Ways for Seniors to Improve Their Diet

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Aging is the most beautiful, yet petrifying adventure. At this stage in life, the human body experiences several changes, which can be quite alarming for some people. However, to compensate for these modifications, maintaining a healthy diet is necessary. When your body ages, your metabolism slows down. As a result, you can gain weight, experience hair loss, and feel tired and exhausted at all times.  Additionally, growing older can weaken your senses and place you at a risk for developing chronic conditions. 

To counter these issues, having a healthy diet is necessary. Whether you are a senior citizen or a home care provider, you can benefit from these helpful tips to improve your diet.

Increase the consumption of water and other liquids 

With age, you tend to feel less thirsty. However, the amount of liquid required by the body remains unchanged. As a result, it is essential for you to regularly drink at least 1.7 liters per day, which is equal to at least 57.5 fluid ounces. As your sense of experiencing thirst is weakened, you would have to set reminders for yourself to increase your liquid intake. To do this, relying on the advancement in technology can work to your advantage. For instance, you can download a water drinking application that can notify you with a reminder, every few hours, to drink a glass of water. This way, your body can remain healthy and hydrated. 

Eat food from every food group 

As the body ages, it stops the production of some naturally-present nutrients. Therefore, to substitute those, you are required to indulge in a diet that provides the body with all the necessary nutrients. The National Council on Aging states that a healthy meal should be inclusive of lean proteins, fruits, low-fat dairy, vegetables, and whole grains. Here are a few things that you can add to your dietary plan. 

  • Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. If you are unable to find fresh produce, you can eat frozen or canned vegetables. In the case of the latter, it is important to include leafy greens, carrots, and sweet potatoes in your meals. 
  • Your diet should also be inclusive of proteins, including fish, beans, and peas. 
  • You can consume whole grains in your eating plan by adding whole-grain cereals, bread, pasta, rice, or crackers in your meals.
  • For bone health, low-fat dairy products are necessary. You can create meals that are inclusive of milk, yogurt, and cheese. 
  • Avoid fats in your diet. However, you must consume polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Avoid eating excessive salt 

Similar to losing your sense of experiencing thirst, aging can also affect your sense of taste. Therefore, the food you regularly consume may not feel as flavorful as it once used to be. To compensate for this loss of flavor, most senior citizens make the mistake of using an excessive amount of salt to seasons their meals. However, an immoderate amount of salt consumption can lead to several illnesses, including cardiac problems, stroke, as well as diseases of the kidney. The  U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends eating approximately 2,300 milligrams of salt per day.

 However, this doesn’t mean that age would restrict you from enjoying flavorful means. Instead, you can use a variety of other fresh herbs and spices including cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, turmeric, basil, sage, and rosemary. This combination of spices and herbs can provide you with a surge of exotic and delicious flavor while ensuring that your body remains healthy.

Avoid the consumption of sugar 

Consuming refined sugar fails to offer any nutritional value. In fact, if you consume large amounts of sugary foods, your body is filled with empty calories, which is essentially unhealthy for the body. With that said, if you are a fan of deserts, you can enjoy food that has a natural component of sugar, such as fruits, sweet peppers, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, and yams. In addition to reducing your sugar intake, you can take the following initiatives: 

  • Regularly measure your blood sugar level
  • Indulge in a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet 
  • Eat foods with a low glycemic index. These include sweet potatoes, quinoa, legumes, low-fat milk, leafy greens, meat, fish, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds
  • Augment the intake of dietary fiber. This can be done by eating food comprising of legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. 

Carry out portion control

Portion control is extremely important, especially in the later stage of life. When you grow older, our metabolism slows down, which places you at the risk of becoming overweight. Taking this into account, it is imperative to avoid overeating at this stage. You can form the habit of eating the optimal amount by controlling your portions effectively. To do this, take advantage of the ensuing tips:

  • Eat your meals in smaller plates 
  • Dedicate ¼ of the plate for proteins, ½ for vegetables or a salad, and ¼ to complex carbs. 
  • When you are eating out, make sure to eat only half of the serving size. The food served int he restaurants is normally twice the size of your usual portions. 
  • Drink a glass of water before eating. This way, you would consume less food. 
  • Take the time to chew the food, prior to swallowing. This breaks down the nutrients and improves the digestion. 
  • Prepare all your meals on the weekends. You can store the food in Tupperware containers. 

Ask your doctor about supplements 

Sometimes. Even after regulating a healthy diet, your body can still lack some nutrients. In such cases, taking supplements becomes a necessity. If you experience weakness or dizziness, it is essential to talk to your doctor about supplements. Your doctor can guide you on the right brand of vitamin supplements to maintain the health of your overall body. 

The food you consume has a severe influence on your mental and physical health. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet, which can ensure the optimal functioning of the body, even in the later years of life.  

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