20 Aug Healthy Eating for Seniors
Healthy eating is a key component in aging. It helps to ensure that even as we grow older, we are maintaining a nutritious diet that aids us in staying healthy and strong. Healthy eating may seem more challenging as you age especially if you have restrictions, medications, or an illness that influences your appetite. Because seniors tend to require fewer calories throughout the day and also have unique dietary needs, it’s important to modify your diet so that you are still getting the nutrients you need.
Let’s take a look at the diet recommended for seniors:
Protein intake among seniors is extremely important because this age group is at a higher risk for illness and malnutrition. A protein deficiency can affect almost all aspects of the way your body functions. Some of the symptoms of protein deficiency are loss of muscle mass, greater risk of bone fractures, and increased severity of infections. Be sure that you are incorporating protein-rich foods into your diet daily, such as tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, vegetables, nuts, and eggs. By consuming an adequate amount of protein, you become less likely to lose your ability to function independently.
Consuming too much sodium over time can increase your risk of high blood pressure, a major factor for heart disease. The Heart Foundation recommends that adults eat less than 5g of salt per day. A higher salt intake impacts your overall health and is linked to conditions such as heart failure, kidney problems, kidney stones, edema, stroke, left ventricular hypertrophy, and osteoporosis. As you age, it becomes harder for your body to cope with certain health conditions. To reduce the amount of sodium in your diet, stick to whole foods like vegetables, fruit, milk, yogurt, lean meats, poultry, and whole grains.
More Calcium and Vitamin D
As we age, the body requires more calcium and vitamin D. Calcium helps build and maintain healthy bones as well as lower blood pressure. The calcium requirement for those older than 65 is 700mg per day. Vitamin D is produced by the body when exposed to sunlight, and older individuals produce 4 times less than younger people when exposed to the sun. Seniors who don’t spend time outdoors or suffer from mobility issues are among the most susceptible to vitamin D deficiency. If you find you are sensitive to dairy, there is a list of other calcium-rich foods you can incorporate into your diet.
At CareAgape Senior Homes, we recognize the importance of providing healthy meals to our residents, and we are committed to the health and well-being of those we serve. For more information on what we do, visit our website!