According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common kind of cancer, when skin cancer is not counted. They estimate that there will be 95,520 new cases of colon cancer and 39,910 cases of rectal cancer in 2017. When an older adult is diagnosed with colorectal cancer, it can change the way they need to eat. One of the changes the doctor may recommend is an increase in fiber intake.
Fiber May Reduce Risk of Death from Colon Cancer
A new study indicates that people who have been diagnosed with non-metastatic colon cancer may be able to reduce their risk of dying by one-fourth just by eating fiber. In fact, just 5 grams of fiber could make a difference. Researchers think that fiber may even reduce a person’s risk of developing colon cancer at all.
Researchers determined that the fiber found in cereals and whole grains may have the most benefit. Fiber from vegetables may reduce an overall risk of death, but not specifically death from colon cancer. Fiber from fruit wasn’t linked with a reduced risk of death for any reason. The researchers also determined that fiber consumed in foods was beneficial, while fiber supplements were not linked to a better survival rate.
Ways to Boost Fiber Intake
There are many ways you can help your aging family member to increase the amount of fiber in their diet. Here are some ways to boost fiber intake:
- Whole Grains: Pick foods that contain whole grains as often as possible. Read food labels and look for products that have whole grain as one of the first two ingredients. Keep in mind that foods that say “whole wheat” or “multigrain” may not be whole grain.
- Beans: Serve beans a couple of times each week. Beans have more fiber than many other plant foods. As a bonus, they also contain lots of protein.
- Flaxseed: Stirring a tablespoon of flaxseed into other foods, like smoothies or soups, won’t alter the taste, but it will increase fiber intake by 3 grams.
- Vegetables: Add a serving of vegetables to lunch and offer raw veggies as a snack. You might also make some vegetarian meals a few times per week.
If your senior family member needs to increase their fiber intake, hiring a senior care provider can help. Some older adults don’t eat as healthy as they should because they find cooking too much trouble or because they have physical or cognitive limitations that make it difficult. A senior care provider can prepare healthy meals that are high in fiber. Senior care providers can even take older adults grocery shopping for healthy ingredients.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Grand Ledge, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.