Home > Elder Care Guide

How To Eat Heart-Healthy As Your Appetite Decreases

Eating foods that are good for the heart is something we should seek to do at any age, state of wellness, or indeed appetite. For many growing older or being less physically able brings a lower desire to eat, and for some that can mean not eating enough of the healthy foods our body needs — making it particularly difficult to do if you have a smaller appetite and don’t really want to eat very much at all.

Firstly, when your appetite decreases, it could be a sign that things are not well with your body, so you should certainly seek to get this checked out, especially if the decrease in appetite is sudden.

A common phenomenon

That said, it’s a fairly common phenomenon for our appetite to change or lessen as we grow older. Many people in their sixties notice that they do not like foods they previously enjoyed or cannot eat the same quantities at each meal,  making it harder to eat sufficient heart-healthy foods before they are too full.

If you are considering live in home care, then one of the questions you can ask potential carers is how they would help you manage your dietary needs and ensure that they can do so in a way that suits you. After all, one of the greatest reasons for choosing live in care is the ability of the carer to meet your needs when you are no longer can or want to do so for yourself.

What are heart-healthy foods?

  • Fish high in Omega-3 (it’s good for an ageing brain too)
  • Vegetables including most red, yellow, orange and green veggies
  • Fruits in particular berries, oranges, cantaloupe and papaya
  • Whole Grains, including seeds and oats
  • Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts

How to include heart health foods in your diet

Now you know what heart-healthy foods are, consider how you can include them in your daily meals and snacks. Here are a few tips on ways that might help you to include more of the foods that are known to be good for your heart in your diet:

  • Try to include a wide variety of foods at each meal and include something from the list above
  • Experiment with the way the foods are served, change colours, textures and temperatures to help ring the changes
  • Try to increase your activity level so that your appetite increases. 15 minutes of walking or light exercise can help
  • Share food with friends. This is where a live-in carer can become your companion and meal buddy, which certainly can help increase pleasure around mealtimes.
  • Make mealtimes an occasion, if you can manage to sit at the dining table. Bring out your best crockery, turn off the TV and devote a little time just eating to reinvigorate the joy of food.
  • Avoid sugary or artificial drinks and stick with water to help your body look to food for sustenance

If you have a live-in carer, they must understand your dietary needs and work with you to provide the foods you enjoy and include sufficient foods good for your health in your diet, in portions that you can manage and in ways that you want so you can have a healthy, heart boosting diet, while still enjoying every meal.

More to Read: