Nutrition for the Elderly: Dietary Tips

Aging Individuals and their Risks

As people age, their dietary needs can change. Many times the appetite decreases and the energy levels get lower. Often the elderly live alone and don’t think about their diet in terms of what is good for them, but rather what may be convenient. Dental problems and digestive difficulties can also prevent a senior citizen from eating right. Cooking for one is a great inhibitor when it comes to the elderly and their eating habits. They tend to neglect the fresh fruits and vegetables in favor of something simple, like toast and jelly.

Nutrition needs don’t end as we grow older, on the contrary, they increase. Older bones still require calcium, the digestive system still needs fiber to keep it working right, and the need for water is still important. Proteins are a necessary part of a healthy diet that many senior citizens don’t think about.

Preventative Care: The Best Nutrition for the Elderly

In order to keep older folks healthy, they need to monitor what they eat and drink and pay attention to the quality of the food as well as the price. Many senior citizens are on a fixed income and don’t think they can afford to buy the better cuts of meat or the fresh vegetables. Careful shopping and preparation are the keys to better nutrition for the elderly. Empty calories, sodium, fats and sugars are no better for someone in their seventies or eighties than for a teenager.

Low fat vitamin D milk, nuts, and beans have calcium for the senior diet. Salads and apples are good sources of fiber. Cheese and yogurt can be replaced with soy products for the elderly who are lactose intolerant. Whole grain breads and cereals taste just as good as the other kind, but without unnecessary processing or chemicals.

Paying attention to diet is important at any age and can add healthy years to a life.

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