Eating well is becoming a major concern for many people as they age. Indeed, seniors have an interest in paying particular attention to certain aspects of their diet, since this has a direct impact on the prevention of many chronic diseases and health problems that affect them in particular. A nutritionist part of the Clinique GO™ team therefore wanted to review the most important aspects of nutrition as we age.
A word about our mobile nutrition services
Our home nutritionists can travel to several locations to offer nutritional advice to meet several needs, including prevention and control of certain diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.), weight loss or maintenance of a healthy weight, and nutrition for athletes.
To offer judicious advice to seniors who wish to maintain good physical condition and prevent health problems, a nutritionist from our team can travel at home, in retirement homes, but also in CHSLDs to meet specific needs.
Food advice adapted to the needs of seniors from a nutritionist
As we age, nutritional needs change as the caloric intake required becomes lower, which is important to consider for maintaining a healthy weight. In addition, many people experience a significant decrease in their appetite, which can lead to long-term nutritional deficiencies that can have a direct impact on many aspects of physical fitness.
To cope with these important changes as you age, you need to pay special attention to certain aspects of your diet and follow the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide. In this sense, here are some tips from our nutritionists.
Eating enough protein is of primary importance as we age, especially since the loss of muscle mass begins at the age of 30, and increases considerably from the age of 50. Proteins play an essential role in muscle health, which has a direct impact on several aspects: strength, balance, bone and joint health… However, if we do not eat enough protein, our body draws its energy directly from muscle reserves, which increases age-related loss.
Make sure you eat enough protein with each meal (about 20 grams). Foods that contain proteins are: meat and poultry, fish and seafood, legumes, dairy products, eggs and tofu, nuts and seeds.
Dietary fibers are essential for maintaining good digestive health. Consuming enough on a daily basis (21 g for women and 30 g for men) helps to prevent constipation, which is a common problem in the elderly.
We invite you to read this article on our blog, which is entirely dedicated to the benefits of dietary fibers and ways to include it in your diet. This article as also prepared by a nutritionist.
It is well known that calcium helps to keep bones and teeth strong and keeps muscles functioning. At least 3 daily servings of dairy products, or calcium-fortified foods, are required for a good supply of this important nutrient. Calcium is also found in some fish (sardines), some nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts), tofu, and some green vegetables (broccoli).
Drink enough water
Even as you get older, the rule does not change: you must make sure you drink about 2 liters of liquid per day (equivalent to about 8 glasses of water), unless you suffer from a particular condition that is a contraindication to this statement. Water itself, but also hot drinks, soups, milk and other liquids (with little or no sugar) are a good way to stay well hydrated, which is very important for the body’s proper functioning.
How to stimulate the appetite?
As we have mentioned, our appetite tends to decrease considerably as we get older. However, that does not mean that we should not eat well. We end this article by offering some tips to stimulate the appetite:
- Eating at fixed times helps to regularize the hunger signals sent by the body and stimulate appetite at mealtime;
- Being physically active is a great way to stimulate your appetite;
- Seasoning foods properly enhances their flavor and makes you want to eat more;
- Keep foods that are easy to snack on and healthy to hand (nuts, crackers, yogurts, etc.). Some people who have less appetite benefit from eating smaller meals and several snacks throughout the day.
For personalized advice on maintaining a good diet, or if you have specific health concerns, Clinique GO™’s nutritionists are your best allies. Feel free to call upon their services!