Regardless of who you are, getting proper nutrition in your diet is key to staying healthy. However, dietary needs will change as you age, so your nutritional choices must account for that. Here, we’ll go through a few tips to keep in mind as you or your loved one goes through old age.
- Eat fewer calories: Decreased mobility and slower metabolism means less need for calories. In general, seniors don’t have to eat as much in order to maintain a healthy weight. Overeating, combined with the diminished physical activity that comes with age, can thus lead to unhealthy weight gain.
- Mind hydration: Older adults often don’t notice when they’re thirsty, so it’s less likely that hydrating will come to mind. This means hydration needs to be a conscious choice. It doesn’t have to be just water—fruits, vegetables, soup, and juice can also help maintain hydration.
- Avoid raw foods: The elderly are generally more susceptible to disease due to a diminished immune system. This means that certain raw foods are best avoided since you’ll be less able to ward off any foodborne diseases they may contain.
- Nutrients first: Given the diminished bodily functions and lower number of calories needed each day, it is important to focus on nutrition first when choosing a meal. Foods rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals should be top priority, and there is less room for junk food.
- Limit sodium: Keeping sodium levels down is especially important for those with high blood pressure, but it’s a good rule for anyone to follow. Most sodium comes from processed or restaurant foods, so keeping those to a minimum and replacing them with fresh foods will help immensely.
- Account for medication: Some medications can have a dramatic effect on the way your body processes certain nutrients. On the other hand, certain foods may render important meds ineffective. Keep the medication you’re taking in mind when planning meals.
As part of our commitment to the wellness of our residents, Senior Care Centers provides a wide variety of nutritious meal options as well as assistance with nutritional planning. To learn more, contact us today.