As a general rule, the American Heart Association recommends that adults do not exceed more than 1/2 teaspoon of sodium each day. Ideally, the organization wants people to limit salt intake to 1/3 teaspoon, which is 1,500 mg.
The American Heart Association also has guidelines for how much sugar adults should consume. Women need to stay under 6 teaspoons per day, and men shouldn’t exceed 9 teaspoons.
Despite these recommendations, people often exceed these amounts. Many people consume double the amount they should when it comes to sugar. For salt, most adults consume around 7/10s of a teaspoon. If your mom and dad are overdoing it, they need to make these changes to their diet.
Stop Drinking Soda
Soda may be fizzy and refreshing, but it’s packed with sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. If they cannot live without the fizz from soda, they should switch to seltzer. It contains no sugar and still has the fizz. If they don’t like the taste, they could sweeten it naturally with an orange slice or some frozen blueberries.
It’s a good time to teach your parents how to read nutritional labels. They should look for sodium and sugar content. Pay attention to the serving size. If your parents purchase a can of soup and eat the entire can on their own, they need to multiple the sodium and sugar content by the number of servings in that can.
While reading labels, they should look for added sugar and salt that doesn’t seem necessary. A low-salt version may be better. Sugar may be hiding other under names like fructose, sucrose, or corn or cane sugar.
Packaged foods often have a lot of added salt and sugar. Canned soups may seem like healthy options, but they can be the worst offenders. A serving of Healthy Request Tomato Soup has 410 mg of sodium and 11 grams (2.33 teaspoons) of sugar. Each can has two and a half servings.
Save Takeout for Special Treats
Takeout Chinese may be quick, easy, and popular, but it’s also high in sodium and sugar. An order of General Tso’s Chicken tends to have 62 grams of sugar (5 teaspoons) and 3,200 mg of sodium. Pizzas can be just as bad. A small cheese pizza from Domino’s has 930 mg of sodium and 7 grams (1.4 teaspoons) of sugar.
Your parents will find packaged and takeout foods are the easiest to prepare. You could hire home care aides to cook for them. Home care aides come to their homes, become companions, and work with them to come up with meals that meet their nutritional needs.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Marysville, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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