As our bodies age, our dietary needs change. Fewer calories are required to maintain good health, but those calories must be carefully chosen to promote bone and brain health, energy, circulation, and more. Although many adults are overweight or obese, a large number are admitted to hospital with health problems relating to malnutrition, making it clear that consumers do not necessarily know how to shop for and prepare healthy meals in their senior years.
Malnutrition in Seniors
In a case of malnutrition, a patient might be consuming enough calories but meals and snacks are not nutritious enough to support good health. The patient’s diet is full of saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and lacking in vitamins and minerals. Symptoms of malnutrition include weakness, depression, low immunity, anemia, and digestive problems.
Poor dental health can make it even harder to eat well. For instance, certain foods might be uncomfortable to eat while wearing dentures or without enough teeth. Medicines, smoking, and a general inability to recognize flavors might lead one to increase his intake of salt, sugar, and seasoning.
Improving Health with Good Diet
Many seniors lead healthy, active lives and they can afford to eat more calories than sedentary counterparts. Conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure influence dietary needs. Overall, though, there are several foods older people (and people of all ages) should be eating more of.
Fiber is one of these foods. It can be taken as a supplement, but fiber is present in fruits and vegetables so aim to add more of these to a healthy diet. Include many colors on your plate to get all the essential nutrients.
Choose lean protein and good fats found in fish, nuts, and poultry. Beans provide another source of healthy protein and fiber. Dairy and dairy supplements provide sources of calcium (as do some vegetables and nuts), but keep sugary dairy products to a minimum.
Home Care in Vancouver, Canada
If you are concerned that a loved one is not eating well, he might need help. Consider senior care in Vancouver, Canada, as a source of support and information. Experts can suggest ways to improve a loved one’s health with some healthy-eating suggestions or professional care.