Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors
Staying healthy as you grow old is a challenge. First, you must cope with age-related changes within and things from without such as food, rest, exercise and proper mindset.
While they are all important to stay healthy, but food takes the lead. By not eating healthy, all will fall flat on their faces.
Healthy eating means taking food types with the right amounts of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and protein – neither too much nor too little.
It means eating foods rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It means limiting foods high in processed sugars, saturated and trans fat, and salt.
Healthy eating also means adjusting your eating habits to avoid complications to existing medical conditions and age-related changes in your body.
Eating Healthy and Old Age:
Old age is a game-changer when it comes to eating and nourishment.
It slows down your metabolism, affects your appetite, mobility, finances and many other things that can have negative effects on your health.
Eating healthy, therefore, requires changes in your food intake to balance out these changes. These tips can help you do that.
1. Calorie intake:
You need calories for energy.
Having too much or too little opens you up to various health risks. The trick is to have a balance between input and output – which can be difficult.
The trick to healthy eating is not to limit your calorie intake but exercise your butt off to burn them up.
Exercise is easy and cheap compared to countless and expensive medical consultations.
2. Loss of appetite:
Old age often affects your sense of taste and smell which affect your appetite.
Diminishing your food intake will lead to malnutrition which, in turn, can result in various medical conditions.
I whet my appetite by taking mangoes or bananas with my meals. It works all the time.
You can try having small servings or using a larger plate. You can also prime your appetite by preparing food that smells and looks good.
Avoid greasy or oily foods. They don’t constitute healthy eating.
3. Oral Health:
Old age can also result in a loss of a few teeth making dentures a necessity.
But dentures also can create problems that may affect healthy eating, like loose or ill-fitting, eating and speaking difficulties, gum irritation, and other mouth infections.
Other than going to your dentist for better-fitting dentures, you can still eat healthy by taking smaller bites, eat soft foods, and eat slowly.chew slowly
Don’t eat something hard or sticky.
4. Coping with the immune system:
Your immune system weakens as you grow old, putting you at risk to food and water-borne diseases like food poisoning, diarrhea, or allergies.
You can cope with this by taking personal sanitation seriously and consulting with your doctor the moment you notice diminished resistance to factors you never had to worry about before.
5. Health conditions:
Medical conditions like arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, heart problems, to name a few, will require modifications in your eating habits.
While it may sound novel, but coming up with your own “healthy” diet to cope with these is not recommended. Neither is relying solely on medications.
Have your doctor or nutritionist prescribe you the right diet to cope with these issues.
Your appetite can also be affected by drugs you may be taking to treat some chronic illnesses. For example, some antibiotics may affect your appetite while Orlistat decreases the body’s absorption of fats.
7. Personal issues:
Living alone or losing a wife through death or divorce, or loneliness can depress you or make you lose your purpose in life.make you feel depressed, or lose your purpose.
Not only will these affect your appetite, but your health, too. They rob of the motivation to do something meaningful and productive.
This situation can leave you with not many options but either to find a corner and die or get out of your self-pity and start living and eating again.
To help you get over the hump, you can enroll into a Meals on Wheels program to get the right kinds of food for your health and well-being.
If you can afford it, have a caterer take care of your meals. This may look appealing but not a good option in the long run. You are entrusting your health to someone outside of your control.
The best option is to prepare your own foods. You can control the nutritional value, hygiene, and cost. Plus the added benefit of making you forget your woes and sorrows.keeping you busy and active
Statistics taken over a 3-year period, 2007 – 2010, showed that one-third of people aged 65 and above in the U.S. were overweight. On the other side of the scale, it is estimated that 1 in 3 elderly Americans are malnourished.
Between the two extremes is health care cost that runs up to billions of dollars every year.
It is ironic that such things happen at the time when there is an abundance of foods of all kinds and science has reached a level of addressing these two issues effectively and cheaply.
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