The Elderly and Food

The elderly are typically the group with poor eating habits, mainly because they are alone and have no one to watch over them. They become more sedentary, expend less calories, and, in some cases, loneliness-related illnesses such as melancholy, dysthymia, and other pathologies might reduce their appetite. Loss of appetite is particularly prevalent in older persons as a result of this.

When we reach the age of 60, our intestinal absorption capacity reduces, our medication usage rises, chewing becomes difficult, physical activity declines, and our sense of smell and taste deteriorate, among other things. These variables contribute to a nutritional imbalance, which may lead to disease. As a result, knowing how to feed yourself is critical.

Although we expend less energy as we age, we still require the same quantity of nutrients since our metabolism and other mental and physical elements slow down.

We must question ourselves: what should a healthy diet provide us now that we know nutrition is important for the elderly's health?

A Healthy Diet's Characteristics

  • It should aid in the maintenance of excellent health.
  • It must supply sufficient energy and nutrition.
  • It should aid in the prevention of chronic diseases.
  • It should include foods that the elderly person is familiar with.
  • It should look nice and, most importantly, taste delicious.
  • Proteins should account for 10% to 15% of the total calories required by the body.
  • Lipids should not account for more than 30% to 35% of these calories.
  • Carbohydrates must give at least 50-60% of the remaining energy.

Older Citizens' Diet

The following guidelines should be included in an adequate and balanced diet for the elderly:

  • It should include a mix of low-cholesterol, low-fat, low-calorie foods that are high in nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are the greatest choices for a vitamin C and E-rich diet.
  • You should also eat foods high in selenium (rice or oatmeal), which boosts the immune system, protects the heart, and helps to avoid cancers like prostate, lung, and colon.
  • Cookies, chips, soft drinks, alcohol, animal-derived saturated fats, and trans fats found in processed foods, margarines, and butters should all be avoided.
  • 2 litres of water every day is recommended. Water is preferred, although they can also be mixed with juices, soups, and milk.
  • They should eat both cereals and potatoes. Whole grain cereals are preferred because the fibre content avoids constipation.
  • Vegetable consumption should be limited to two servings per day. Cooked or pureed to make chewing easier.
  • Fruit should be consumed in three or more servings, and because some fruits are hard, it is recommended that they be consumed in the form of fruit salads, compotes, juices, or natural smoothies.
  • Dairy products should not be excluded from the elderly's diet because they are the body's primary source of calcium. At least three portions of skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, yoghurt, or cheese should be ingested daily.
  • At least two servings of protein meals such as poultry, meat, fish, beans, or eggs should be ingested.

Nutritional Requirements For the Elderly

  • To maintain an energetic and nutritious diet that meets all of your nutritional demands, you must ensure that the following nutrients are absorbed:
  • To avoid anaemia, use vitamin D. Salmon, mackerel, and tuna are some of the fish that contain it. A small amount of sun exposure is also beneficial for absorbing this vitamin.
  • Natural antioxidant zinc. Legume, seafood, grains, eggs, and meat all contain it. Aids in immune system regulation.
  • Vitamin B12 is found in shellfish, poultry, and fish. It aids in mental development and the prevention of disorders associated with cognitive decline.
  • Calcium, along with phosphorus, is an important mineral for bones. Dairy, nuts, fish, and soy all contain it. Osteoporosis risk is reduced.
  • Potassium is found in fruits, vegetables, and yoghurts. Hypertension risk is reduced

What Foods Should Senior Citizens Avoid?

In addition to knowing what meals and in what amounts should be included in an elderly person's diet, it's also crucial to know which foods should be avoided.

Sugar, salt, and fat are three substances whose consumption should be kept to a bare minimum.

Fatty desserts and sweets should be avoided.

Dishes with a lot of seasoning and fried foods should also be avoided.

Steamed, roasted, or grilled foods are the favoured methods of cooking for the elderly.

Avoid alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and beer... and drink lots of water.

Other important nutrition suggestions for the elderly

It is critical that we look after our seniors' digestion. The most important thing is that the elder one eats frequently but in smaller amounts.

It's critical to understand which foods should be avoided by the elderly.

It is critical to eat a variety of foods.

Low-fat and whole-grain foods are the best choices.

An example of a healthy diet

BREAKFAST

  • Entire grains in a glass of skimmed milk
  • Fresh orange juice (without sugar)

FOOD

  • Rice, legumes, or pasta
  • meatballs with beef
  • Yogurt or fruit salad

SNACK

  • Toasts
  • A glass of low-fat milk

CENA

  • Soup with spinach tortillas or broth
  • The season's fruit

Cuideo's caregivers have previous experience as elderly companions and are experts in nutrition for the elderly. They will assist your relative in maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle through physical and mental activity.

Our goal at Cuideo is to provide you with the greatest guide on caring for the elderly. As a result, if you are seeking for elderly home care in Spain, do not hesitate to contact us, as one of our services includes the procurement and preparation of meals based on a nutritious menu that is tailored to the specific needs of the person for whom it is responsible.