Nutrition For The Elderly

Healthy eating and nutrition for the elderly is
greatly impacted by several factors, one of them
being a change in body composition. During the
later years in life, the body will lose bone and
muscle and gain fat because the hormones aren’t
very active anymore.

There are many factors which hinder an elderly
person’s health. The information below will help
you to lead a healthy life – no matter how old you
may be.

Water
Water in the body decreases with age, so many older
folks will become dehydrated very easily. Sometimes
they won’t feel thirsty, while other times it’s
too much work to pour a glass a water. With this
in mind, it’s recommended that they drink at least
1 ounce of water for every 2.2 pounds of weight.

Protein
At this stage in life, protein is very important.
Protein is needed to support a healthy immune
system and prevent the wasting of muscle. Since
energy needs are less, older folks should eat high
quality protein such as eggs, lean meats, poulty,
and fish.

Carbs and fiber
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for
the entire body. You can find carbs in bread,
cereals, pasta, and other grain products. A diet
that’s high in fiber and water will help to
prevent constipation as well.

Fat
Fat intake for the elderly should be limited, not
eliminated. You can limit fat by choosing lean meats,
low fat dairy products, and food preperation
methods that don’t include frying.

Iron
For the elderly, iron deficiency can be seen with
those who aren’t eating much. Good sources for
iron include lean red meats or breakfast cereals.

Zinc
Zinc intake is normally with the elderly, and to
make matters worse, it’s not absorbed very well
either. Meat, poultry, and fish should be a part
of your diet to help you meet the requirements for
zinc.

Calcium
Calcium is one ingredient that most elderly folks
simply aren’t getting enough of. Most believe
that milk upsets their stomach, and therefore they
will avoid it. They should be getting around 1,500
mg of calcium a day, and nonfat powdered milk can
be used in recipes as a substitute for milk. Other
foods such as yogurt, low fat cheese, and broccoli
can also help you meet the requirements for calcium.

Vitamin B12
In order to absorb the benefits of B12, the intrinsic
facotr must be produced by the stomach. Most elderly
people suffer from a deficiency in B12 because they
have a condition known as atrophic gastritis. This
condition causes inflammation of the stomach,
bacterial overgrowth, and the intrinsic factor.
Without the intrinsic factor, this vitamin can be
absorbed.

Each one of the above nutrients are needed to keep
an aged body in good health. Elderly individuals
should try to stay active and strive for a well
balanced diet. Even though the aged body isn’t the
same as it used to be, proper care and the right
nutrients can help the elderly enjoy a healthy and
long life.

The Healthiest Foods You Can Get

The following is a list of the healthiest foods that
you can get. This will help you get an idea as
to what foods are the best for your body.

Fruits

Apricots
Apricots contain Beta-carotene which helps to
prevent radical damage and also helps to protect
the eyes. A single apricot contains 17 calories,
0 fat, and one gram of fiber. You can eat them
dried or soft.

Mango
A medium sized mango packs 57 MG of vitamin C,
which is nearly your entire daily dose. This
antioxidant will help prevent arthritis and also
boost your immune system.

Cantaloupe
Cantaloupes contain 117 GG of vitamin C, which is
almost twice the recommended dose. Half a melon
contains 853 MG of potassium, which is nearly
twice as much as a banana, which helps to lower
blood pressure. Half a melon contains 97 calories,
1 gram of fat, and 2 grams of fiber.

Tomato
A tomato can help cut the risk of bladder, stomach,
and colon cancers in half if you eat one daily.
A tomaton contains 26 calories, 0 fat, and only
1 gram of fiber.

Vegetables

Onions
An onion can help to protect against cancer. A
cup of onions offers 61 calories, 0 fat, and 3
grams of fiber.

Broccoli
Broccoli can help protect against breast cancer,
and it also contains a lot of vitamin C and beta-
carotene. One cup of chopped broccoli contains
25 calories, 0 fat, and 3 grams of fiber.

Spinach
Spinach contains carotenoids that can help fend
off macular degeneration, which is a major cause
of blindness in older people. One cup contains
7 calories, 0 fat, and 1 gram of fiber.

Grains, beans, and nuts

Peanuts
Peanuts and other nuts can lower your risk of
heart disease by 20 percent. One ounce contains
166 calories, 14 grams of fat, and over 2 grams of
fiber.

Pinto beans
A half cut of pinto beans offers more than 25
percent of your daily folate requirement, which
protects you against heart disease. Half a cup
contains 103 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 6 grams
of fiber.

Skim milk
Skim milk offers vitamin B2, which is important for
good vision and along with Vitamin A could improve
allergies. You also get calcium and vitamin D as
well. One cup contains 86 calories, o fat, and 0
fiber.

Seafood

Salmon
All cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and
tuna are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids,
which help to reduce the risk of cardiac disease.
A 3 ounce portion of salmon contains 127 calories,
4 grams of fat, and 0 fiber.

Crab
Crab is a great source of vitamin B12 and immunity
boosting zinc. A 3 ounce serving of crab offers
84 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 0 fiber.

Facts About Nutrition Labels

The nutrition label located on each and every food item,
will tell you all the information about that food. For
some however, this information isn’t exactly that reader
friendly. Fear not, as it’s actually easier than you
think.

Serving Size
This size is based on the amount people eat. Similar
food items will have similar serving sizes, thus making
it easier to compare 2 foods of the same category.

% Daily Value
This indicates how food will fit in a 2,000 calorie
diet. This will help you to understand if the food
has a lot, or just a little of the important nutrients.

The middle section
The nutrients you’ll find listed in the middle section
are the ones that are most important to your health.
This information can help you to calculate your daily
limit of fat, fiber, sodium, and other nutrients.

Vitamins & minerals
The percent daily value found here is the exact same
as the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamins
and minerals.

Now that you know what the nutrition label actually
means, it’ll be a lot easy to eat healthy. Eating
healthy is a great thing – especially when you use the
nutrition label to assist you with your food choices.