9 Healthy Foods That Elderly Should Not Eat

By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com contributing editor

At first glance, some foods like vegetable sprouts, fish and eggs may seem healthy. However, depending on how they are prepared, these foods may contain germs that can easily make elderly people sick, causing food-borne illness, sometimes called food poisoning.

Ruth Frechman, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, told AgingCare.com that seniors should avoid some foods that appear healthy, especially raw foods, because of the germs they harbor. “As we age, it is harder for our bodies to fight off germs, making it easier to get sick,” she says.

Planning Seniors’ Meals: Avoiding Hidden Traps of Food Labels

A prime example: Sprouts. “Consuming sprouts – broccoli, alfalfa, bean sprouts and so on – is like eating a little plant, which provides a great deal of nutritional, digestive, and enzymatic benefits, ” Ms. Frechman says. “However, the warm, humid conditions needed for growing sprouts from seeds are ideal for bacteria to flourish. Salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria can grow to high levels. The seed sprouts, and the bacteria get trapped inside. When we eat the sprout, we ingest the bacteria, which can make us very sick.”

Ms. Frechman says elders should also avoid the following foods:

  • Raw eggs
  • Soft cheeses such as Brie, Camembert and blue-veined varieties. “Soft cheeses can be a breeding ground for bacteria,” Ms. Frechman says.
  • Raw fish, oysters, clams and mussels. “Eating these foods is like playing Russian roulette – you never know when you’re going to get a bad one,” she says.
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Unpasteurized juice
  • Raw or rare hamburger, carpaccio (thin shavings of raw beef fillet) and steak tartare
  • Sushi and sashimi
  • Ceviche
  • Foods that contain undercooked eggs (unpasteurized eggnog, Monte Cristo sandwiches, French toast, homemade Caesar salad dressing, Hollandaise sauce, tiramisu and raw cookie dough or cake batter).

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Top 3 Food Preparation Mistakes That Cause Food-borne Illness

9 Healthy Foods That Elderly Should Not Eat originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

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Marvin Zinn
Marvin Zinn2 years ago

At age 67 with lots of experience in 20 countries, I know this article is only valid if primary food preparation is done wrong. Yes, animals must be raised properly (very few are) and everything kept clean and fresh. The market is for money, not health, and the junk most people eat because it is cheap, will cost at lot more for doctors and drugs that should never be made. But if food is grown properly (organic) and not shipped so far, our health problems would be greatly reduced. (Of course doctors and pharmaceuticals would make less money, but if I believed doctors I would have already been dead three times.)


Bonnie M.
Bonnie M.3 years ago

Thank you.. good to know. Safe handling is a must, refrain from raw foods as much as possible.

Jeramie D.
Jeramie D.4 years ago

Thank you for this.

Elisabeth T.
Elisabeth T.4 years ago

Thanks for this information...

Dakota Payne
Dakota Payne4 years ago


Melinda K.
Past Member 4 years ago

Had no idea about some of these thanks

colleen p.
colleen p.4 years ago

well, not all sushi is "raw fish". I guess a roll with carrots, avacado, cucumber will be no problem eh?

Joe R.
Joe R.4 years ago

It doesn't sound like a good idea for anyone to eat these foods, regardless of age.

tiffany t.
tiffany t.4 years ago

Consuming unpasteurized products creates a healthier immune system. Throat cultures obtained from this population show a variety of healthy bacteria. All of the foods on this list have the potential to make anyone sick. It is a matter of life style.

Monika K.
Monika K.4 years ago

Raw eggs? I've never seen a meal with raw eggs. Hmm.