I believe that a key reason my mother & mother-in-law & the great Anne Hyatt stayed physically & mentally fit was because a modest percentage of their diet came from commercially processed foods.
Some people might balk at including Anne, who dealt with dementia for well over her last seven years. She made the cut because other than forgetting the day & date from one moment to the next, she craved being around interesting people & engaging conversations, loved the mental & emotional energies around a good discussion. And I chalk a good portion of the credit for that going to eating her fair share of fresh veggies & fruit, lean meats & other healthy proteins.
Just like Mom & Mom M. Up until her last couple years, Mom made the bulk of our meals. Orn In 1910, she defined old school in her cooking – from scratch meant just that, NOT opening a jar or defrosting an entree. Mom M., who was her own chef right to the end, kept her meals simple but wholesome. They had the advantage of children who helped with the shopping, while Anne ate the majority of her meals in one of Rydal Park’s three (3) restaurants, ranging from a cafeteria to the casual Club Room to the formal dining room; the food in each was prepared by skilled chefs & experienced kitchen staff
Alas, I also have friends who are not so lucky, who pop a frozen entree in the microwave or heat up a hot dog.
If you have an elder among your loved ones, check out what they are eating. If they seem to be just eeking out their meals, step up to the plate – or platter. Make them HEALTHY meals they can keep in the freezer & pop out as they need them. Make sure they have a supply of fresh or frozen veggies & fruits. Prep several days of yogurt with their favorite fruit on top (Mom was partial to blackberries, blueberries, raspberries – meh to strawberries) for them to top with a 1/4 of good quality granola for a yummy healthy satisfying breakfast; easy to do & considerably healthier than commercially prepared fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts. Invest in a single-cup hot beverage maker. ASK THEM TO A MEAL AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK.
They’re not high tech suggestions, but in my purely subjective experience, being an UNprocessed server to our older friends & loved ones can make a huge difference in oldsters elders ancient’s quality, even quantity of life..