Old age comes with lots of changes in the body and health. Older people are more vulnerable to infections, chronic diseases, and other health-related issues. Therefore, eating a balanced diet is essential. The body’s need for good nutrients increase. Eating healthy and good food for seniors help in maintaining good health, cheery mood, glowing skin and delay aging process of the bones and the joints. At the same time, balanced diet is of paramount importance to maintain sound mental health and prevent complications like depression, Alzheimer’s, loss of memory and dementia.
Lower immunity levels, poor digestion, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, weak bones, and fatigue are some of the common problems older adults suffer from. Therefore, healthy eating for adults is extremely vital. However, not all healthy foods might healthy for seniors. As we grow older, the nutrition needs change. The foods and drinks that were once good for our health and digestion may not serve the same purpose. One can expect a slight shift in the body’s needs for nutrition. Diet for elderly must include the following.
- A balanced diet must include plenty of fruit and vegetables. Experts recommend having at least 3 portions of vegetables and 3 portions of fruits every day.
Explore the options from all five food groups that include vegetables and legumes, fruits, grains (mostly wholegrain or high-fiber cereals), lean meat, poultry, fish eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds and beans, and milk yogurt, and cheese.
One must drink plenty of water. Six to eight glasses per day is recommended.
Your food must be rich in iron, calcium, soluble fiber, vitamin D, and vitamin A.
Foods that seniors must avoid
Some foods for seniors are a strict no-no. This includes food high in saturated fats, processed foods, fried chips, and food high in salt content. Meanwhile, food and drinks with processed sugars can also be extremely harmful for the older adults. In addition, limiting alcohol and smoking is also essential for seniors. Meanwhile, there are some healthy foods that seniors should not be eating and avoiding at all costs. This is simply because these foods are easily contaminable and have higher chances of causing food poisoning. While younger people recover from food poisoning even without treatment, however, it may not be the same for older adults. If you are above 65, consumption of these food can put your health at risk of severe health issues and complications. This is simply because their immune system is weaker and may not be able to fight off the bacteria effectively. And if you are suffering from an existing chronic medical condition, things might get worse. Here are a few must-avoid foods for seniors.
Raw or unpasteurized milk is often referred to as the milk that has not been pasteurized or undergone high heat treatment. It is said that having raw milk is beneficial because it contains several nutrients and it is rich in flavor. However, it is not suggested for seniors because it is the perfect place for bacteria to grow causing bacterial infections to the seniors. This definitely does not mean that seniors should not consume milk. They must make pasteurized milk a part of their regular diet due to the presence of calcium.
Diet for elderly must include eggs, except not in the raw or undercooked eggs. In general, these type of egg recipes are deemed supremely healthy and nutritious, especially for those who aim to build strong physique. However, this may not be the safe option for the older adults as eggs can cause salmonella infection, a foodborne disease, mostly occurs due to the contamination of eggs, meat, poultry, milk. Not only should they avoid raw eggs, but also foods that are cooked with raw eggs such as mayonnaise, milkshakes, smoothies, homemade ice cream, homemade eggnog and more.
You might be surprised to see sprouts in the list of must-avoid foods for elderly. Usually, sprouted beans and greens are considered the most nutritious form of health food and it is consumed widely to improve digestive health, lose weight and increase intake of fiber, vitamin and minerals. However, sprouts may not have the same impact on senior adults. Instead, it is actually a totally reverse of that when it comes for older adults. Yet again, sprouted seeds encourage the growth of salmonella and E-coli bacteria and it can have severe consequences on their health. To absorb nutrients, present in sprouts, seniors can consume leafy greens like spinach and celery.
Sushi is considered a wonder food because of high levels of vitamins, minerals and Omega acid. However, Sushi in raw form or undercooked manner is not recommended for older adults as fish usually contains parasitic worms. If the fish had been frozen before use, then it is safe to consume because it kills most of the germs.
Raw meat, poultry and sea food
Just as raw eggs and sushi are not recommended for seniors, raw or undercooked meat, poultry and seafood is not suggested too. These foods are breeding grounds for bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and more. This can cause grave complications to the health of the elderly. On the contrary, when these foods are consumed in completely cooked manner it renders several benefits, provide nutrition, strengthens bones and joints, supply important protein and fatty acids that is essential to maintain good health.
Soft cheeses are mostly made with raw milk. Some of the popular soft cheese varieties are Brie, feta, camembert, blue-veined cheese, queso blanco, queso fresco and more. As mentioned above, raw milk is ideal for breeding bacteria that can cause critical health issues which older adults may not be able to recover from quickly. These cheeses might be a great dietary supplement, but it can be replaced by cooked cheese.
If you are on some medications that include drugs for high blood pressure, anti-depression, anti-anxiety, it is always suggested to stay away from grapefruit. There is nothing bad about this juice, but this juice can intensify the effects of some drugs that can be dangerous for older adults. Therefore, grapefruit juice or fruit is one of the many foods that must be avoided.
As we grow older, the risk of diabetes increases. And many older adults suffer from this problem. They find a safe solution or replacement for their sugar cravings in artificial sweeteners. However, these sweeteners may not be the best solution as they can increase cravings, lead to weight gain and cause digestion problems. The best solution to deal with diabetes is control.
These are few health foods that diet for elderly must not include and must be avoided if they are above 60 years of age. This will help them maintain good health and stay away from complications caused by these foods.