senior couple having breakfast

A Full Plate: Changing Your Diet as You Age

People need to be smarter about their diet as they grow old. Many of them think that they can still eat the same things they can eat when they were in their twenties. However, the truth is that bodies change and old age has different demands on a person’s nutritional needs.

Learn What A Health Plate Of Food Looks Like

Seniors may not think that they need to learn it again but knowing what a healthy plate of food is important. Modern life often presents us with prepared meals and restaurant plates but that is not technically a healthy serving. Nutritionists have determined that a balanced serving of food at every meal should have half of it be fruits and vegetables.

A quarter of the plate should then be grains or cereals. Finally, the remaining quarter should be a protein of some kind. Meat from animals is the usual source but beans and nuts can also be protein sources.

Aim For Low Cholesterol And Fat

While certain types of fat can be healthy for a body, others can affect your heart and cardiovascular system. Be aware of the presence of saturated fats, which are from animals, and trans fats, which are from processed foods. A lot of fast-food items are usually full of these fats because of the ingredients they use. Lowering your fast food intake as you grow older is a good move towards becoming healthier.

The Problem Of Loss Of Appetite

The elderly often face a loss of appetite. Medical conditions can greatly reduce the desire to eat, especially if it makes eating painful. Medications can also blunt appetite. It might also not be physical but mental. Depression can push people to skip meals. However, eating regularly is important for the elderly since it is a source of energy.

Seniors should be aware if they start skipping meals. An occasionally missed breakfast is fine but eliminating it from the day is a problem. Seniors should schedule meals and experiment with what dishes would encourage them to start eating again.

senior man with back ache

Look For All The Right Nutrients

A person needs several necessary nutrients for them to be healthy. Aging puts additional pressure on the body so some nutrients are more important for the body. For example, a senior needs calcium and Vitamin D in their diet since they help a lot in keeping bones healthy. If a person lacks them, bones become brittle and are easier to break.

Considering seniors are more likely to fall, this is a problem. Other important nutrients for the elderly are potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, and Vitamin B12, which seniors have a difficult time absorbing.

Be Willing To Take Supplements

However, to fully stay healthy, meals might not be enough. This is especially if they are unable to eat properly. Seniors should be willing to turn to supplements to get additional nutrients and gain potential help with various conditions. For example, gout is very common among older people. Taking supplements that lower uric acid can help a lot with that. Seniors should research what supplements are available out there or ask their doctor for advice. This ensures that they get legitimately helpful health products. Additionally, some supplements require a doctor to administer them so their help can be appreciated properly.

Don’t Forget About Liquids

Food is only a part of the diet. The other part of it is the need for liquids for a senior. Proper hydration ensures improved digestion and health. Water is the mainstay and eight to ten glasses should ensure that dry mouth doesn’t happen. Eating is also easier for some seniors if they follow each bite of food with a sip of water. Making meals a bit more liquid by integrating soups and salsas can make it easier to eat, too. Beverage choices should also be reviewed. For example, many seniors would be a lot healthier if they limited their consumption of coffee and moved to tea.

Seniors might start missing their old diets but they shouldn’t lose heart. Healthy eating doesn’t mean that they are limited to bland food. There are plenty of interesting and healthy cuisines out there. Vegetarian dishes are delicious while still as healthy as possible. Besides, limiting the intake of some food items can mean that they can appreciate what they can eat. They can do a little research and experimentation so that they can still have an enjoyable eating experience in their senior years. They simply have to be more observant.

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