What is Considered to be a Nutritious Diet for Senior Citizens?

Numerous studies have concluded that eating a healthy diet – combined with physical activity and exercise on a regular basis – can help an older adult live a full life.Seniors Preparing Nutritious Meal

Furthermore, the vitamins, nutrients, and active lifestyle of the individual can aid in combatting certain types of medical conditions, physical complications, and other age-related issues.

By consuming foods that provide vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, a person has the capability of retaining their health and preserving their independence well into their senior years.

Continue reading to learn about the items that should be included in a diet for a senior citizen.

The Change

We have all heard of the “change” that women experience later in life, but the truth of the matter is, we all go through a “change” as we grow older. As the body ages, it experiences a vast amount of changes.

As a result, the nutritional requirements change and are much different than that of middle-aged adults, young adults, teenagers, and children.

As we age, the method in which our body processes foods changes. This – in turn – affects the appetite and the dietary needs.

The following outlines a few of the changes that seniors will experience, as a result of the natural aging process:

  1. Slowed Metabolism – As a person grows older and their level of physical activity slows, the metabolism will start to slow. This means that it does not burn calories as it once did; therefore, less must be eaten.
  2. Digestive Changes – As we get older, the fluids that are needed to process the foods that pass through the digestive system are produced less. This means the body does not absorb nutrients as easily.
  3. Lack of Appetite – As we grow older and the metabolism slows, we start to take medications, and we start to slow down, we will typically have a lack of an appetite. This could result in not eating what is needed and not getting the proper nutrition.

A Balanced Diet

In order to ensure that a senior is receiving the proper nutrition, the diet should be balanced. Below, you will find techniques to help in this process:

  1. Make sure that half of the plate that an older individual is provided includes both fruits and vegetables.
  2. There should be a higher level of whole grains consumed.
  3. Foods should be consumed that have only very low levels of sodium, or none at all.
  4. Fish, peas, and beans should be consumed in order to obtain high levels of protein in the diet.
  5. Food products and beverages that contain large amounts of vitamin D should be consumed.
  6. The only fats that should be consumed are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
  7. Vegetable choices should include those that are dark green and leafy.
  8. Fruits and vegetables that are orange in color should be consumed.
  9. Water should be consumed throughout the day in order to stay hydrated. Consult with a doctor to determine the right amount so that dehydration and overhydration are avoided – both of which can result in health issues.
  10. Consider adding a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement each day. Prior to making this change, consult with the doctor to make certain it will not conflict with health issues and/or medications that the older adult is currently experiencing and/or taking.

If you would like to learn more about senior citizen nutrition, exercises for the elderly, assisted living placement, and other elder care topics, you may contact us at (973) 384-1177.

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