5 Nutrition Tips for Seniors

May 2, 2017


Empty calories provide little to no nutritional value for seniors


Maintaining a good diet—full of protein, fruits, vegetables, and grains—and a somewhat active lifestyle offers seniors a variety of health benefits. Additionally, these steps will reduce the number of visits and time spent with a doctor, especially if a pre-existing condition like diabetes is involved.


To remain as independent and healthy as possible, seniors should be sure to keep the following nutrition advice in mind when developing an eating regimen:


1. Watch those Calories


Some people can live for years without tracking the number of carbohydrates or sodium in their food. While some seniors are lucky enough to be able to continue this action, the majority are less fortunate. Certain foods and their ingredients can cause loved ones to gain unnecessary weight. Unless a medical professional instructs them to put on the pounds, being cognizant of calories is smart for seniors.

Medline Plus recommends that people try to avoid empty calories or food with a strong number of calories but without a lot of nutrients. Examples include food like cookies and chips and drinks such as alcohol and soda. Watching food intake and weight will help people avoid the onset of serious conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, extra and unnecessary weight only makes these problems more possible.

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2. Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods


In addition to eliminating unhealthy items from a person’s diet, seniors should actively try incorporating more nutrient-rich foods into their regimen. That means more whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, beans and nuts, seafood, lean meats high in protein, and fruits and vegetables in every rainbow color.

While people can afford to skimp on calories at an older age, they cannot do the same with foods that include critical vitamins and minerals that improve overall health, according to the National Institutes of Health.


“It’s important for seniors to stay hydrated.”

3. Don’t Slack on Hydration


While food may be the primary focus of this article and various news surrounding seniors’ eating habits, people shouldn’t overlook the importance of water and other liquids. Dehydration can exacerbate existing conditions, making their symptoms and consequences much more dangerous.

The National Council on Aging recommended tea, coffee, and water as the best choices for loved ones wanting to stay hydrated throughout the day. Since some variations of the first two contain caffeine, seniors should monitor their intake. Too much caffeine can cause dehydration, as can fluids that contain sugar and salt.


4. Be mindful of Appetite


As people age, it’s not uncommon for them to feel less hungry during meal times. No matter the cause—whether it’s loss of taste, smell, or medication interference—seniors should watch how their diet changes.

According to Healthline, consuming enough good calories and nutrient-rich foods ensures organs, muscles, and bones stay strong. If seniors notice weight loss associated with a diminishing appetite, they should consult their doctor.


5. Remember Calcium


No one can forget those “Got Milk” commercials from the early 1990s. While the slogan may be the most memorable, the ads contained a strong message about the benefits of calcium. According to Everyday Health, foods and liquids that contain this element promote bone strength and overall health. Seniors can also get the proper intake of calcium via a supplement regimen.

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