June 28, 2023 3 min read
As we grow older, we experience changes not just in our bodies and activity levels but also in our nutritional needs. For example, caloric requirements lessen with age, and by the time one reaches 80 years old, they require around 20% fewer calories than people who are 30. Nonetheless, older people still need to consume the right amount of nutrients to keep strong and healthy.
Good nutrition is important, as it gives older people energy and helps prevent diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Moreover, eating nutritious food helps strengthen the bones and muscles, which allows the elderly to go about their day-to-day activities independently, reducing the reliance on caregivers or assistive devices such as walking frames.
Read on to discover some tips and strategies to ensure our elderly loved ones eat well and maintain a healthy diet in their golden years.
1. Look foressential nutrients
The first thing you need to do to help your loved one maintain a healthy diet is to make sure that they eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients they need. Their plate should always look like a rainbow – full of bright, coloured foods rich in nutrients! A nutritious meal should include the following:
When choosing foods for your elderly loved ones, remember to select those low in sodium or salt and high in fibre. Furthermore, it would help if you looked for vitamin D, which is an essential mineral that older people specifically need. Examples of foods that are abundant in vitamin D are cod liver oil, sardines, tuna fish, salmon, beef liver, orange juice, and certain plant and dairy milk.
2. Avoidempty calories and foods high in fat and cholesterol
Empty-calorie foods are those that have plenty of calories but very few nutrients. In other words, they come with very little nutritional value. They can only provide the body with mostly solid fats and extra sugars, which can result in nutritional deficiencies and weight gain. Many packaged foods sold at supermarkets or grocery stores contain empty calories, such as chips, soda, candy, and alcohol.
Aside from empty-calorie foods, you should also avoid giving your loved one food containing trans fats. Trans fats are processed fats that can be found in vegetable shortening and stick margarine. These unhealthy fats are often contained in many store-bought baked goods, fried foods, and foods in some fast-food restaurants.
3. Stayhydrated at all times
Water is an essential nutrient too! Especially for older people, drinking enough water every day is necessary because research studies have shown that as people age, they require more water to compensate for the changes in the regulation of their body temperature. Moreover, older adults are more susceptible to becoming dehydrated because they have a diminished sense of thirst. Find simple ways to increase your loved one’s water intake to help them avoid dehydration and stay healthy.
4. Userecommended servings
Older people are more prone to gaining weight because as one ages, their muscle mass lessens while their fat mass increases. Coupled with reduced activity levels, maintaining a healthy weight can be more difficult for older people. To maintain your elderly loved one’s weight, they should aim to consume the right amount of food for their age and body. The American Heart Association provides recommended everyday servings for people over 60. Generally, they should eat at least three meals with smaller servings a day, along with nutritious snacks in between.
Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet every day so that the body can get the essential nutrients. To ensure that your older loved one maintains good health as they age, help them monitor the kinds of food they eat, drink enough water daily, and watch out for the number of foods they consume per meal. On top of watching what they eat, they can also try simple home exercises to stay healthy.
If you are looking for high quality and trusted eldercare products to take good care of your elderly loved ones, The Golden Concepts is the provider you can count on. We offer a wide array of innovative products for the elderly, ranging from bath safety accessories and shower chairs, to walking canes and motorised mobility aids. Our popular bestsellers include recliner lift chairs for elderly, travel pushchairs, anti-slip grab bars, foldable walking frames, lightweight wheelchairs, and more. Contact us today for more information.
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