When the air becomes crisper and cooler, seniors know that fall is on the way. Delicious baked bread and pastries as well as hearty, savory casseroles, soups, and roasts are a favorite part of autumn. However, what one may have been able to eat a few decades ago may no longer be a healthy choice, particularly for seniors who have underlying health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. Here are some tips for creating delightfully sweet or savory meals and treats with real ingredients to decrease negative health consequences.
Spices add tons of flavors without any calories. Moreover, many spices, such as cinnamon and garlic, have amazing health benefits. If you are cooking an Italian-style meal, try adding garlic powder, basil, marjoram or oregano. For more of a kick, try paprika, cumin, chili powder or cayenne. Savory soups and meats can be made more robust with a sprinkling of thyme or sage.
Make a Vinegar and Oil Dressing
Most store-bought dressings are full of unpronounceable ingredients. Seniors will consume plenty of sodium and sugar and typically a great deal of saturated fat by choosing creamy bottled dressings. Instead, they can save money, calories and their health by mixing up their own dressings made with heart-healthy oil, such as olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Swap Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream
Sour cream adds a smooth, rich taste to a creamy meal, but it also adds many calories. Fat-free options often have many added ingredients that come with their own sets of health risks. Instead, for most meals, seniors can substitute plain, unflavored low-fat Greek yogurt with many of the same benefits. Try it in dips, on Mexican-style dishes and in savory sauces. Greek yogurt can even be used in place of mayonnaise most of the time.
Choose Brown Rice or Quinoa
Many grains, such as whole wheat, enriched white flour, and white rice, can be hard for seniors to digest. They can also raise blood sugar quickly and cause it to plummet dramatically, which is particularly dangerous for seniors with diabetes. Seniors can choose gentle grains, such as brown rice, quinoa or barley for hearty flavors and rich textures in their meals.