Diet for Seniors
The health of older adults is directly affected by their diet, especially when they suffer from an impairment or are sick. If nutrition is not properly maintained, seniors may be afflicted by cognitive impairment, infection and muscle weakness which could lead to falling.
Eating Well for Older Adults
There are a variety of weight loss program for seniors that have been proven to be safe and effective for seniors. The DASH Plan, which focuses on eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits and grains, has been proven by research studies to reduce blood pressure. It also helps in preventing osteoporosis and cancer as well as stroke.
Another popular option for seniors is the Ornish diet. The diet is low-calorie and low in fat. It is also low-sugar and can reverse Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The Ornish diet is covered by Medicare and certain private insurance policies as part of a treatment program.
Other Diets for Seniors
Depending on the senior’s food preferences any of these diets can be beneficial:
Weight Loss/Muscle Building
Regular exercise can help you lose excess weight and gain muscles. This condition is known as sarcopenia. Loss of muscle can make you more prone to illnesses like cardiovascular disease and diabetes It’s therefore important to rebuild some of that lost muscle.
A healthy diet can help seniors maintain their mental and physical energy levels. This is crucial to maintain independence. A healthy diet for seniors should contain plenty of protein, fiber as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
Iron is a vital ingredient in any elderly dietsince it regulates blood oxygen levels and maintain haemoglobin. Anaemia can cause tiredness and lethargy. Iron-rich foods such as beans, red meat and wholemeal breads are vital for a healthy diet for the elderly.
Water consumption is also essential to a healthy diet for senior adults. Many seniors lose their sense of thirst with age, so drinking plenty of water is essential to ensure that their bodies are hydrated.
Fruits and Vegetables
Seniors should eat plenty of fresh, sliced or chopped vegetables and fruits. This is a simple but powerful way to boost the amount of antioxidants in their diets, according to Moreno. This antioxidant is present in fresh fruits and dark leafy green vegetables.
Seniors may benefit from eating foods that are fortified with vitamin B12 such as certain breakfast cereals. To ensure that you’re getting enough, consult your doctor.
The many programs offered by the USDA are designed to help older adults (60plus) eat well and avoid chronic diseases. Certain programs provide meals at senior centers while others provide supplemental meals at home.
Seniors can also receive nutrition assistance through the Congregate Meal Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. These federal programs are available in a variety of locations across the country, including senior communities and nursing homes. They help seniors with a low income to get a healthy diet.