Is Nutrition The Same At 80 As It Is At 40?

Is Nutrition The Same At 80 As It Is At 40?

December 12, 2012 - 10:25 am

Eating right: we all know how important it is, but what does it actually mean? The answer is, “right” is different for different people. Calorie requirements change as people age due to increased body fat, decreased muscle and less activity. This means that meeting nutrient needs becomes more of a challenge for seniors. It’s important to choose foods that are high in nutrients in relation to the calories they contain. The following are a few examples of foods that can help seniors cut calories while keeping a nutrient-rich diet.

Protein needs typically do not change for older adults; however some proteins, like turkey, chicken, and fish, are healthier than red meats. Other foods with protein include:

  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Nuts

Calcium is a very important nutrient that helps minimize bone loss in older adults. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all good sources of calcium, as are:

  • Figs
  • Tofu
  • Kale
  • White beans
  • Cabbage

Low levels of vitamin B12 have been associated with memory loss and dementia and have been linked to age-related hearing loss in older adults. For a diet rich in B12, try the following foods:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)

Knowing what foods are right for your loved one is helpful when planning nutritious meals. At Partners in Healthcare, we understand the challenges that arise when planning and preparing meals for older individuals or those who have eating issues. For information about our in-home care services and how they can help your loved one, contact us in Orlando, FL at 407-788-9393.

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