Healthy Ideas For The Grill and Barbecue



When the light stays longer, and the warm evening seem a little more relaxed, get the barbecue out and plan an easy healthy meal.

A meal cooked on the barbecue is a great way to enjoy the warmth of the season, enjoy quality time with your loved ones, and create new memories.


If you haven’t used your barbecue yet this year, or it need a little TLC, read Getting Your Barbecue Ready For The Season.


Here are some Heart Healthy Barbecue tips to keep in mind:


For Meat, Poultry and Fish


  • Go for grilled fish more often.  The healthiest types include salmon, trout and herring, which are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Buy chicken breasts – and remember to remove the skin before eating – instead of the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs).  Or try grilling up chicken or turkey burgers using breast meat, and add diced onions for another layer of flavor.
  • What cut of meat to buy?  Choose “loin” and “round” cuts of red meat and pork.  And buy “choice” or “select” grades of beef instead of “prime.”  While these have the least amount of fat, don’t forget to trim the fat when you get home.
  • Use a rack so the fat drips away from the food.



For Side Dishes, Drinks and Desserts


  • Go green… and red, orange, yellow, purple and more.  Serve green leafy salads or fruit salads (or a combination of both, like baby spinach with strawberries or mixed greens with orange slices) instead of mayonnaise-based salads.  Add some crunch – and healthier fats – with some toasted walnuts or almonds instead of croutons.
  • Instead of potato chips, which can be high in saturated and trans fats, serve raw veggies like cucumber, carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and broccoli and cauliflower florets with a low-fat dip.
  • Drink water or diet soda.  Regular sodas are loaded with sugars and calories.
  • Cut back on commercially baked foods, like cookies, pies and cakes.  Remember that most store-baked goods are made with egg yolks, butter or shortening and other ingredients that are high in saturated fat and/or trans fat.
  •  A smoothie with luscious fresh fruit in season, fat-free vanilla or lemon yogurt and a touch of honey makes a healthy, refreshing dessert alternative.
  • Try grilling fruits like pineapple slices, nectarines, peaches or plums – the natural sugars caramelize with the heat and give them great flavor.  Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories.



Oils, Dressings, Seasoning and More


  • Multi-task with one bottle… Use reduced-fat, low-fat, light or no-fat salad dressings (if you need to limit your calories) on salads, for dips or as marinades.
  • Watch the salt – cut back on salty seasonings and condiments like teriyaki, soy and barbecue sauce.
  • Choose low-fat, reduced-fat or fat-free cheese for your sandwiches and hamburgers.
  • Choose whole-grain, high-fiber breads and rolls, such as whole wheat, oats, oatmeal, whole rye, whole-grain corn and buckwheat.  In addition to being good for you, they add more flavor and texture to your meal.


Some Delicious, Quick and Healthy Barbecue Recipes To Get You Started






With a wonderfully complex and flavorful sauce like this, the chicken and zucchini need almost no seasoning―just salt, pepper, and the grill’s flame. The salsa’s combination of tangy, briny, herbal, and nutty flavors is perfect for chicken, pork, fish, or shrimp, especially if they’re grilled. To save soaking the skewers for a half an hour, use metal ones instead of wood.


1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons capers, chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch slices (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



1. Soak 12 (10-inch) wooden skewers in water 30 minutes to prevent burning.

2. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

3. To prepare salsa, combine first 12 ingredients; set aside.

4. To prepare spiedini, thread chicken and zucchini alternately onto each of 12 (10-inch) skewers. Coat spiedini with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place on grill rack; grill 6 minutes or until done, turning once. Serve with salsa.


6 servings (serving size: 2 spiedini and 2 1/2 tablespoons salsa)

Nutritional Information

Calories 187
Calories from fat 26 %
Fat 5.5 g
Sat fat 0.9 g
Mono fat 2.9 g
Poly fat 1.1 g
Protein 28.7 g
Carbohydrate 6.3 g
Fiber 2.2 g
Cholesterol 66 mg
Iron 2.1 mg
Sodium 376 mg
Calcium 56 mg

Grilled Sirloin Salad

Opposites attract in this dish: hot steak sits atop cold salad, and tender meat contrasts with crunchy vegetables. The basic salad with red wine-lemon vinaigrette is easy and works great, but you can customize the salad with your favorite vegetables (or fruits) and dressing. Just about anything will match the steak.


