Healthy Eating for Seniors
Healthy eating is often easier than exercising in your senior years. Many seniors need less calories to maintain their weight, and seniors may find that it’s difficult to focus on exercise because of muscle or joint problems. Therefore, it’s important to focus on nutritional needs as you age. Seniors can have different dietary needs, which vary from person to person, but there are some strategies that can make sure you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle and choosing healthy foods. Help at Home caregivers who provide at-home care for the elderly are able to help prepare meals for our clients, but if you choose to prepare meals yourself, keep these guidelines in mind.
Switch to a Nutrient Rich Diet
Caloric needs will possibly decrease with age, so it’s best to focus on nutrient rich foods to get the minerals and vitamins that are needed. Some of these foods include vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean protein, nuts and seeds, and beans and lentils. Foods that have high calorie content but are low in nutrients should be avoided. An occasional treat is fine, but junk food should also be avoided.
Eat Enough Fiber
To have a healthy digestive system and good senior health, it’s necessary to eat fiber. This helps prevent constipation and other digestive problems. Foods that contain a lot of fiber include fruits and vegetables, oat bran, and whole grains. Doctors may recommend a supplement if seniors are struggling to get enough fiber in the diet.
Choose Healthy Convenience
When living a healthy lifestyle, and even with home health care, it can still be difficult to always prep food. If you are choosing convenience foods, be sure to get those that are healthy for you. For example, choose low sodium canned vegetables, rotisserie chicken, low sodium canned soups, or steamer bags of vegetables. When looking at prepackaged foods, check the labels and choose options that don’t have any unnecessary sugars, salt, and saturated fat.
Food is important, but it’s also important to keep drinking fluids for good senior health. You should aim for 64 ounces of water a day, and you can also get water from fruits and vegetables that have high water content.
Be sure to talk with your physician about healthy eating as well, and in particular if there are any dietary restrictions related to medications that you take.
Joyce received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ohio State University and her Master’s in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing from Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. There, she a assumed a faculty and administrative role and later received Hospice Administrator Certification. Her educational background, years of broad-based home care leadership with emphasis on continual improvement and customer service qualifies her to lead Help At Home Homecare in becoming an exceptional provider of private home care services in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Lee and Collier Counties.
Joyce lives in Sarasota with her husband, has three grown daughters and seven grandchildren.