Healthy Diet Tips for Seniors
The body’s metabolism gradually slows down as we age. The bad news is there’s no avoiding it. The good news is, with proper nutrition and care, your loved one’s sunset years can also be among their healthiest. Contrary to popular belief, a healthy diet shouldn’t always be about laying off certain food items or dieting but rather it also includes the overall mealtime experience.
Depending on health, genetics, and other factors, different people will respond in different ways to certain diet choices. As dietary needs change over time in senior citizens, you’ll realize that establishing a suitable diet plan may involve a bit of experimenting. Below is a roundup of our top healthy diet tips for seniors.
Meal Plans Are Your Best Friend
Planning days’ or a week’s worth of meals while making smart food choices might seem like a daunting task at first. However, think of all the time and effort you’ll be saving by stepping and healthy meals ahead of time. Regardless of age and state of health, a balanced diet is important in managing some chronic illnesses. Meal plans help ensure your aging loved ones eat a wide variety of different foods in the right portions.
Planning meals also allows you the benefit of leaving out specific ingredients that would otherwise aggravate your loved one’s health. For example, if your elderly ones stand at a risk of high blood pressure, foods with a high Sodium content are best left out. It is recommended to season foods with healthier alternatives such as organic herbs and spices instead.
Increase Your Fluid Intake
With our bodies aging, the sensation of thirst lessens over time which puts senior citizens at severe risk of dehydration and associated conditions. Nutrition experts recommend drinking plenty of fluids even when you don’t feel parched. Low-fat milk, fresh juice, and water are simple yet effective options that will help keep your body’s metabolism healthy. Age-related changes put senior citizens at risk of kidney damage, loss of muscle mass, and increased mortality rates.
That said, increasing your elderly loved ones’ fluid intake is one sure way of keeping them healthy. If the physician-recommended 8-10 glasses of water seem like a bit of a stretch, consider throwing in smoothies, sauces, and salsas to your meals. Alternatively, you can always double down on your elderly loved one’s favorite healthy drinks.
A Healthy Diet Goes Beyond Just the Food
A healthy diet entails more than just the variety and quality of foods you settle on. It also includes the social atmosphere and whether or not your elderly loved ones find pleasure in the meals. For instance, it is a widely accepted fact that having company during meals improves ones’ overall appetite and mood. A positive social atmosphere during meals may help you develop healthy eating habits and provide much-needed mental stimulation. Where needed, you might also want to consider dietary supplements to make up for age-related deficiencies.
Adding an extra layer of assistance through a certified nursing aid or home health aid can provide help with meal preparation and handling. Caring Home Care has a nurse registry where you are able to match you or your aging loved one with a caregiver based on your specific needs.