It is extremely important to meet our dietary requirements as we age. For older adults, a balanced diet and proper nutrition are critical as it directly influences how their body functions. Seniors are more prone to developing chronic conditions given that their metabolism slows down and their senses get weakened as they age.
Nutritional support helps reduce illness and mortality. Experts at Halo Health Care suggest timely recognition of poor nutrition in the seniors allow for intervention strategies for reducing lean muscle loss and further weight loss.
The good news is the older adults can safeguard their general well-being by making healthy and nifty eating choices.
Here are some nutritional tips for seniors using which they can improve their overall health.
#1 Healthy Fats are your friends
Experts recommend the elders should completely eliminate the trans and saturated fats from their diet as it will help them maintain a healthy weight while assisting them to evade conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol. However, they emphasize the consumption of polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats. These healthy fats build a shield against diseases while supporting mental well-being and temperament. Foods such as fishes high in Omega-3s, nuts, avocado, and olive oil are excellent picks.
#2 Sugar Consumption – make it to zero or extremely low
Sugar, especially the refined ones from packaged foods should be completely avoided. Adulterated sugars are full of empty calories and offer zero nutritional value. A study suggests that mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is caused mainly due to high intake of refined sugars. As sugar directly influences the brain, it can cause memory problems in the adults. However, sugar works as a fuel for the mind, so moderate consumption is necessary. Consume foods that are naturally sweet like yams, sweet peppers, fruits, etc.
#3 Follow Recommended Servings
Nobody is asking you to measure everything before you eat. It is just that eat only what is required. Recommended servings are usually less than the portion you are served or the amount of food you are used to eating. It not only helps you manage your weight but also promotes healthy living, especially if you are above 60. If you are not sure about the recommended servings, it is advised to consult it with your doctor or dietitian who can help you design a healthy diet plan incorporating all the necessary vegetables, fruits, grains, poultry and meat products, dairy, fats and oils, and nuts and seeds.
#4 Read Food Labels before Purchasing
Reading nutritional labels is essential for comparing foods in order to determine the right dietary value you require according to your age. Getting to know the nutritional value of food products can help you limit the amount of cholesterol, sugar, and fat in your diet. Moreover, you can use the nutritional facts to find foods that are higher in protein, fiber, and vitamins. The nutritional facts are based on one serving of a particular food; that is, for example, suppose the food label of pasta indicates 5 grams of sugar, 150 calories, and 10 grams of protein and the entire package is for three servings. So if you are about to eat the whole package, you will be getting three times the amount shown in the label. The nutritional facts are on per serving basis.
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#5 Avoid Salt and use Herbs and Spices instead
Herbs can help you stay healthy. Herbs make food delicious while enhancing your health. Herbs like rosemary, basil, and sage are leaves of plants and spices like ginger, cinnamon, and pepper are roots, seeds, and bark of plants that are used to flavor foods. However, research has shown that herbs and spices contain certain health benefits as they help fight inflammation and reduce cell damage. And they are an excellent alternative to less healthy components like sugar and salt. Proper infusion of spices and herbs can help an elderly enjoy what he/she eats.
#6 Eat Foods from different Food Groups daily
In order to get all the necessary nutrients, it is essential that an elderly consume a variety of foods from various sources. Foods rich in calcium, vitamins, protein, and other nutrients are grouped differently. From low-fat dairy to whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein, eating foods from diverse sources will help protect against chronic disease while promoting good health.
#7 Consume More Liquid
With older age, the thirst lessens. It is extremely important that an older adult consume a decent amount of liquids in order to combat several health conditions. Hydration is essential, so drink as much water as possible and fill up on juices that are made from natural fruits. Fat-free milk is also advised.
If the older adult is not getting enough nutrients from the foods he/she is eating; then it is advised to consult a doctor and get prescriptions for multivitamins and other health supplements.