Don’t Ignore This One Thing When Choosing A Nursing Home

Many of us have loved ones who’ve reached a point in their lives where they’re best cared for in a nursing home. You only want the best for your elderly mother, father or relative, so you’ve hunted high and low and finally found a home that seems friendly, comfortable and filled with people and staff they’ll connect with.

But while things may appear idyllic on the surface, if you look a little deeper, there’s a nasty secret your nursing home is trying to hide: bad food.

If you’re a regular reader of The Alternative Daily articles, you’re probably aware by now that food is not meant to just fill us up; it is essential for providing our bodies with the energy and building blocks we need to thrive. Eating a healthy diet supports healthy organ function, balanced hormones, strong immunity and resistance to illness and disease.

By the same token, a nutrient-poor or toxin-heavy diet has the power to do the opposite of all these wonderful things. A bad diet can quickly send your health in an exponential downward spiral, opening the door to harmful pathogens, disease, hormonal imbalance, mental instability and general unhappiness.

Sadly, in most nursing homes around the country, that’s exactly what is happening to our aged loved ones. Next time you schedule a visit to see your parent or relative in their nursing home, time it so that you’re around for one of the scheduled daily meals. Sit back and observe — you’ll probably be shocked by what you see.

For starters, you’ll probably notice a lot of really bad condiments being used for food and drinks. Non-dairy creamers, for example, are crammed with nasty trans fats and high fructose corn syrup, not to mention chemical preservatives and a myriad of other harmful additives, which make this cream substitute as close to poison as a food can get. So, instead of adding real cream, with its healthy fats and plethora of nutrients and vitamins, to their tea and coffee, they’re actually adding something that is doing them harm.

After adding the fake cream to their hot beverage of choice, in goes the artificial sweetener. Nevermind the potential these sweeteners have as possible carcinogens, it’s the preservatives and hormone-altering synthetic compounds we are worried about here. They’re avoiding those pesky calories found in conventional sugar sweeteners, but they’re introducing artificial food compounds, which the body has no idea how to process and which therefore have the potential to do some serious damage.

Next, it’s time to butter up that gluten-laden bread and slather on some questionable preserves. The “butter” being given to your loved ones actually has no resemblance to what it claims to be, and in fact, is composed of unhealthy, heat-treated vegetable oils, which damage the heart and clog arteries. The jam is loaded with (you guessed it) high fructose corn syrup, as well as a range of chemical preservatives, pesticide and herbicide residues from the non-organic source fruits, and almost no nutrients left from the original fruit.

Finally, the main course is a little bland, so how about adding some salt to spice things up a little? Unfortunately, the only salt you’ll find in a nursing home spread is ultra-refined table salt, which has had all other minerals removed and a range of questionable anti-caking agents added to take their place. We’ve all heard about how we need to cut down on our salt intake, but that’s only when it’s not real sea salt or unrefined mineral salt, which still contain all the essential minerals your body needs to function as it should. The elderly aren’t getting these kinds of salts in their nursing homes, and it’s doing them damage.

And remember, this is just the condiments. Turn your attention to other aspects of their meals, and things will likely be just as dire. Meats sourced from factories where the animals are pumped with hormones and antibiotics and fed diets designed to fatten them up faster at the cost of their health. Breads, pastas and baked goods made from grains that were farmed using herbicides and toxin-intensive techniques, and which have absolutely no nutrient value. Vegetables intensively farmed and thoroughly coated in pesticides, herbicides and carcinogenic chemicals. The list goes on, and the more you delve, the more you’ll want to get your loved one well away from this place.

And you wouldn’t be the only person to think this way. A survey of over 100 nursing home residents and staff from 32 facilities across 10 counties in Kentucky found the biggest complaint coming out of these homes was the food. And these weren’t just unfounded whinings. One regional nursing home facility switched from serving respectable pieces of steak or chicken to only handing out chicken nuggets at mealtime. Another facility places three slices of thin deli meat on residents’ plates for their meals.

This just isn’t acceptable, so if you want the best for your loved ones, make sure you find them a home that guarantees healthy, nourishing food — not chicken nuggets or deli meat.

If you’re interested in learning more about how real food can nurture the body, prevent disease and slow aging, check this out.

—Liivi Hess

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