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The Link between Sugar and Fat and Cardiovascular Disease

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

Seniors are often warned about the role of a high-fat diet in developing heart disease. However, many are confused about the impact of sugar on heart health. Studies often have conflicting conclusions on the best ways to protect the heart. Seniors and their loved ones should be aware of how both sugar and fat can increase the risk of heart disease.

If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elderly care, Oklahoma Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

The Source of Research Results Matters

In 1967, the Sugar Association released research information that downplayed sugar’s role in the development of heart disease while emphasizing fat as a dangerous risk factor. While fat is known to increase heart disease risk, it is not hard to see why the Sugar Association might have a vested interest in possibly skewing the results of the study. Back then, medical journals were not required to show the source of funding for medical studies.

Sugar Does Impact Heart Disease

When seniors eat too much sugar, it places them at risk for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and obesity. These conditions are risk factors for heart disease. Many sweet snacks are also full of fat, which can double the risk to a senior’s health. The current American Heart Association guidelines for sugar consumption are no more than six teaspoons a day for women and nine for men, but most Americans eat 22 or more teaspoons of sugar a day.

Fat Is Still Bad for Heart Health

Seniors and their family members should know that saturated fat is still bad for cardiovascular functioning. Although some healthy fats are necessary for optimal functioning, saturated fats increase the levels of bad cholesterol that raise the risk of heart disease. Seniors should limit their consumption of red meat, dairy products, baked goods, and fried foods, especially if they have other risk factors for heart problems.

Moderation Increases Heart Health without Deprivation

No one likes to feel deprived, and sometimes enjoying a small slice of cake or a portion of steak can make life better. Seniors who are concerned about heart health should limit their intake of sugar and high-fat foods. Staying within the recommended guidelines for fat and sugar consumption allows seniors to enjoy flavorful meals without overindulging. Exercising for 30 minutes five days a week can also help minimize the negative effects of eating fat and sugar on the heart.

Families who need help taking care of their senior family members can turn to Home Care Assistance. A caregiver in Oklahoma can encourage your loved one to adopt healthier habits and help him or her age in place safely and comfortably.

In addition to helping seniors maintain a healthy diet, we can also help family caregivers manage their health. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need respite from your caregiving duties, the Oklahoma respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our hourly care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. Call a qualified Care Manager at 405-285-4191 to learn about our senior home care services and to schedule a free in-home consultation.