A Senior’s Changing Nutritional Needs Explained

healthy meal

Learn how your nutritional needs change as you age.

We all know that a nutritious diet is crucial for a healthy body. What many people don’t know, however, is how your nutritional needs change as you age. Analysts at Tufts University have created the MyPlate system, an enhancement on the former food pyramid, which provides updated and improved nutritional advice for people age 65 and over.

The MyPlate for Older Adults model highlights the benefits of foods that are high in vitamins and minerals and low in fat, salt and sugar; however, it also contains guidance regarding suggested regular physical activities and fluid intake, aspects that are of particular concern for older adults.

As a result of decreased activity, older individuals tend to require fewer calories as they age, but their bodies still have the need for the same or higher levels of nutrients and regular activity for maximum health. MyPlate for Older Adults advises focusing nutrition on:

  • Brightly-colored vegetables such as carrots and peppers
  • Deeply-colored fruits, like berries and peaches
  • Whole, enriched and fortified grains and cereals, like brown rice
  • Low- and non-fat dairy products such as yogurt and low lactose milk
  • Liquid vegetable oils, and soft spreads that are low in saturated and trans fats
  • Spices to take the place of salt
  • Fluids such as water and fat-free milk
  • Physical activity, such as walking, resistance training, and light housecleaning

In addition, recommended adjustments include utilizing bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables that can be resealed, and single-serve portions of canned fruit – options that can be simpler to prepare and have a longer shelf life, minimizing waste.

At Advanced Home Health Care, we know how challenging it can be to help senior loved ones eat properly and maintain optimal health. Our dedicated Donnellson, IA home health caregivers can help plan and prepare healthy, nutritional, and appetizing meals based around your loved one’s unique nutritional needs. Contact our team to learn more about our in-home care services and to arrange a free in-home assessment.  See our full service area throughout Iowa here.

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