As you age, eating healthfully and having an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever before. Your eating habits are also likely to change depending on weight and body changes. Simple adjustments go a long way toward building a healthier eating pattern and maintaining an active, independent lifestyle.
At Advancare, we emphasize developing a healthy eating plan with more focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy. In this post, we will help you learn some simple nutrition tips you or your caregiver can implement to maintain your overall well-being.
Ways to Eat Well as You Get Older
As you age, metabolism slows down, and your bones, muscles, and immunity also weaken, increasing the chances of developing chronic illnesses. To stay healthy and independent for the longest time, consider:
- Taking foods with fewer calories, such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free milk, or cheese
- Choosing fruits with low fat or cholesterol, especially if you need to avoid saturated fats
- Being physically active by walking more
- Avoiding empty calories or foods with fewer nutrients and more calories, such as chips, soda, and candy
- Drinking plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated and your skin in healthy condition
- Focusing on protein-rich foods such as peas, beans, and lentils to build muscle strength
- Reducing sodium intake by using lemon juice or herbs
How Food Can Affect the Quality of Life
Good nutrition is vital for all ages. However, seniors are likely to have more challenges when it comes to choosing foods, cooking, eating, and digesting these foods. Apart from slow metabolism, teeth and gum problems, lack of appetite, inability to cook for themselves, and illnesses are other causes of poor nutrition among older adults. However, with good nutrition, a senior can develop energy, independence, and a healthy mental state and reduce the chances of developing chronic illnesses. Poorly fed seniors have weaker immunity, may lose weight, and are likely to need caregiving services more than those who eat a healthy diet.
What Are the Changing Nutritional Needs in Older Adults?
Your calorie level needs to decrease as you grow older. Generally, calorie needs vary from one person to another depending on muscle mass, weight, height, and activity level. Eating the same amount of calories as you did when younger can lead to fat build-up in the body if you’re not active. Cutting calorie levels means replacing them with other vital nutrients for an aging body.
Ideally, you’re looking for foods that will help build muscle strength, increase bone density, improve brain functioning, increase appetite and enhance immunity. That means focusing on proteins, vegetables, and fruits that provide your body with vitamins and minerals that help maintain a healthy body.
Ways of Improving Nutritional Health in Seniors
Here are a few ways to improve nutrition as you age:
- Plan your meals
- Follow the recommended servings
- Read nutritional labels before taking or buying food or supplements
- Invest in supplements to boost your nutrient intake
- If you have a condition affecting your feeding, such as gum problems, speak to a dentist
- If you have difficulty swallowing, drink plenty of fluids with your meals
- If you have lost the sense of taste and smell, add some color and texture to your food to make it more interesting and attractive
- Include different types of fruits when snacking
- If an illness is making it harder for you to cook or feed yourself, consider home care services
Get in Touch With Caregivers that Provide Nutrition Tips in Miami
At Advancare, we care about your loved one’s health and well-being. That’s why we go out of our way to ensure they are happy, healthy, and comfortable. All our caregivers are qualified and experienced. Reach out to learn more about our services and how we can help restore a smile to your senior loved one’s face.