As we age, our bodies go through changes that can affect how we process and absorb nutrients from the foods we eat. Additionally, many older adults experience a decrease in appetite and may have trouble preparing meals. That’s why it’s important to know how to eat right for older adults!
Foods that are bad for you
We all know that certain foods are bad for our health, but as we age, it’s even more important to avoid these foods. Why? Because our bodies become less able to process and eliminate toxins, and because chronic illnesses become more common.
So what are the worst offender when it comes to foods that are bad for older adults? Here’s a look at some of the most dangerous:
1. Processed meats: These are meats that have been treated with chemicals and preservatives, such as hot dogs, sausage, bacon, and deli meats. They’re high in sodium and unhealthy fats, and have been linked to cancer.
2. Refined grains: These are grains that have been stripped of their nutrients, such as white bread and white rice. They can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, and have been linked to diabetes and obesity.
3. Sweets: This includes anything made with sugar, such as candy, cookies, cakes, and pastries. Sweets are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause cavities and other dental problems.
4. Fried foods: These foods are usually high in unhealthy fat.
Foods that are good for you
As we age, it’s important to pay attention to our diets and make sure we are getting the nutrients we need. Here are some tips for eating right as an older adult:
1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, and can help protect against chronic diseases.
2. Choose whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains contain more fiber, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
3. Get enough protein. Protein is essential for muscle health, and can be found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Older adults may need to eat more protein than younger adults.
4. Limit saturated and trans fats. These unhealthy fats can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Choose leaner meats, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and vegetable oils instead.
5. Limit sodium intake. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems. Be mindful of the salt in processed foods, and cook with fresh ingredients when possible.
6. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will help your body function at its best and avoid dehydration
7. Eat a variety of foods. As you age, your body may not absorb nutrients as well as it used to. To get the most out of your food, eat a variety of healthy foods from all the food groups.
8. Get enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are important for strong bones and muscles. Talk with your healthcare provider about how much you need based on your age, sex, and health conditions. You may need to take a supplement to get enough of these nutrients.