In recent years, the Health Promotion Board has developed dietary guidelines for children, adolescents, and adults. However, older adults have different nutritional requirements and require a separate set of guidelines. While there is plenty of tips on nutrition available in magazines and new media channels, not all of these are science-based and accurate. This set of dietary guidelines for older adults is specially formulated to be a trusted source of information and scientific evidence.
Nutritional Needs for the Elderly
Your body changes as you get older. You do not need to eat as much as you used to, which makes it challenging to get the vitamins and minerals your body requires. Getting older may also increase the likelihood of chronic diseases, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. A healthy diet can provide the nutrients necessary to protect you from chronic diseases. If you are already living with a chronic illness, a healthy diet can help you manage it better.
The good news is it is never too late to start eating healthily!
Recommended Dietary Plan
Eating various foods from all food groups can help supply the nutrients a person needs as they age. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy; includes lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with these recommendations:
- Eat fruits and vegetables. They can be fresh, frozen, or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables, such as leafy greens or broccoli, and orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes.
- Vary protein choices with more fish, beans, and peas.
- Eat at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, bread, crackers, rice, or pasta every day. Choose whole grains whenever possible.
- Have three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy (milk, yogurt, or cheese) that are fortified with vitamin D to help keep your bones healthy. For good measure, take MilkCa 60s from Orgaanics for strong bones. It is easily absorbed by the bones, so you don’t have to worry about not getting enough calcium.
- Make the fats you eat polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food.
Add Physical Activity
Balancing physical activity and a healthy diet is the best recipe for health and fitness. Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day — this even can be broken into three 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
For someone who is currently inactive, it’s a good idea to start with a few minutes of activity, such as walking, then gradually increase this time as they become stronger. Also, always check with a health-care provider before beginning a new physical activity program.