5 Reasons to Quit Eating Meat in the Golden Years

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Seniors need protein for cellular growth, repair, and function. However, recent research has raised some concerns about eating red meat in the golden years. In addition to beef, red meat comes from bison, deer, lamb, and swine. Here are a few reasons seniors should quit eating meat.

1. Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Red meat contains a chemical compound known as carnitine. During the digestion process, carnitine converts into trimethylamine N-oxide, which is associated with hardening of the arteries. A study published in Nature Medicine explained that trimethylamine N-oxide may clog blood vessels. Red meats are known to contain saturated fats, which contribute to plaque formation and increase the likelihood of experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

Quitting red meat is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Douglas County, CO, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Decrease the Risk of Cancer

The World Health Organization announced in 2015 that bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and other processed meats contain compounds that stimulate malignant growth. Studies performed by researchers from ten different countries determined that eating beef, lamb, pork, and veal may increase the risk of developing pancreatic or prostate cancer. The chemicals that give meat its distinctive red color damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, which leaves the system susceptible to cancer. Other cancers linked with red meat affect the breasts and kidneys.

3. Lower the Risk of Diabetes

According to researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, consuming processed or unprocessed red meats raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers recommend that people consume no more than two servings of red meat each week. The fat contained within meat commonly causes people to gain weight, and obesity is a well-known diabetes risk factor.

There are many seniors who need help preparing nutritious meals that lower their risk for diabetes. 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 Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Douglas County seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

4. Stave Off Bacterial Infections

The improper processing or cooking of red meat may lead to bacterial infections. Due to their impaired immune systems, older adults are likely to become severely ill when exposed to the bacteria. E. coli is a special concern in contaminated or raw meats. This type of bacteria poses a risk to a senior’s immune system and is known to damage the kidneys and other organs. Initial symptoms are similar to food poisoning and include diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration.

5. Reduce the Likelihood of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

The iron content in red meat has been associated with inflammation that contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Consuming red meat in abundance causes iron to accumulate in the brain, which triggers the damaging effects. Many seniors develop anemia from iron deficiencies. However, other protein sources are able to correct the issue.

Giving up red meat is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices older adults should consider. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Douglas County Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging loved one, give us a call at 720-287-1685 today.