What You Need to Know About Senior Dietary Restrictions

Last Updated: 22.04.19

 

Our bodies change as we age, and we should change our food choices too; they need to be changed and adapted to every stage of our life. It is very important to build healthy eating habits and to maintain a balanced diet in order to prevent chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Healthy eating shouldn’t be complicated, we just have to understand how important food is for our bodies and then everything will become smooth and easy. It’s a good idea to inform yourself in regards to what your body lacks and try to substitute what it’s missing with nutrients that can be easily found in various foods.

 

Choose foods that are rich in nutrients

Even if caloric intake decreases slightly as we age, it is not the case with the nutrients; our body will still need a good intake of nutrients, maybe even higher. That’s why it’s so important to choose those foods that contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, and not so many calories. We have to make sure that our culinary choices are low in sugar, sodium, bad fats, and starches.

What our body needs is the micronutrients, which will keep us healthy and young just like we want it. It is recommended to have a diversified menu because our body needs to absorb different vitamins and minerals in order to stay healthy.

Fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients, but so are lean meats, fish, low fat or nonfat dairy, whole grains, lentils and beans, nuts and seeds. Our body will feel strong and energized if we make these healthy choices over those high in calories and low in nutrients like sweetened beverages, desserts, and deep-fried foods

 

Stay hydrated

It is important to drink water on a regular basis because as we know, water is very important for our body because it helps regulate temperature and maintain different bodily functions. Our body loses water very fast through sweating, breathing, and digestion and we have to make sure that we rehydrate by drinking fluids or eating foods that contain a higher amount of water.

Also, it’s imperative to drink the right amount of water when taking your medications. Swallowing medicine without enough water may cause some undesired side effects or prevent the medicine from functioning properly. It is recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses per day, but you should trust your body and not trouble yourself too much if you drink less than that.

Some foods that have a high water content are watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries, celery, cucumber, cauliflower, cantaloupe, baby carrots, green peppers, and many others.

 

Try to eat with your friends and family more often

Studies show that people of all ages eat healthier when they share a meal with others. It is common for seniors to find themselves eating alone due to the loss of a spouse, other family members or friends. Sometimes they tend to skip a meal just because they don’t want to prepare food for one person, and this can lead to health problems in the future.

People who share a meal with friends and family tend to eat more nutrient-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables. Also, they tend to eat less fried foods which are a big enemy for our health.

In order to eat well, we have to feel well, that is why it is recommended to make eating more of a social event when possible. When you are surrounded by people, you will find cooking rather enjoyable and not another chore that you scratch off of your to-do list.

 

Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids

Every elderly person’s diet plan should include good fats because as we all know not all fat is bad. The two types of fats that should be avoided are trans fats and saturated fats because these can lead to clogged arteries and bad cholesterol.

So, these Omega-3 fatty acids help our bodies against cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease. Also, these acids are believed to slow down the progression of macular degeneration, a condition that leads to poor vision. Another great benefit that these acids bring to our bodies, is keeping our brain healthy hence reducing the risk of Alzheimer.

Nutritionists recommend that we consume these omega-3 fatty acids twice a week. These can be found in fatty fish, algae, and several high-fat plant foods. Among those foods that are very high in omega-3, we can remember mackerel, salmon, cod liver oil, herring, oysters, sardines, anchovies, caviar, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.

 

Foods rich in calcium

Calcium is very important for the health of our bones and teeth, and also research suggests that calcium may help other issues like high blood pressure and weight gain. It is essential to give enough calcium to your body because you don’t want it to be reabsorbed from the bones.

Some surveys have shown that, as we grow older, our intake of calcium decreases, which can affect our health. Calcium is also vital for keeping your organs and skeletal muscles working properly.

When getting older, you are more prone to falls so you may want to avoid your bones from becoming fragile and brittle. A deficiency in calcium can also lead to osteoporosis. You should pay maximum attention to those foods high in calcium like dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as in sardines and canned salmon, beans, lentils, almonds, and some leafy greens.

 

Don’t forget about physical activity

It is said that the best recipe for a healthy body is to combine physical activity with a healthful diet, and this is valid for everyone, including older people. Exercise will help the elderly keep their bones healthy and strong hence reduce the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.

Also, it has been shown that physical activity reduces the risk of chronic diseases, lowers the chance of injury, and can improve the mood of the elderly.

 

 

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