When your elderly parent is thirsty, what do they typically reach for? There are many beverage choices available, from water, to juice, to soft drinks, to coffee. It’s easy to forget about the calories, sugar, and other substances in beverages. People tend to think more about the foods they eat than what they drink. However, research shows that what your parent drinks may have more of an impact on their health than you may think. Below are some common beverages and how they affect your parent’s health.
Water is widely considered the best beverage option. The body is made up of 60 percent water, so it stands to reason people need to drink it to maintain the balance of fluid. It also contains no calories, so there’s no fear of it causing your parent to gain weight. And, while it cannot make wrinkles go away, staying hydrated will help seniors to maintain plumper skin that appears younger.
A glass of juice can be a tasty way to add fruit to your parent’s diet. Just make sure it’s 100 percent fruit, and not merely fruit flavored. A glass of juice here and there can be healthy but drinking too much of it can be a problem because fruit juice is high in calories. An 8-ounce glass of fruit juice contains about 100 calories and 24 grams of carbohydrates. That’s about the same as drinking 8 ounces of soda. However, the upside of drinking juice is that it offers vitamins and antioxidants that are not present in soda.
Speaking of soda, sugary sodas are among the worst drink choices your parent can make. Drinking sugar-sweetened drinks like soda has been associated with increased risk of serious diseases, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease. In addition, they can cause tooth decay. Drinking a lot of soda can also lead to weight gain. Research shows that drinking diet sodas isn’t much better in terms of weight gain, either. Studies show that frequent consumption of diet soda is linked to weight gain as well, particularly around the waist, where it increases the chances of heart disease.
If your parent tends to reach for unhealthy beverages, a senior care provider can assist them to make healthier choices. A senior care provider can make certain your parent always has access to a glass or bottle of cold, fresh water. Having water nearby at all times will make them more likely to drink it instead of getting up to get a soda or other unhealthy beverage. Senior care providers can also prepare cups of herbal tea, decaffeinated coffee, or water infused with fruit to offer your parent some variety.
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN URBANDALE, IA, FOR A SENIOR LOVED ONE, CONTACT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF DES MOINES, IA AT 515-631-5033. OUR CARING STAFF CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!