Senior Citizen Nutrition Needs

Seniors go through many different adjustments as they age, many of which are related to the ways in which the body processes and reacts to food intake. That’s why the nutrition needs of seniors are all the more critical to monitor closely.

There are a number of factors at play here. The goal is to keep the weight down while maintaining a diet that meets all of the necessary standards for heart-healthy nutrition. Two of the most impactful changes that seniors will undergo are shifts in the metabolism and the digestive system. Exercise is important, of course, but when the body doesn’t burn calories as quickly or consistently as it once did, that presents challenges for keeping the weight down.

Seniors aren’t active as they once were, so if the metabolism is slowing as well then it can be doubly difficult to avoid weight gain. That’s why nutrition plays such a significant role in senior health.

Where the digestive system is concerned, the body reacts differently than it did before as vitamins and nutrients aren’t as quickly absorbed as they once were and the body works harder to accomplish the various processes that are integral to digestion.

Eating Right

Good nutrition starts with knowing which foods to choose and which ones to decline. These are some of the steps that seniors can take for ensuring they always have the best meals in front of them for proper nutrient intake and serving size:

Balanced Diet

How well seniors eat begins with making the right selections to put on your plate. That means having a balanced meal that fills you up right and provides all of the essential nutrients for healthy living. A well-balanced diet incorporates the right amount of proteins that come from meats and seafood, grains that come from pasta and rice, low-fat dairy intake, and of course, helpings of fruits and veggies.

Be sure to keep your fiber intake high as well while lowering your salt and sodium as best you can.

Recommended Daily Servings

These are important to keep in mind as well as they are vital to ensuring that seniors get only the right amount of each food group. This is a smart way to keep weight gain from becoming a problem for seniors who may be taking in too much food beyond the recommendations for individuals of a certain age.

Check the Labels

Shopping for groceries can be tough. The presence of so many choices on the shelves can make it tough for seniors know which foods to buy and which ones to skip. That’s why reading the labels on those cans and jars is even more important as you get older. The labels will tell you what’s inside the foods that you buy and reading them can give you the proper guidance for avoiding foods that don’t meet dietary requirements.

Since seniors need to avoid salt, sugar, sodium, fats and other potentially harmful ingredients, giving the labels a long look can make choosing the right items for the shopping cart all that much easier

Daily Nutritional Intake

Seniors need to take special care that they are getting certain specific nutrients in their daily meals as these elements are absolutely vital for promoting good health in a number of facets.

Vitamins

These are the foundation for healthy nutrition in seniors. But while all vitamins are beneficial, some are more important than others when it comes to their daily intake.

Vitamin B12 can be found in lean proteins and seniors don’t always get enough of it. Eating these foods can increase their intake while supplements are also a helpful method of getting the right amount. Vitamin D is another important vitamin that helps to maintain good bone health and density.

Calcium works in conjunction with Vitamin D to keep bones strong and healthy while reducing density loss in seniors. Potassium works with the body to keep high blood pressure at bay, something that seniors can develop as they get older.

Reduce Your Fat Intake

A balanced meal requires knowing your good fats from the bad. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the “good” kind and seniors should restrict their fat intake to these types. Saturated and trans fats are the “bad” kind and these should be kept in lower quantities to avoid developing heart disease.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water is one of the most effective ways of staying healthy and hydrated. It helps to flush your system and provides the useful support necessary to ensure all of your organs and internal systems are working correctly. Water is also a great alternative to drinking sodas and juices that are high in sugar and sodium.

Seniors Helping Seniors offers a variety of services to help seniors shop for foods that are nutritious and heart-healthy.