Current recommendations are that people should limit their sodium intake to one teaspoon per day. Those with high blood pressure or who are over the age of 50 should limit it further to around two-thirds of a teaspoon.
As you age, your tastes also change as the sense of smell lessens and cells in the tastebuds do not regenerate as quickly. Prescription medications may also impact how things taste. For some older adults, sweet and salty foods taste better. If salty foods are more appealing, it can be hard to say no to them. Your parents can beat those salty food cravings using these tips.
Get Enough Sleep
If your parents are short on sleep, their body may start craving foods that are carb-heavy, high-fat, and high-calorie like potato chips and french fries. Your parents should be getting at least seven hours of sleep per night. Eight hours is ideal.
To get the right amount of sleep, they should avoid a heavy meal within a couple of hours of bedtime. They should avoid too much water before bed, as their full bladder will wake them in the middle of the night. White noise like a fan can help drown out noises from outside.
Keep Roasted Nuts on Hand
Roasted, unsalted nuts are a good alternative to salty foods. Keep roasted pecans, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts on hand. Purchase them raw and roast them yourself. If flavoring is desired, you can avoid salt by using lemon juice and a blend of herbs and then roasting them.
Fill the Refrigerator With Vegetables
Carrots, celery, and cucumber sticks prove satisfying when there’s a craving for salt. Instead of a salt-laden dip, make your own using yogurt, cream cheese, herbs, and spices. You could mix yogurt, cream cheese, lemon peel, chives, garlic, black pepper, and dill for a take on ranch dip.
Switch to Homemade
Some of the items your parents crave can become appropriate choices if you make them from scratch. For example, french fries can be healthy if you bake them. Slice the potato into fingers and coat them in egg white and a salt-free herb blend. Place on a pan that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or a light coating of avocado, sunflower, or walnut oil.
Bake them in a hot oven until they’re golden and crispy. You’ll want to flip them to ensure even browning. You can also make them in an air fryer.
Have you thought about hiring elder care aides to cook your parents’ meals and prepare snacks? It’s one way to help your parents’ diets stay on track. An elder care representative can help you understand the prices and come up with a meal preparation plan that fits your family’s needs.