From fiber and iron to healthy facts and calcium, aging bodies need certain nutrients to stay healthy. That’s mainly because age related changes tend to affect how the human body processes food. This means the dietary needs of a senior person need monitoring closely.
It also means that the dietary needs of a senior is different from that of a younger person. Certain nutrients must simply be present in nearly all meals. It gets even more critical where certain conditions associated with old age such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia are in the picture.
But are there other profound reasons why you should be closely checking your ageing loved ones nutrition? Are there facts on senior nutrition that you must know? The answer is a resounding yes. Please read on to learn more.
Senior and Metabolism
Metabolism slows down as you age. It will slow even more if a senior does not get the right amount of exercise. This may not sound like a serious problem but it is. That’s because slow metabolism means your body will have a hard time burning calories. Remember that metabolism varies in men and women.
The average man needs close to 2300 calories a day while a woman needs just 1800. So whichever nutrition plan you choose to adopt for your aging loved ones, have this difference in mind. You will need a much smaller amount of calories if you are sedentary. On the other hand, you will need more if you are active. This usually means seniors need fewer calories daily.
We all need fats in our diets. Unfortunately, there are so many types of both good and bad fats. So it is a case of knowing which fats are good for your ageing loved one. Saturated fats, often referred to animal fats, can easily raise cholesterol levels. This can increase the risk of life threatening heart diseases.
Saturated fats are often in takeaway foods, chicken skin, processed foods and even in butter. You need to be careful with hydrogenated fats too which are found in cakes, hard margarine and confectionary. These fats tend to increase cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart diseases.
Stick to monounsaturated fats to stay healthy. They lower cholesterol levels and protect the heart. Olive oil, rapeseed oil, almonds, cashew nuts and peanut oil are all good sources of monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats found in oily fish, walnuts, hazel nuts and sunflower oil are also healthy for older people.
Calcium is required to keep bones and teeth healthy. It gets better with the fact that you can find calcium in common dairy products. Low fat dairy foods like milk, cheese and yoghurt are ideal sources of calcium. Dairy products with added vitamin D are even better. You need to be on the lookout for calcium in fortified foods available in the supermarket.
Proteins play a key role in keeping muscles healthy and generating new cells. To boost protein intake seniors should consume nuts, eggs, beans and peas. Other good sources of proteins include trout, sardines, salmon and fresh tuna.
It is all about Balance
There are of course, other nutrients such as vitamins which are vital not just for seniors but the young as well. The bottom line here is, eat healthy balanced meals daily. Then by all means encourage your aging loved one to drink at least 6 glasses of water daily and to refrain from drinking alcohol or smoking.
We can take care of your Loved One
We have been providing in home care for seniors for a long time and our experienced caregivers provide a loving service. Looking after seniors can be a real challenge so if you need our help then please contact us here so that we can discuss your requirements.
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