1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lean boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
8 cups spring-blend salad greens
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained and rinsed


Combine first 7 ingredients; rub over both sides of steak. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Add steak; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut the steak across grain into thin slices.

While steak cooks, combine salad greens and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Top with steak.


4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and 3 cups salad)

Nutritional Information

Calories 278
Calories from fat 28 %
Fat 8.7 g
Sat fat 2.7 g
Mono fat 3.7 g
Poly fat 1 g
Protein 30.4 g
Carbohydrate 22 g
Fiber 6.1 g
Cholesterol 76 mg
Iron 6.1 mg
Sodium 530 mg
Calcium 106 mg

Spinach Salad with Grilled Shrimp

An Asian-flavored vinaigrette with an orange juice kicker is the secret to this simple salad, while ginger and cumin give the shrimp skewers nice spice.


2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Cooking spray
8 cups baby spinach (about 8 ounces)
2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion


Prepare grill.

To prepare dressing, combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Set aside.

To prepare shrimp, combine 2 teaspoons olive oil and next 6 ingredients (through shrimp) in a large bowl; toss well. Thread about 5 shrimp onto each of 6 (8-inch) skewers. Place skewers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes or until done.

To prepare salad, add spinach, mushrooms, and onion to vinegar mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve with shrimp skewers.


6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups salad and 1 shrimp skewer)

Nutritional Information

Calories 181
Calories from fat 29 %
Fat 5.9 g
Sat fat 0.9 g
Mono fat 3 g
Poly fat 1.2 g
Protein 24.8 g
Carbohydrate 6.9 g
Fiber 1.3 g
Cholesterol 172 mg
Iron 3.9 mg
Sodium 478 mg
Calcium 96 mg
Recommended: Char-Broil’s Grill Yourself Skinny
Char-Broil’s Grill Yourself Skinny is for everyone who loves grilled foods and healthy eating. This is not a fad diet book but a collection of 130 nutritionally sound recipes that rely on science to pack a nutritious and delicious punch.
Author Heidi Skolnik, MS,CDN, FACSM, is a nationally recognized thought leader in nutrition who believes that all types of foods can fit into a healthy diet. In this book, she offers mouth-watering, healthy recipes for everything from Steak and Eggs on the Grill to Grilled Strawberries with Balsamic Port Glaze, Blue Cheese & Walnuts.
Plus, you’ll find lots of savory seafood, poultry, meat, and vegetable dishes, including some from a host of celebrated chefs, such as Angelo Basilone, Executive Chef of the New York Giants and Brad Farmerie, Executive Chef at Public in New York City.
Each recipe comes with a breakdown of calories, protein, carbohydrate, and fiber, for those who are counting. You’ll also find informative Nutrition 411 sidebars sprinkled throughout the book.  Read the reviews
Do you enjoy barbecuing and grilling?

Parkinson’s Swallowing and Dental Problems

Parkinson’s Swallowing and Dental Problems




Most people with PD (Parkinson’s Disease)  have swallowing problems.

This article outlines the effects of PD on swallowing and dental health and provide tips for staying safe, eating well and establishing a routine for dental care.


Parkinson’s and Swallowing


Because swallowing involves a very complex sequence of movements, it is no surprise that PD — a movement disorder — affects swallowing.

For example, the slowness of movement that often comes with PD may affect chewing, biting, the ability to work the tongue and the ability to get food or liquid down in one bite.


What are other signs of a problem? A person with PD may lose food or liquid out of the mouth, may swallow in small bites or sips or may have difficulty with certain textures. He or she may stop eating foods that are difficult to swallow, may cough or have a wet or hoarse voice while eating and drinking.

The term for swallowing difficulty is dysphagia. It affects the mechanics of swallowing and quality of life. Many people become frustrated or embarrassed and isolate themselves from social activities such as dining with friends or family.

More importantly, dysphagia can lead to malnutrition, dehydration and aspiration (when food or liquid “goes down the wrong pipe”). Aspiration, which can sometimes be “silent,” meaning a person does not cough or choke, can lead to aspiration pneumonia — the leading cause of death in PD. Thus, it is important to ensure that people with PD can swallow effectively and eat safely.


