Planning a healthy and nourishing diet is an important part of keeping a senior healthy, but it can also be quite challenging. Many caregivers wonder whether including dairy products in their loved ones’ diets is a good idea. Dairy foods and beverages, including milk, cheese, and yogurt, may contain many useful nutrients, but they can also cause some health issues. When deciding if dairy products are right for your senior loved one, consider the following pros and cons.
Pro: Dairy Products Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a serious health issue that leads to fragile bones, and it’s caused by a lack of calcium. Most dairy products are loaded with calcium and other essential nutrients. Milk is often fortified with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium better, so it’s particularly helpful for seniors with osteoporosis.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Con: Dairy Products Aren’t Suitable for Seniors with Lactose Intolerance
Most dairy products contain a form of sugar called lactose, which is fairly easy to digest. However, some seniors lack the enzymes that aid in lactose digestion. For seniors with lactose intolerance, dairy products may cause issues ranging from mild stomachaches to severe gastrointestinal upset.
Pro: Fermented Dairy Products Boost Gastrointestinal Health
Many seniors need higher doses of probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that assist the stomach and intestines with digestion. Probiotics are typically found in fermented items. For seniors who dislike fermented vegetable options such as kimchi or sauerkraut, consuming fermented dairy products can increase their probiotic levels. Yogurt, kefir, and some types of cheeses contain plenty of healthy bacteria.
Caring for a loved one and finding the right dairy products for him or her can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Rhode Island family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Con: There Are High Hormone Levels in Dairy Products
Dairy farmers often treat cows with high doses of hormones to encourage growth, and these hormones make their way into milk. Steroids and growth hormones may have a profound effect on the human body, and they’ve been linked to increasing breast and prostate cancer risks. To reduce these risks, people can look for milk with a label stating it isn’t produced by cows treated with BST. Locally produced dairy products often contain fewer hormones than those produced on factory farms.
Pro: Dairy Products Provide Low-Fat Protein
Protein is an essential part of a good diet, but many seniors have difficulty finding protein sources that contain low volumes of cholesterol. For seniors, low-fat dairy products can be an ideal solution. A serving of milk contains 8 grams of protein, while a single slice of cheese contains up to 7 grams of protein.
Focusing on a nutritious diet is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health and wellbeing. In Rhode Island, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care plans, call us at (401) 284-0979 today.