Each year, about 610,000 people in the United States die from a heart-related condition. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women.
One of the things that doctors often suggest to help people reduce their risk of heart disease is following the DASH diet. Now, research also suggests that adhering to the DASH diet might also lower the risk for depression, which is important since seniors are at an increased risk of developing the mental health condition.
What is the DASH Diet?
The DASH diet is often suggested as a means of lowering blood pressure, but it is also an overall healthy diet. The plan uses regular foods but incorporates nutritional goals.
Some aspects of the DASH diet are:
- Including lots of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables.
- Low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
- Nuts, fish, beans, poultry, fish, and vegetable oils.
- Avoiding foods that contain saturated fats.
- A limited amount of desserts and sugary drinks.
- Foods that contain potassium, fiber, magnesium, calcium, and protein.
Part of the diet also involves limiting the amount of sodium a person eats. The upper limit is 2,300 mg of sodium per day, but it’s even better to eat no more than 1,500 mg daily.
How the Diet May Help with Depression
A study led by Dr. Laurel Cherian with the Rush University Medical Center of Chicago hoped to determine if a diet could help reduce the risk of depression as well as using medications could. The study involved around 1,000 people, all of whom were 81 years old or older. Researchers followed them for six and a half years.
The results of the study were encouraging.
Those participants who followed the DASH diet had an 11 percent reduced risk of depression. In addition, researchers determined that people who followed a Western diet, high in saturated fat and red meat, had a higher rate of depression. However, the researchers also pointed out that more studies are needed since this study only proves a link between diet and depression but does not necessarily prove that a certain diet can stop depression.
If you would like to help your aging relative lower their risk of heart disease, and potentially the risk of depression, trying the DASH diet could help. Making such a change can be time-consuming, but a senior care provider can assist. Senior care providers can help to plan meals and shop for ingredients. Senior care providers can also prepare heart-healthy meals and snacks for your loved one.
If you or a family member are in need of a Home Care Service in Coconut Creek, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770.
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