We all know the old food pyramid from our elementary school days – bread and grains on the bottom, followed by fruits and veggies, meat and dairy, with fats and sweets in the tiny top portion. Like all things though, the pyramid has changed, including the one for older adults.
The unique dietary needs of adults over the age of 70 led Tufts University researchers to create the Food Guide Pyramid for Older Adults to correspond with the new USDA food pyramid. The new chart, called MyPyramid, continues to emphasize nutrient-dense food choices and the importance of fluid balance for older adults. In addition, it contains:
- Guidance about forms of foods that can help meet older adults’ nutritional needs
- An emphasis on the importance of regular physical activity
Due to decreased physical activity, older adults tend to need fewer calories. However, their bodies still require the same or higher levels of nutrients for optimal health.
MyPyramid uses icons representing foods in the following categories:
- Whole, enriched, and fortified grains and cereals, such as brown rice and 100% whole wheat bread
- Brightly-colored vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli
- Deeply-colored fruit, such as berries and melon
- Low- and non-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and low-lactose milk
- Dry beans and nuts, fish, poultry, lean meat and eggs
- Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads low in saturated and trans fat
Need assistance creating a nutrition plan for your loved one? The caregivers at Partners in Healthcare can work with your loved one’s physician to create a plan of care that meets the unique needs of the older adult in your life. Call us today in Orlando, FL at 407-788-9393 to learn more.
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