We used to believe that people’s metabolisms slowed as they aged, but new research suggests that something else is going on. Aging adults eat similarly but move less and have less muscle mass. This results in weight gain.
According to experts, there are certain guidelines older adults need to follow in order to stay healthy. And, here are some of these guidelines.
Regular and Healthy Meals Should Be Encouraged
What you eat has a significant impact on how you feel and look. Eating healthy and balanced meals on a regular basis is a very good way to promote overall health and prevent weight gain, which can be especially problematic in older adults (usually defined as adults 65 and older) and can lead to diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Aiming for 2,000 – 2,600 nutrient-rich calories per day can help you eat well as you get older.
Calculate your calorie requirements based on your age, gender, and level of activity.
The caloric guidelines can be found here. You can also track your calories and intake with an app or website like SuperTracker: https://www.supertracker.usda.gov.
If your activity level decreases as you get older, you won’t need as many calories as you did when you were younger. To stay healthy, satisfied, and at a safe weight, eat foods that are high in nutrients but low in calories.
Weight loss is generally not advised for people over the age of 65. If weight loss is required, it should be done gradually, at a rate of 1/2 to 1 pound per week (reducing 300 – 500 calories per day), and under medical supervision.
Consult Your Doctor
Your medical professionals are aware of your medical history. Talk to your doctor or another medical professional if you are concerned about your diet and eating well as you get older. The doctor can give you specific advice on how to choose the best food options for you and how to prepare your meals for your health. Specific vitamins and minerals may also be required to supplement your diet.
Inquire with your doctor about any specific foods you should include or exclude from your diet. Many doctors, for example, recommend cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates as you get older. This can reduce your chances of developing diabetes or heart disease.
If you are concerned about food-drug interactions, consult your doctor. Inform your doctor about any OTC medications or supplements you are taking, as well as any medications prescribed to you by another doctor. Consult a registered dietitian for additional advice on how to eat well as you age.
Note: Discuss vitamin deficiencies with your doctor as well. It is common for older adults to require vitamin B and D supplements.
Keep Track of Your Water Consumption
People frequently rely on their thirst to tell them when it’s time to drink some water. As people age, their sense of thirst may diminish, putting them at risk of dehydration.
Carry a water bottle with you, or keep a glass with about two cups of water on your desk. Tell yourself that you must consume at least four of those glasses each day. This may help you stay hydrated.
Consume Lots of Fruits
This food group contains essential nutrients that promote health, such as fiber and vitamin C. Every day, include a variety of fruits in your diet. This can lower your chances of having a heart attack or having a stroke. It may also satisfy a sweet tooth, allowing you to consume less refined sugar.
Consume at least 12 to 2 cups of fruit per day. Combining colorful options for different nutrients helps you maintain your health as you age. Try combining fruits like blueberries, papaya, raspberries, pineapple, strawberries, melons, and bananas.
If possible, choose whole, fresh or frozen fruits. These are higher in fiber and nutrients than canned fruits or juices. If you want fruit juice, make sure it is 100% juice and that the serving size is no more than 4 oz.