Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease, or COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 80-percent of COPD diagnosed results from smoking, but that is not the only culprit. Pollution, second hand smoke, genetics and even diet are also contributing factors. While changing genetics or reducing exposure to environmental pollutants is not always possible, dietary changes are easy to make. With some modifications, many Los Angeles seniors can improve their health and reduce their risk of COPD.

The Association Between Diet and COPD

A study that included 73,228 female participants and 47,026 men was recently conducted to assess how diet impacted the risks of COPD. Each participant completed two surveys with information on their health status and current diet. The participants’ diets were rated using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, or AHEI. This score measures the amount of fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, polyunsaturated fat and Omega-3’s in a person’s diet. Higher scores include more of these components.

Poor Diet Increases Risks for Los Angeles Seniors

When conducting the follow up, researchers found that a higher number of individuals with lower AHEI scores had been diagnosed with COPD. These results remained consistent even when researchers accounted for body mass index, smoking, age and other influencing factors.

Implementing a Healthy Eating Plan

More research is needed to conclude that rates of COPD in Los Angeles can be reduced if more seniors implement healthy eating plans, but considering the many health benefits of eating a balanced diet, it is never too soon to make some positive changes. Seniors should strive to eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy grains. They should also include fish, nuts and other foods that contain high levels of Omega-3s and healthy fats in their diets. While it is important for seniors to consult with their primary care doctors to review any potential dietary changes, most physicians will endorse healthy eating plans due to the many known positive results.

The Importance of Support from Family, Friends and Los Angeles Home Care Providers

Seniors who have trouble standing to prepare meals or who cannot safely use the stove due to dementia often struggle the most when it comes to preparing healthy meals and eating a balanced diet. For these individuals, reducing the risks of COPD often involves seeking outside help. A trusted family member, volunteer or Los Angeles home care agency can provide meal preparation services as well as assistance with eating if necessary. The advantages of hiring a professional Los Angeles in home aide often include catering meals to the senior’s preferences and providing companionship at mealtime which often prompts seniors to consume the calories they need to remain healthy.

COPD is serious health condition that can result in severe injury or death. Taking any measures to reduce the number of seniors diagnosed with this disease is important. At Salus Homecare Los Angeles, we provide services that empower seniors to live happier, healthier lives. Our comprehensive programs include assisting seniors with meal preparation and other activities of daily living, and they are easily adjusted if a client’s needs change. If you or a loved one are struggling to remain healthy and independent at home, help is close at hand. Contact us for your free, no obligation consultation.

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