What Can Be Done?

The first step to addressing swallowing issues is to speak to a neurologist about getting an evaluation performed by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). This professional will take a medical history and interview the person with PD about eating and swallowing.

This is typically followed by either a video x-ray or an endoscopic examination, which allow the medical specialist to observe the swallowing process as an individual sips liquid and eats food, as these substances flow from the mouth, down the throat and esophagus, to the stomach.

With these tests, it is possible to see where exactly the trouble is occurring, and to recommend therapies.

Follow the recommendations of the swallowing specialist, which may include the following:


Exercise and Swallow Hard. Just as exercise can ease other PD-related movement difficulties, it can also help with swallowing.

One technique is the Lee Silverman Voice Technique® (LSVT®), familiar to many people with PD as a therapy to help people improve speech. It helps a person to exaggerate speaking and swallowing.

In addition, working with an SLP on an individualized program can help the person to swallow hard and move food from the mouth down the throat.


Expiratory Muscle Strength Training. This therapy strengthens respiratory muscles, improves cough and swallowing and reduces aspiration.


Change the Food. Modifying liquids into solids can help. For people who find that liquids get into the airway, liquids need to be thickened or avoided completely.



Tip:  For those who are having difficulty eating enough nutrition and calories, I recommend using a thickener in a nutritional supplement drink to make a meal replacement “pudding.”

When my mother barely eating, we gave her Boost Very High Calorie Nutritional Drinks.  They are very palatable, and don’t contain lactose.  This is a good option to provide much-needed calories, and can be thickened into a pudding with Thick-It.  (You can read about what happened to my mother here).

Swallowing difficulties can also be eased by taking bigger or smaller bites or sips — or by pureeing the solid foods. The best first step is to obtain an evaluation, so the SLP can recommend how to modify food and liquid.





Parkinson’s and Dental Care


Regular visits to the dentist are important for all of us. For a person who has PD, dental care is even more critical because PD can impact the health of the mouth, teeth and jaw and make dental care challenging.

Rigidity or tremor may make it difficult to brush one’s teeth. Symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety and tremor can make it difficult to commute to appointments, sit still in the dentist’s chair or open the mouth wide.

Common PD symptoms and side effects such as rigidity, tremor and dyskinesias can cause discomfort in the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull.

They can also be a cause of cracked teeth, tooth wear, changes in the fit and wear of dentures and tooth grinding.

Too much saliva can lead to a fungal infection at the corners of the mouth, which is easily treated.

By contrast, too little saliva or dry mouth increases the risk of cavities. Sucking on sugar-free hard candy or using artificial saliva substitutes can help. It may also help to avoid alcohol, tobacco and spicy and acidic foods.


Tips for Visits to the Dentist


A few tips can significantly improve dental visits. Call first to make the office aware of you or your loved one’s PD symptoms. This will help the dentist and the staff to provide better treatment.

The dentist should have a sense of overall health of a person with PD, and someone on staff should record vital signs upon arrival.

It is important to tell the dentist if the person with PD is taking MAO-B inhibitors (rasagiline and selegiline), as these may interact with anesthetics.

Lastly, because dental visits may become more troublesome as PD progresses, consider scheduling the replacement of old fillings, crowns and bridges, and ill-fitting dentures, during the early stages of PD.


Tips For the Dental Appointment


  • Ask to keep the dental chair more upright, to make swallowing easier.
  • Plan short appointments early in the day.
  • Schedule appointments to start about 60-90 minutes after a levodopa dose.
  • After the treatment is over, get up slowly from the dental chair (to prevent dizziness).
  • Request all instructions in writing, with copies for the care partner as well as the patient.
  • Schedule check-ups and cleanings every three to six months.
  • For people who wear dentures, the dentist should screen for oral cancer and evaluate the fit of the dentures as part of the routine visit.


Dental Tips for Home

Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with an over-the-counter fluoride rinse help prevent cavities and gum disease, but PD movement symptoms can interfere with one’s ability to maintain oral hygiene.
People with PD should try using a toothbrush with a large-handled grip and soft bristles. A small brush head reaches the corners better. To make the toothbrush easier to grasp, it may help to place the handle inside a bike handlebar grip or tennis ball or to use an electric toothbrush.

