As adults, we tend to ignore new approaches to nutrition and consequently develop unhealthy nutritional habits. Some choices have seriously negative effects as we age. Bodies change physically at different rates and any modification in diet is important.
Remember when you could eat almost anything you wanted and remain healthy? As long as you exercised frequently a decent weight was maintained. As we age however it becomes more important to monitor food intake, not only portion size but types of food. Exercise is even more important.
The body’s metabolic process slows with age. Changes in metabolism may appear as early as in the 30’but a Senior’s is slower it seems as if weight is gained simply by looking at food!
More Changes on the Horizon
Other changes take place as metabolism slows. Certain health conditions mean choosing different diets. Your current choices do affect well-being in Senior Years. A change of diet now may be necessary to maintain optimum health. Avoid high sodium and sugar food items especially.
With Age Comes Change
Not all changes our aging bodies experience are necessarily related to poorly cultivated habits. Some changes are inevitable. Taste buds lose efficiency. Many people rectify the loss of flavors by reaching for the salt shaker. A wiser choice is to experiment with a variety of spices to enhance flavors.
Surprisingly the taste buds responsible for sweetness usually remain strong. Making smart choices such as munching on sweet fruit and veggies improves health without artificial flavoring.
It’s Not Always About the Food
Seniors often have a variety of medications. Some of these A number of medications may depress appetite and cause less calorie intake. Loss of appetite could result in poor balance, extreme weight loss and even depression.
Diet also changes with dental issues. Loose-fitting dentures or fewer teeth greatly impacts ability to eat healthy, nutritious foods. Sore gums and aching teeth make it difficult to eat properly. Regular dental checks remedy these problems.
Dementia or Alzheimer’s also plays a role in how little or how much a person eats. Forgetting to eat is common with people suffering from memory issues. Individuals may forget they have already eaten and then eat more than necessary. The sensation of a full stomach could be misleading unless someone is monitoring meals.
The Need for Supplements
Nutrient value is important at any stage of life. As we age, our bodies tend to not absorb nutrients well. Supplementation with vitamins is recommended. Vitamins D and B-12 are prone to be improperly absorbed by Seniors. These vitamins are important to minimize the effects of aging. Research suggests a variety of additional benefits from vitamin D. One of the very important findings is a reduction in falls and subsequent fractures and a positive effect on stabilizing bone metabolism when proper levels of Vitamin D exist.
Consider Your Plate
The food pyramid once used to educate people about nutrition has changed. The new icon is a plate, with pie-graphs suggesting food groups for all ages. New suggestions do consider the slower metabolism of an older adult. Fluids are now more important as with age people dehydrate faster.
At Bridge to Better Living®, we help access the resources for health, including nutrition. A changing diet doesn’t mean meals need to be boring or bland. A slowing metabolism does not mean never having snacks. We know how menus vary and if this is one of your priorities contact Bridge to Better Living®.