Eating a balanced diet is vital for healthy living, and this is even more important if you are an elder. A balanced diet can help you stay energized, maintain healthy body weight, and get adequate nutrients for the body. Also, it lowers the risk of developing chronic health situations, like diabetes and heart diseases.
As per experts, malnutrition can put people of high age at risk of becoming underweight or overweight. It can weaken bones and muscles and also make you prone to diseases. Being a senior you need to keep a strict check on your nutritional needs and consume foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. Additionally, you need to limit foods high in processed sugars, trans and saturated fats, and salt.
How Do Your Nutritional Needs Change with Age?
As we get older, our nutritional needs, food habits, and appetite change in numerous ways.
Elderly need fewer calories to maintain a healthy body weight. Consuming more calories than you burn can result in weight gain. More calorie intake can also lead to joint or muscle problems and may make you less mobile.
A large number of seniors experience loss of appetite with age. Also, it is common for the sense of smell and taste to reduce. This way you tend to eat less. If you perform less physical activities, eating less is needed. But make sure you supply your body with enough nutrients and calories to maintain healthy muscles, bones, and organs.
Consider Medical Conditions
As you get older, you become more prone to chronic health conditions, like diabetes, thyroid osteoporosis, high cholesterol, and more. To prevent such conditions you need to make the necessary changes in your diet.
Individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes mush consume a low calorie, sugar-free, and fat-free foods. Also, you might develop sensitivity to certain food products, dairy products, or spicy foods. Hence, you need to cut such foods in your diet.
There are certain medications that can affect your appetite. A few of them can even interact with certain nutritional supplements and foods. Also, a senior needs more of vitamin K, which is available in foods like kale, spinach, or other leafy green vegetables.
If you are under medication, do consult your doctor before making changes to your diet plan.
Increased age can also affect your immune system and make it weak. This results in conditions like food-borne ailments, and more. Hence, it is of utmost importance to take additional precautions and maintain the health of your immune system.
So, are there ways to maintain health at the increased age or being an elderly?
Yes, there are possible ways that you can follow in order to maintain your health at a senior age.
Consume nutrient-rich foods
With increasing age, your caloric needs decreases, while nutrient needs remain the same or might increase. Try consuming nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans, seeds, buns, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy products, and more.
Consume Enough Fiber
Fiber is important for a healthy digestive system. You must consume fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation and bowel related problems. Seeds, nuts, oats, whole grains are excellent sources of fiber.
Pick Nutritious Choices
Low-sodium, low-fat, and fat-free food items are needed to maintain overall well-being. Always check the labels of foods before buying them.
Even at the high age, you need to drink fluids on a regular basis. Besides water, you can drink soup, juice, tea, and water-rich vegetables and fruits on a daily basis.
If you experience extreme weight loss or loss of appetite then you must consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor along with your nutritionist can help you manage a healthy body weight so that you stay more active and fit.