Aim to brush after every meal for two minutes, and also brush the tongue. It’s best to brush one-handed, using the stronger side of the body. If it’s not possible to brush after a meal, simply rinsing the mouth with water will help.

Flossing is important, but may mean getting help from a care partner. For fluoride rinses, if swishing and spitting are difficult, the dentist may recommend a brush or sponge applicator. Antimicrobial mouth rinses also can be applied with a brush.

If you have dentures, remove after each meal, brush and rinse them. At night, brush or clean them in a solution.


The online community at The Michael J. Fox Foundation offer these suggestions for daily dental homecare:


  • Brush your teeth while listening to music. For some people with PD, music can help calm movement and may help you get into a rhythm making tooth brushing easier.
  • Invest in an electric toothbrush. While a bit pricier than manual toothbrushes, going electric can make brushing teeth much easier. Get an electric toothbrush with a 2-minute timer.




  • Talk with your dentist about prescription toothpaste, one with a higher percentage of fluoride than regular paste. PD medications can cause dry mouth, leading to cavities and gum disease.
  • A water flosser (e.g. WaterPik) helps clean between teeth and may be easier to use than string floss.




  • Use a small dab of toothpaste and encourage spitting so not to swallow excess paste.


  • Sit while you brush. Set up a mirror at chair level and use the chair arms to help steady you while brushing.


Find a balance between maintaining independence and asking for help when you need it. A dental hygienist can help you or your caregiver with good techniques


Some additional suggestions are:

  • Safely clean dentures daily by attaching a nailbrush to a household surface with a suction cup and then moving the denture back and forth across the brush.
  • Have regular dental examinations and cleanings. Schedule morning appointments when waiting time is shorter and plan for several shorter appointments.



Final Thoughts

Parkinson’s can affect a person’s ability to swallow, and maintain dental and oral health.The good news is you, or a loved one with PD, can address these difficulties, while making meals enjoyable.


Recommended Reading:



Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.







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Parkinson’s Disease and Low Blood Pressure



Parkinson’s Disease and Low Blood Pressure






Parkinson’s patients commonly experience a condition known as orthostatic hypotension (OH), or low blood pressure. 


If you have experienced it, you may already know that this symptom is common in mid- and late-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD), and it can be quite alarming.

Orthostatic hypotension is a sharp drop in blood pressure that happens when a person gets up from bed or from a chair, causing dizziness or even loss of consciousness. 

Doctors define it as a blood pressure drop of 20 millimeters of mercury (20 mm Hg) in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading), or a drop of 10 millimeters in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number), within three minutes after standing up.

The condition can put people with Parkinson’s at risk of fainting, losing balance, falling, and being injured. 

What can you do?  One thing you can do is learn strategies to predict when blood pressure is most likely to fall.  Another is to take steps to avoid feeling dizzy in the first place.


Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure in Parkinson’s Patients


Your doctor can test for OH by measuring your blood pressure.  If you feel a little dizzy when you first stand up — but the feeling passes quickly — you probably do not have the condition. 

If instead your blood pressure continues to drop after a minute or more of standing, this may suggest a problem.

It is important that your physician measure your blood pressure while you are lying down, sitting and standing.  Sometimes, the problem of OH is only revealed when the blood pressure is measured in these three positions.
The symptoms of OH include the following:


  •     lightheadedness
  •     dizziness
  •     weakness
  •     difficulty thinking
  •     headache
  •     feeling faint




Causes of Low Blood Pressure in Parkinson’s Patients


Normally, when a person rises from lying down or sitting, the blood vessels constrict and send blood from the legs and trunk up to the head.  In addition, the heart beats slightly faster and more forcefully.  In people living with PD, the heart rate may not increase upon standing, and the blood pressure may drop as a result.

Both Parkinson’s itself, and the medications that are used to treat it, can contribute to OH.  In addition, people with Parkinson’s may be on other medications that affect blood pressure. 

