A balanced diet is essential for everyone trying to stay fit and healthy, but we can often overlook the importance of a clear diet plan for seniors. Everyone has different nutritional needs according to age, and health.
Young adults can get away with questionable habits now and then, but seniors need to be careful with their intake. This is about more than just a balanced regime of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meat and low-fat dairy.
Different diets and considerations for different conditions:
Heart Health And Diabetes
Seniors need a balanced diet to keep blood pressure down, improve heart health and lower the risk of diabetes. One problem seniors face with protein intake.
It is essential to opt for lean meats such as poultry and cut down on red meat – as well as sugar and sodium. We can find the right oils from nuts and fish.
Fish Omega oils are also good for the brain. Remember that wild-caught fish tends to have less mercury and tuna can be problematic in high amounts.
We all need a good diet for bone health as we age to deal with osteoporosis risks. Vitamin D is great for bone health and aging. Some foods are now fortified with vitamins like this. Some with a deficiency may need to look into supplementation.
Then there is the importance of fiber for intestinal issues like constipation. Beans, fruit skins and whole grain bread and cereals are all great substitutions here.
The way that our bodies change with age and their impact on diets.
It is not just the threat of disease to take into consideration here. Dietary needs change with age because of some physiological changes.
Tastes change with age, so it can help to play with spices and herbs for flavors. There is also the risk of greater food intolerance in old age, such as lactose intolerance. Others may need to switch to softer food because of their dentures.
A key issue here that many overlooks are the importance of staying hydrated. Seniors need to pay close attention to liquid intake as there is a loss of thirst, but not a loss of the need for water
At the same time, it is important to remember that it is not only calories and nutritional needs that change.
The recommendations for women over 50 are much different from those of men. A somewhat active woman over 50 should look to take in 1800 calories for their daily need. For men, this rises to between 2200-2400. These levels all depend on activity level.
Active people can get away with eating more calories if they are going to burn them off. Seniors that stay fit, hike or even go to the gym can have more. Those that struggle with immobility and disability need to lower their calories to avoid obesity risks.
Women also need to remember that the onset of the menopause can alter hormones and dietary needs. Some dietary supplements can help where advised by a doctor.
The trick to a balanced diet for seniors is smart shopping and meal preparation.
The best way to get the most out of a meal in older age is to make a point to buy the right items and create the right portions.
Decreasing serving sizes and balancing out the right meats and vegetables is essential. Those that are unsure where to begin can talk to a healthcare provider about diet plans and nutrition.
It also pays to start taking a closer look at ingredients and labels. Good packaging will highlight nutritional contents and ingredients that may be a problem. There are also apps that can help for those seniors that are a little more tech-savvy.
It can take time and commitment to creating the best-balanced diet for the elderly. There is also a little trial and error involves as people learn about new tastes and intolerance issues.
With guidance, perseverance and smart shopping, it is possible to improve a diet. There is also some fun to be had in learning about new cooking options and ingredients and discovering dietary aids to health conditions.
With these better choices and meal plans comes the chance of better health and well-being in later life. It can make a big difference.