If you’re concerned about nutrition for seniors, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for your parents, grandparents, spouse, or yourself, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about senior nutrition. From why seniors need to drink more water to the importance of meal prep, we’ll go over our best nutrition tips for seniors.
1. Drink more liquids
As we age, it becomes harder for our bodies to tell that we’re thirsty. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink water throughout the day.Keeping a reusable bottle around will help you remember to drink it. Between 20% and 30% of seniors are chronically dehydrated. If you get tired of water from time to time, the occasional milk and juice that is 100-percent juice is a fine option. Carbonated water is also great. It comes in several flavors and varieties as well.
2. Eat a wide variety of foods
Our bodies lose nutrients as we age. This makes getting a wide variety of foods on your plate even more important. Make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need. Fill your plate with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein. The more colourful your plate, the better. A wide variety helps to ensure you have all the vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats you need to keep your body going. Eating a wide variety of foods will help keep your bones strong. You’ll get the calcium your bones need to keep you from needless breaks or misplacements. Calcium also helps your joints stay loose to keep you moving as you age.
3. Meal plan and prep
Even if you live alone, meal planning is a great way to keep your health on track. Meal planning allows you to plan different meals throughout the week. You’ll also be able to prep all the ingredients you need to cook dinners for the week. Whatever you don’t eat, you can freeze for later. Just having groceries will help keep you away from unhealthy snacks and fast food. It’s a lot easier to say no to ordering fast food if you have pre-cooked or easy to prepare meals on hand. The same goes for healthy snacks.
4. Stay away from table salt
With aging comes the gradual loss of your sense of taste. This doesn’t happen right away, but over time, our taste buds begin to lose their power. Don’t overcompensate with salt. Instead, choose herbs and spices. This will keep your food tasting great without the need for excess salt. Spices and herbs will give your food amazing flavours. Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, kidney disease, and even stroke.
5. Make small changes
When you’re trying to change your diet, start with small changes. Small changes will have a big impact without turning your life upside down. It’s a lot harder to stick to a diet when you’ve completely overhauled your life. Instead of trying to keep up with the latest diet trends or fads, stick to what you like, and make small changes. If you love pasta, have pasta. Just monitor your portion size and make sure to add or serve fresh vegetables on the side. Small adjustments will help you stick to your new lifestyle changes for the long haul. A fast, quick, diet, won’t last. If you have loved chocolate for fifty years, you aren’t going to stop loving it now. Moderation is the key. Even sweet treats and your favorite foods are fine in moderation. Small doses of the things you love will keep you from falling off the wagon.
6. Eat your colours
When it comes to which foods you choose, always go with color. Colorful fruits and vegetables ensure you get the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need as you age. Fruits and veggies are also vibrant in colour. From yellow and red peppers to leafy greens and bright fruits, the more color the better. Fruits and vegetables are full of water as well, so they can play a major role in avoiding dehydration.
7. Stay away from processed foods
When you’re choosing your meals, you want to stay away from highly processed food if you can. Processed food has extra sodium, fat, and chemicals. These ingredients aren’t natural. Eating too many processed foods has been linked to heart problems, hypertension, and diabetes. These conditions are all too common among older adults.
8. Avoid the drive-thru
While it’s convenient to go through the drive-thru, it isn’t always cost-effective or good for you. Drive-thru food is also full of saturated fat and sugar. Eating fast food can cause excess inflammation, high blood pressure, and weight gain. These are all things you want to avoid at any age, but especially when you’re older.
9. Stay away from sugar
Eating foods that are high in sugar won’t help your condition. The same goes for sugary drinks. You’ll be able to manage your diabetes (or avoid developing diabetes) by avoiding sugar as much as possible.
With these senior nutrition tips, the answer is easy. Make small changes you can stick to and focus on fresh, unprocessed foods as often as you can.cRemember, eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up everything you or your loved one craves. Seniors can still indulge a bit while they make their health a priority.