Are you thinking of going on a diet and cutting back the calories to keep healthy? Well, the following three healthy eating tips for seniors might have you reconsidering your options!
Dump the dieting – It’s important to maintain a healthy body weight throughout your life, however, it becomes even more important to maintain your weight after the age of 60. Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a part of ageing that occurs after the age of 30. Rapid unintentional weight loss can accelerate sarcopenia in frail older people and have an impact on a person’s mobility, quality of life and even the ability to do everyday tasks. If you’re looking to lose weight, have a chat to your GP or ask for a referral to an Accredited Practising Dietitian for advice.
Keep up the calories – There is a misconception that as we age we need to eat less because we aren’t as active as we used to be. This isn’t entirely true, as we get older our appetite and lifestyle may change which can lead to a change in the type and amount of food we eat. However, you may not be getting the nutrients and energy you require to maintain your weight and complications such as pressure injuries and infections may become more frequent and severe. Aim for 3 main meals and 2-3 mid-meals a day.
Keep your bones strong – Two nutrients that we need more of as we age are calcium and vitamin D. Both calcium and vitamin D are essential for keeping your bones strong and an inadequate intake of either can lead to osteoporosis and potential bone fractures. The best source of calcium is found in dairy and calcium fortified dairy alternatives. Aim for two to three serves a day – a serve is 2 slices of cheese, 1 cup of milk or ¾ cup yoghurt. There are small amounts of vitamin D found in some food, however the best way to get vitamin D is by spending a few minutes each day out in the sunlight.