Check foods typically ate healthier overall and had a lower risk of heart disease.
Elderly care can help your aging relative to eat a diet that is good for their heart. An elderly care provider can assist with planning meals. Elderly care providers who shop with the older adult can also help to look for products that have the Heart Checkmark. In addition, an elderly care provider can cook meals for your loved one that are balanced and that they will enjoy.
If you or someone you know needs Homecare in Daphne, AL, please contact the friendly caregivers at Hughes Home Care. We provide quality and affordable care for your elderly loved ones in our community. Call Us Today 251-517-9901. Serving Mobile & Baldwin County.