Nutrition is important at any age, but even more so for seniors. Our bodies change as we get older and aging can affect the way we process food, our dietary needs, and our appetite.
- Metabolism slows down: This occurs naturally with aging, particularly when we don’t get enough exercise. The body does not burn as many calories as it used to, so we need eat smaller quantities of food that is rich in nutrients.
- Digestion changes: As part of the aging process, the body produces less of the fluids it needs to process foods in the digestive system. This makes it more difficult to absorb important nutrients such as vitamin B12, folic acid, and vitamin B6.
- Appetite may change: Many seniors take medications for various health conditions. Some medications have side effects, such as upsetting the stomach or depressing the appetite, which can lead to poor nutrition.
What Is a Healthy Diet for Seniors?
Eat a variety of foods to ensure you get the nutrients you need. Your plate should be brightly colored, like a rainbow. The USDA has replaced the food pyramid with MyPlate to give people a clear picture of the types of food they should eat. Meals should include:
- Lean protein (lean meats, eggs, seafood, beans)
- Vegetables and fruits (green, red, yellow, orange, and purple)
- Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
- Low-fat dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt)
To maintain a healthy weight, eat the right amount of food for your body and age. The American Heart Association provides suggested servings from each food group.
Active Lifestyle for Healthy Seniors
In addition to eating well, it is important to stay active and get plenty of exercise. Whether you are taking a yoga class, out on the golf course, or at the market buying the ingredients for a healthy meal, you need a medical alert system with GPS.
A medical alert bracelet or pendant allows you to get help on the way with the push of a button in case of a health emergency. However, older medical alert systems only work while you are in your home. With advanced technology today, you can have a medical alert system with GPS for mobile protection that travels with you. Our medical alert comparison can help you find a system with the features you need.