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Experts release latest healthy eating advice for seniors

2019-08-12 14:14 Monday


There are many factors that seniors need to consider regarding their diet as they get older, but one of the most important is to recognize the change in intake levels that can occur, as well as the need to get sufficiently nourishing food in the right categories.

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Thanks to the most recent advice, older citizens can now take a wide range of steps to address the issues facing their health situation, and make sure they are getting what they need to live their lives to the full in their later, Golden Years.

Typically, aging can lead to a decreased intake of calories and nutrients among senior citizens, which can both result in unplanned weight loss and lack of energy. Getting enough of the right foods may be a challenge, but keeping fit and working on your diet is always worth the time and energy expended

Men and women nowadays are living longer than ever. Making an effort to eat healthily can help ensure you will continue to enjoy an active lifestyle well into your eighties and nineties.

Keeping the nutrition status of your foods on the right track can help keep your body and mind healthy and extend your quality of life. Even in healthy older adults, it’s important to be aware that the physiological changes that come with aging can result in reduced calorie needs, which can lead to decreased food intake and altered body composition

Thankfully many functional foods, anti-aging products and dietary supplements are available to address any imbalances. Furthermore, small lifestyle changes and attitudes can make a big difference in improving overall well-being and clinical health.

The effects of aging on the diet can be compounded by diminished taste and smell, and changes in hormone levels that affect how quickly you feel full. Depression, social isolation and lack of independence can all make food less appealing, further contributing to a less than ideal intake.

Other factors can also affect dietary intake: chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia can impair appetite, energy needs, and weight. Older citizens may be on different medications that may interact with nutrients, or produce side effects such and sensory changes that affect smell and taste.

Here are some strategies that can help overcome some of the barriers to healthy eating that people face as they age.

First of all, aim for quality over quantity at mealtimes. When you eat, try to fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter of your plate with whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, or whole-wheat bread, and furnish the final quarter of your plate with lean protein such as poultry, fish, beans or eggs.

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Second, choose healthy fats, due to their favorable nutrition status. These can serve as a source of concentrated, nourishing calories. Healthy fats include olive oil, nut oils, peanut butter, avocado, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Limit unhealthy saturated fats including red fatty meat.

Third, adjust portion sizes. If you are trying to maintain healthy body weight, reduce portion sizes instead of sacrificing the structure of a balanced meal. If you need to gain a few kilograms, try to increase your portion sizes rather than eating ingredients that are high in sugar and saturated fat.

Work dietary fiber into your diet. This helps to keep the bowel functioning normally and can help decrease the risk of heart disease and type II diabetes. The Institute of Medicine recommends a total fiber intake for adults over 50 of at least 30g daily for men and 21g for women.

Most vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are great sources of fiber. Seeds and nuts and are also good, but wholegrain breads and legumes may be easier to bite on if you have dental problems or dentures. Make sure to drink plenty of water and fluids as you increase your intake of fiber.

Finally, physical activity is important for every adult, including seniors. It helps build and strengthen muscles, maintain bone health, increase energy levels, power up your metabolism, and lift mood. Exercise can help boost appetite, too. Aim for at least thirty minutes of physical activity four or five days of the week.


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