Nutrition needs for the elderly

Healthy eating is just as important for older adults as it is for everyone, and eating should be an enjoyable and sociable activity that we can look forward to, while still being a healthy one. In general, ageing adults require fewer calories, but nutrition in those calories is important. Older adults should work to get a lot of nutrient-dense and high-fibre foods into their diets: Nutrition Needs For Elderly

Proper nutrition for seniors is just as important as it is for the rest of us. Our bodies need good nutrition to function well. As we age, we need all the help we can get keeping our bodies in good working order. However, nutritional needs do change as we get older:

Calories

Typically, the older we get, the fewer calories we need to eat. Decreased mobility and muscle mass can lead to a slower metabolism and fewer calories burned, making it easier to overeat and put on weight. You may need to lower portion sizes to make sure you aren’t taking in too many calories and gaining too much weight.

Appetite

Appetites often decrease as we age. It’s important to make sure you or your ageing loved one is still getting enough to eat, though. Not only does it help maintain a healthy weight, but it also helps make sure the body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly.

Medications

Medications can change nutritional needs. People taking certain medications may need to increase their intake of certain foods or avoid some foods altogether. Make sure you consult with your doctor and pharmacist to find out if any dietary modifications are necessary.

To find out if you or your ageing loved one is eating on track and how much you need to eat to be healthy, see the recommended number of serves for adults. There are also recipes that are meant for ‘everyday’ use and are consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, you can find them here: Smart Eating Recipe

Other helpful resources:

Healthy eating
Tips for eating well
Healthy and active ageing

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