Because many studies have shown adopting a vegan diet can work wonders for a senior’s health, many people over 65 are choosing to abstain from eating animal products. However, like any diet, proper care needs to be taken to ensure all dietary needs are being met. Las Vegas caregivers discuss 5 things your elderly loved one needs to consider when going vegan.
1. Protein Deficiencies Are Common
One of the biggest concerns for seniors considering a vegan diet is protein deficiency. Even though many vegan products are an excellent source of protein, your loved one can still develop a deficiency if he or she is not careful, which means his or her fridge and pantry should always be stocked with foods like legumes and tofu.
2. Not All Vegan Food Is Healthy
One of the most common mistakes new vegans make is assuming every aspect this diet is completely healthy. Depending on how they are prepared, dishes with absolutely no animal products can sometimes be almost as unhealthy as fatty meats and dairy products. Your loved one needs to keep track of how much sugar and sodium he or she consuming when on a vegan diet.
3. A Slow Transition Might Be Easier
Starting a complex diet with absolutely no transitional period can potentially take a toll on your loved one’s body. Not only is a drastic change in eating habits mentally tough, but your loved one might not be ready for how the diet is going to affect his or her body. Some seniors who try out vegan dishes discover new allergies they never knew they had before.
4. Eating Out Can Be Challenging
Many people do not realize how difficult it can be to eat vegan outside of their home. Even the meals friends and family members cook might have meat-based broth or dairy products in them. Taking some time to find vegan dishes at your loved one’s favorite restaurant or looking for restaurants that are completely vegan can take some of the stress out of this process.
5. Supplements Are Essential
Every older adult should consider taking a high-quality multivitamin. Seniors are prone to nutritional deficiencies, and these issues can be compounded by a new diet. A multivitamin from a reputable company can fill in nutritional gaps and help your loved one remain healthy while eating vegan.
If you and your loved one would like some suggestions on healthy vegan dishes you can make at home, reach out to Las Vegas Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of respite and live-in care, and our caregivers are available around the clock to prepare nutritious meals, go grocery shopping, and help with a wide variety of other tasks. For more information on the home care Las Vegas seniors can rely on, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 702-550-3185 to request a free in-home consultation.