Better Eating in the Elderly – Considering a Healthier Diet
As we grow older, there are many systems in our bodies that start to deteriorate. Such include our levels of energy, resistances to sicknesses, and general mental fortitude and stability. Eating healthier, and watching what we eat is key to maintaining our bodies and the ensuring that we are mentally and emotionally strong. The best foods are made up of fresh, wholesome ingredients, but all remaining delicious at the same time.
What does a healthy diet consist of?
Every person is different in how their bodies are made up, and how they will react to different foods. This all depends on our immune systems, and our genetics. The following list consists of items you should consider adding or focusing on in your diet:
- Grains – Whole grains are a much better choice than white processed flour and provide you with much more nutrients and fibers, with less sugar
- Protein (Meat) – Individuals over the age of 50 should have at least 1.5 grams/kg of body weight every day
- Fruit – Fruit is sweet and delicious, and we should all have at least 2-3 servings a day. Try new fruits!
- Veggies – 2-3 cups of vegetables are a good addition to any diet. Leafy greens like spinach and broccoli are great options, along with squash and other veggies.
- Calcium (Dairy) – Calcium is essential to maintaining the health of our bones as we age. Higher calcium intakes ensure less bone fractures and other bone related health concerns (osteoporosis). Seniors should look to have at least 1200 mg of calcium a day. Some examples of calcium rich foods include dairy products like milk and yogurt.
- Fats – Be careful of what types of fats you are eating. Saturated fats are a way better choice than trans fats. Look out for these on the nutritional information on the food products you buy.
What can having a healthy diet do for you?
Promotes health benefits
- Reduces risk of heart diseases like strokes, as well as some types of cancer
- Reduces risk of diabetes
- Reduces high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Consuming more calories keeps your energy levels throughout the day high
- Number of calories depends on age and activeness of an individual
- Weight gains in seniors promotes heart diseases and diabetes
- People tend to be less active as they grow older, which increases the need to watch food intake, and go for more nutrient rich foods, with fewer calories
Promotes better Digestion
- Nutrients such as fibers reduce constipation
- Whole grain rich foods nourish our digestion system and also reduces constipation
- Drinking enough fluids throughout the day are also very helpful for digestion
Before you start to suddenly change your diet, It is important to consult your doctor or dietitian, because they will know your health best, and recommend foods to eat/not eat based on any conditions you may have. That’s not to say you can’t change your lifestyle today – being healthy makes you have a better and more positive outlook in future years.