Specifically, the medications that can cause OH in Parkinson’s include carbidopa/levodopa (Sinemet®), bromocriptine (Parlodel®), ropinirole (Requip®), and pramipexole (Mirapex®); drugs for high blood pressure, including calcium channel blockers; certain antidepressants;  drugs to treat urinary problems, such as prazosin (Minipress®) and terazosin (Hytrin®); and drugs for erectile dysfunction (e.g., Viagra®).

Additional causes include diuretics, cardiac disease, dehydration, fever, and anemia.




How to Avoid Orthostatic Hypotension in Parkinson’s Patients


If you can recognize your symptoms and are aware of what makes them worse, you can take steps to reduce and avoid them.

Most important is to avoid dehydration, especially during the months of hot weather. 

Ask your doctor to identify the medications you are taking that may lower your blood pressure, and see if a change in dose is indicated. 

Avoid abrupt changes in position.


Be aware of behaviors and circumstances that can make orthostatic hypotension worse, such as:


  • dehydration
  • exposure to heat
  • fever
  • prolonged standing
  • vigorous exercise
  • drinking alcohol
  • certain times of day (especially early morning)
  • straining while going to the bathroom
  • changing the position of the body (e.g., standing up)
  • meals high in carbohydrates





Drug Therapies for Low Blood Pressure in Parkinson’s Patients


Ask your doctor whether there are any medicinal approaches that will help you manage OH and its effects.   Options may include droxidopa (NORTHERA™),midodrine hydrochloride (ProAmatine®), fludrocortisone (Florinef®) or pyridostigmine (Mestinon®).  Be aware that medications that raise low blood pressure to normal levels when a person is standing may cause high blood pressure when a person is lying down.

Tips for Avoiding Orthostatic Hypotension in Parkinson’s Patients


  • Drink lots of water and other fluids, at least one cup (eight ounces) with meals and two more at other times of the day.
  • After consulting your doctor, increase your salt intake by eating prepared soups or pretzels.  (Note: for people with heart disease, this should be avoided.)
  • Exercise gently and regularly — and avoid long periods of inactivity.
  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Reduce alcohol intake.
  • Avoid hot drinks and hot foods.
  • If you expect to be standing for a long period of time — while shopping, for example — quickly drink two eight-ounce glasses of cold water.  This will increase blood volume and causes blood pressure to go up for a couple of hours.


If you experience dizziness in the morning:


  • Raise the head of the bed by four inches (10 cm).
  • Drink two eight-ounce cups of cold water 30 minutes before getting up.
  • Do isometric exercises before getting up that contract the leg or feet muscles.  For example, raise the toes, contract the thigh muscles and hold for 30 seconds, or march the legs slowly in place.
  • Shift slowly from lying to sitting and then standing.
  • Try putting on an abdominal binder before you get out of bed (and remove it before lying down again).  Compression garments such as antigravity stockings can be effective in preventing OH.



Recommended Reading:

Recent innovations, including deep brain stimulation and new medications, have significantly improved the lives of people who have Parkinson’s disease.

Nevertheless, patients and families continue to face many challenges.

They have long relied on this book for reliable advice about medical, emotional, and physical issues. Bringing this trusted guide up to date, three expert neurologists describe:

• New understandings gained by five years of additional research on Parkinson’s disease

• New focus on the importance of exercise

• New information about imaging techniques such as SPECT Scan and DATScan that are aiding in the diagnosis

• New findings about the genetics of the disease

• Promising uses of new technologies such as tablet devices for people who have trouble communicating

• Information about impulse control disorders caused by some drugs used to address the symptoms of the disease

• A complete update on treatments such as medications, surgery, and more



Recommended BP Monitor:

Omron 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with Widerange ComFit(TM) Cuff


No. 1 doctor and pharmacist recommended home blood pressure monitor

Manage and track up to 200 readings on your blood pressure monitor and unlimited readings on your smartphone with Omron’s free iOS and Android applications

Comfortable and simple to adjust, the pre-formed ComFit(TM) Cuff inflates around the entire arm to avoid incorrect cuff positioning ensuring a precise reading and expandable cuff fits standard and large arms

Easy-to-read screen features a backlight, extra large digits and multi-colored indicator lights that show how your reading compares to normal home blood pressure levels

Feel empowered by accuracy with exclusive technology that automatically displays the average of your last 3 readings taken within the last 10 minutes and detects irregular heartbeats.




Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.








You may also be interested in:

Planning Ahead for Parkinson’s Needs

Best Exercises for Parkinson’s Disease – A Complete Physical Activity Guide

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Parkinson’s Swallowing and Dental Problems

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Healthiest Supplement Drinks for Seniors and Diabetics

Healthiest Supplement Drinks for Seniors and Diabetics



The Benefits of Liquid Supplement Drinks In Your Parent’s Diet


As our parents age, one of the worries we have to contend with is whether or not they are receiving adequate nutrition from their daily diets. Nutritional drinks may help fill nutrition gaps in your diet.


The simple fact is that, as we age, our nutritional needs change. However, most of our diets never make the transition necessary to accommodate our changing nutritional requirements.


See my full reviews below



Undernutrition in the Elderly


According to one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Undernutrition is a risk factor for increased mortality in older adults,” making it a problem that can’t be ignored.


Undernutrition in the elderly is driven by these primary factors:


  • Physical difficulties chewing and swallowing many foods
  • Cognitive difficulties with remembering how to prepare nutritious meals or with remembering to eat at all
  • Fatigue and a lack of motivation or desire to prepare meals
  • Changing nutritional needs due to age-related physical changes in the body


Seniors require a nutrient-dense diet — one rich in protein, vitamins D, B12 and calcium.


For those unable to meet their nutrient needs, dietary supplements, in the form of fortified beverages are an option. These protein-rich drinks come in many flavors and varieties to suit specific health needs; however, real, whole foods should always be the first option.


How can liquid nutritional supplement drinks help?


Each of the factors that can lead to undernutrition is addressed by adding a liquid nutritional supplement to your parent’s daily diet.


These drinks require no preparation, are easily swallowed and tolerated by the elderly and satisfy the need for added nutrition without empty calories and with the appropriate amount of dietary fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol.


There is a wide variety of Drinks to help your elderly parent maintain optimal health; various formulas are designed for different nutritional needs including individuals who are diabetic, need to improve bone health, are battling cancer, or are either pre or post-surgery – issues which many of us will face as we deal with the declining health of our parents.


I recommend products formulated for diabetics as the healthiest option for non-diabetics as well, since they build on the use of complex carbohydrates to give better blood glucose control – a key factor in avoiding Type 2 diabetes.


Note that these recommendations are very nutritious, but some of them are not particularly high in calories. If your senior is  eating very little, choose a high calorie shake, provide a larger serving of the drink, or add some full-fat plain yogurt or whipping cream to these drinks to add calories without additional sugar.

Here are the Healthiest Meal Replacement Nutrition Shakes for Your Elderly Parent:


Glucerna SR, Vanilla, 8 ounces


  • 200 calories
  • 10 g protein
  • 27 g total carbs
  • 7 g fat (0.5 saturated)
  • 6 g sugar


Glucerna is gluten-free and a good choice if you’re lactose intolerant.


These protein shakes, which are designed for people with diabetes, come in four flavors: Rich Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla, Creamy Strawberry, and Classic Butter Pecan, with the chocolate and vanilla also available in snack-size portions . Overall, they are a good choice. Their carb content of 27 grams places the shakes in the range of a moderate-sized snack or small meal.



Boost Glucose Control, 8 oz.


  • 190 calories
  • 16 g protein
  • 15 g total carbs
  • 7 g fat (1 saturated)
  • 4 g sugar


Boost Glucose Control is a meal replacement drink made specifically for people on a type 2 diabetes management plan. Plus it’s lactose-free and gluten-free, making it a good choice for people with these dietary concerns.


“This nutrition profile is one of the better options available to individuals trying to find a diabetic-friendly shake,” says Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services in New York City.



Almased, 8 tablespoon serving


  • 180 calories
  • 27 g protein
  • 15 g total carbs
  • 1 g fat (0.5 saturated)
  • 12 g sugar


Almased is a meal replacement drink mix made from soy protein, honey enzymes, and skim milk yogurt powder.


Because it’s a powder, if you mix it with any liquid other than water, you’ll need to factor in those nutrients. “This shake has a higher amount of sugars, but the total carbohydrate is reasonable,” Ramsetty says.


