8 Foods that Increase the Risk of Strokes

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A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked, and it’s typically caused by a blood clot or broken blood vessel. Though strokes are linked to circulatory system conditions, diet also has a huge effect on stroke risk. The foods seniors eat can alter their blood pressure and weaken their blood vessels. Seniors should avoid these eight foods because they can potentially increase the chances of having a stroke.


1. Smoked Meats

Bacon, ham, and other smoked meats can increase stroke risk because they’re packed with sodium. High sodium levels are one of the main causes of high blood pressure. Another issue with smoked meats is that they often contain a preservative called nitrite, which can make arteries harden and narrow.

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2. Diet Sodas

A 2011 study from Columbia University found seniors who drank at least one diet soda a day had a 60 percent higher risk of stroke. Though the researchers aren’t sure of the exact cause behind their results, it’s still wise for seniors to cut out the diet soda. 


3. Red Meat

Red meat is packed with saturated fat that can raise cholesterol levels. Higher cholesterol leads to higher blood pressure, narrowed blood vessels, and strokes. Chicken, turkey, and fish are typically better options. 


4. Canned Soups

Soup is generally a healthy meal for seniors, but canned soups are often loaded with sodium. Just one can of chicken noodle soup can cause a senior to consume more than the daily recommended amount of sodium. Always make sure to read the labels and check sodium levels beforehand if your loved one wants to eat canned soups. 


5. Packaged Snacks

Snacks such as cookies, chips, crackers, and cakes are normally loaded with trans fats. These dangerous fats cause cholesterol buildup that easily blocks arteries. Trans fats also cause high inflammation levels, which are linked to stroke risks.


6. Frozen Meals

Frozen TV dinners might seem like a convenient option for seniors who don’t want to cook, but they often contain unhealthy ingredients. These types of premade frozen meals are normally filled with sodium. Even vegan options are often packed with salt, so it’s important to read labels before serving your loved one a frozen meal. 

Encourage your loved one to prepare nutritious meals that can boost his or her health. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of respite care. Orlando seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable home caregivers.


7. Alcohol

Though a moderate amount of red wine can be healthy for the heart, a higher intake causes severe spikes in blood pressure. Seniors should keep their alcohol intake below seven drinks a week and never drink more than three drinks in a single day.


8. Fried Foods

Anything deep-fried should be avoided because fried foods often contain a blend of both saturated and trans fats. These fats can raise cholesterol levels and clog arteries. 

If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits that promote overall health, consider hiring a professional caregiver. When considering home care, Orlando, FL, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. Call Assisting Hands Home Care to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.

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