As we age, having a nutritious diet is necessary for maintaining good health. However, not all healthy foods are beneficial for seniors. Due to high levels of bacteria, these foods can lead to food poisoning and cause harm to our family members and loved ones. Other than high bacteria content, some of these “bad” foods may also clash with our loved ones’ medications and exacerbate their health conditions. Let’s find out which are the “bad” healthy foods we should avoid.
Raw Uncooked Foods
Firstly, you or your loved ones should not consume raw meat, such as steak tartare. As these meats are uncooked, bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter may still be present in large amounts. These bacteria can pose a major health risk, resulting in our loved ones becoming severely ill.
Secondly, raw or undercooked eggs should not be served to the younger and older members of the family because they may carry the Salmonella disease, which can wreak havoc on weaker immune systems.
The safest way to consume eggs and meat is to ensure that they have been fully cooked. According to the American Heart Association, an egg contains six grams of protein, vitamin D which aids bone health and strengthens the immune system, and choline which improves metabolism and liver function. Additionally, lean white meat like chicken and cooked seafood brings about benefits such as optimal brain functions and healthy joints.
Another type of food that older people should avoid is sushi that contains raw ingredients. While sushi is viewed as healthy food due to its incredible levels of vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, raw sushi such as sashimi should be avoided. Raw fish may contain parasitic worms that cause illnesses, as well as harbors bacteria that can lead to serious food poisoning, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Additionally, shellfish such as lobster, crabs, and oysters should always be cooked thoroughly to ensure that all harmful bacteria have been killed.
Unpasteurized Milk and Juices
If you thought that unpasteurized milk or juice is healthy due to the preserved minerals and high-fat content, you couldn’t be more wrong. Unpasteurized milk or juice can contain high levels of bacteria because they have not been super-heated at high temperatures to kill harmful bacteria. Since pasteurized milk and juices have equal benefits, you or your loved ones should stick with them instead.
Caffeine and Alcoholic Beverages
The adverse effects of caffeine are numerous. Caffeine can cause insomnia, increase your anxiety, headaches, and irregular heartbeat. The effects of caffeine may be worse if your loved one has a pre-existing heart condition.
The negative impact of alcohol on our bodies is a well-known fact. If your loved one has a chronic illness, alcohol addiction, or has to take certain types of medication such as antihistamines, painkillers or analgesics, and medications for hypertension, he or she should avoid taking alcohol at all costs.
Sodas, Sugary and “Sugar-Free” Drinks
It’s a known fact that sodas contain huge amounts of artificial sugar. A cola contains 39 grams of sugar in one serving, which is about 10 whopping teaspoons of sugar! In the long run, consuming excess sugar can open up a can of worms – obesity, diabetes, and other related health issues.
“Sugar-free” drinks are no better! Recent studies suggest that the excessive consumption of “sugar-free” energy drinks can result in significant damage to brain cells and increase the risks of stroke, cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. As such, even though some beverages are dubbed “sugar-free”, you should steer clear of them!