As we age, most of our body’s systems slowly become less efficient, and our senses are no different. Both smell and taste greatly influence how much someone enjoys a meal, but dulled senses caused by aging might mean you aren’t enjoying once-loved classic meals as much as in the past. In times like these, many elderly Americans tend to reach for added seasonings and condiments that boost flavors, but this can lead to unhealthy levels of salt and sugar. Today, we will discuss the dangers of salt and sugar, ways to live without them, and how to counteract some of their unhealthy side effects.

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Dangers of Salt and Sugar

Both salt and sugar have specific risks to your body that have been well-understood for decades.

According to the CDC, high levels of sodium caused by salt lead to higher blood pressure and increased risk for cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Similarly, the CDC warns against consuming high amounts of added sugar, as it can cause obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions. Common medications can have side effects if they are taken in conjunction with high levels of both sugar and salt.

In addition to these dangers, consuming too much salt and sugar signals that your diet is not varied enough to provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals needed to thrive.

How To Improve Diet, Limit Health Concerns, and Resist Urges

Any concerted effort to improve your health should start with a consultation with a doctor or physician. Even though changing your eating habits in a healthier direction is very likely to improve your health outcomes, changing everything too quickly can shock your body and lead to drastic weight changes. You also might make a mistake and forget to include a crucial vitamin or mineral in your new diet.

Tip #1 – Drink More Water

Many people unknowingly live life in a constant state of low-level dehydration, not supplying their bodies with enough water to efficiently filter waste and perform necessary functions. Drinking more water can have noticeable effects by itself, but it also provides an alternative to sugary or salty drinks that drastically add to your overall daily intake of these substances. A large soda or iced tea might have the same sugar content as an entire dessert, so cutting out these drinks in favor of water lets you continue to enjoy some of life’s pleasures without worrying about overdoing it.

Tip #2 – Eat Healthy, Filling Meals Instead of Snacks

On a similar note, committing to three healthy meals daily is a great way to reduce sugar and salt. Few people sit down at the dinner table and start munching away on candy or potato chips. Instead, while rushing around throughout the day, they chew on snacks to feed their appetite. If you fill up on meals at set times each day, you will have less of an urge to snack as you go.

Tip #3 – Season Your Food Differently

If you make use of the two previous tips, you can cut out a lot of your daily intake of sugar and salt. However, even one meal full of added condiments can get you dangerously close to your daily limits. Depending on the brand, a tiny ketchup packet might have 3 grams of sugar and over 150 milligrams of sodium, nearly 10% of the daily recommended amount for seniors.

Instead, emphasize aromatics and spices in your cooking that provide unique flavors without harmful additions. Cinnamon in small quantities on dishes like oatmeal, plus garlic and rosemary for protein dinners, make all the difference in the world.

A Banyan Residence is an assisted living and memory care center in Venice, Florida. We help our residents’ overall health and well-being by assisting with cooking or providing prepared healthy meals. If you are looking for a new adult living residence to call home, call today for a tour.