The soy and yogurt give it one of the highest protein contents among shakes for diabetes. “If you do not have kidney disease and are looking for soy replacements, this would be an option to try,” she adds.


It’s also likely to be more satisfying because of its high protein content. “This is likely to keep you full longer than other meal replacements while helping achieve better blood glucose control, Cipullo says — a plus for type 2 diabetes management.


The Almased drink mix is a good choice if you are looking to add extra calories; just mix the powder with milk instead of water.



EAS AdvantEDGE Carb Control Ready-to-Drink Chocolate Fudge, 11 oz.


EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control Ready-to-drink Shake, Chocolate Fudge, 11 oz., 18 Count
  • 110 calories
  • 17 g protein
  • 4 g total carbs
  • 3 g fat (0.5 saturated)
  • 0 g sugar


Besides Chocolate Fudge, Rich Dark Chocolate and French Vanilla, these protein shakes for people with diabetes also come in Strawberry Cream and Café Caramel.


Extend Nutrition Shake Mix, Vanilla, 1 packet
  • 110 calories
  • 15 g protein
  • 12 g total carbs
  • 1.5 g fat (0 saturated)
  • 1 g sugar


Extend Nutrition Shakes were developed by Francine Kaufman, MD, former president of the American Diabetes Association. These protein shakes for people with diabetes are formulated with a combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that metabolize slowly and help control blood sugar for up to 9 hours — good for type 2 diabetes management.


Extend Nutrition Shakes come in strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla flavors; you add water to the powder packet. Again, if you are looking for more calories, mix the powder with milk instead.



Atkins Advantage Vanilla Shake, 11 oz

  • 60 calories
  • 15 g protein
  • 2 g total carbs
  • 9 g fat (3 g saturated)
  • 1 g sugar


Atkins Advantage shakes, from the creators of the Atkins Diet, are marketed as snack or light meal replacements. Flavors include Café Caramel, Dark Chocolate Royale, Milk Chocolate Delight, Mocha Latte, and Strawberry.



Pure Protein Frosty Chocolate, 11 oz.

  • Provides you with 35 grams of protein per can.
  • 4 grams of carbs.
  • An excellent source of Calcium.
  • Delicious Chocolate flavor
The Pure Protein Shake is the #1 best seller in the category of sports nutrition ready-to-drink protein, and an excellent choice for supplementing protein.  Reviewers also claim it is one of the tastiest high protein shakes available.

MET-Rx RTD 51 Frosty Chocolate




The MET-Rx High Protein Ready-to-Drink Shake has more of everything, particularly protein and calories.  If you are looking for a very high protein meal replacement, this shake is an excellent choice.

The MET-Rx has a whopping 51 grams of protein and 250 calories in a 15 oz serving. You’re also getting a substantial amount of vitamins, minerals, and 3 grams of fiber.

If your loved one is skipping meals, this shake is an excellent choice.


The bottom line on liquid nutrition for the elderly


The majority of scientific studies indicate that adding a low-volume nutritional supplement drink can significantly improve the health of elderly individuals.  These studies have researched the effects of using liquid nutritional supplements as a dietary aid for elderly individuals who reside in hospitals, nursing homes and those who continue to reside at home or in an assisted-living environment.


The conclusion of these studies is that, regardless of the setting, significant nutritional benefits can be realized by incorporating a daily liquid nutritional supplement drink into your loved one’s diet. And, they not only improve overall general health, they help increase energy, cognition and even mood.


This is good news because finding a high quality, tasty supplement drink is a simple matter.  If this is your first time offering shakes, pick up a few different brands to see which one is a favorite.  Remember to look for diabetic or low carb shakes to avoid unnecessary sugar.



  • Undernutrition is a risk factor for increased mortality and poor overall health for older adults.
  • Undernutrition in the elderly may be caused by difficulty chewing and swallowing, not remembering how to prepare nutritious meals or forgetting to eat, and/or age-related changes in the body.
  • Adding a low-volume liquid nutritional supplement drink to your parent’s diet can significantly improve health.




Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.  Let me know what you think about the shakes mentioned, or others you may have tried.  I’d love to hear which supplement drink you think is best.





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