Sufficient nutrition and a balanced diet can do wonders in keeping the elderly healthy. But eating ‘healthy’ is easier said than done. Keeping a balanced diet that meets all the recommended nutritional criteria may be daunting if one is unaware how to properly balance the essentials in a diet to match their ageing selves.
This article offers some tips for maintaining a healthy geriatric diet.
a) It’s recommended that older generation consume at least 130 grams of carbohydrates per day.
b) Aim for at least five servings of fruits & vegetables each day.
c) Stay fit and strong by consuming a variety of protein-rich foods each day. Great sources of protein include lean meat, poultry and fish. Otherwise, one can consume simpler foods like beans, eggs and nuts.
d) An approximate amount of three servings of low-fat dairy foods each day is recommended for maintaining bone health. Dairy foods with added calcium and vitamin D are even better.
e) Choose heart-healthy fats.
f) Use less salt. Too much salt in the diet can contribute to high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to stroke or heart disease. You can reduce the amount of salt in your diet by:
- Using pepper, lemon juice, herbs and spices to flavour food instead of salt
- Choosing fresh foods as often as possible
- Limiting theintake of processed or canned food
- Limit the intake of salt. Too much salt is equivalent to more than 1.5g (0.6g sodium) per 100g of any food item. Practice caution when consuming packed & canned foods like soups, sauces, instant noodles, etc.
- Limit the consumption of biscuits, cakes, savoury snacks (crisps, peanuts), sweets and confectioneries as they are rich in calories, fat, sugar and salt.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day. As a general rule, 8 glasses of water a day should be sufficient.
g) Balance your food intake with physical activity. Exercise translates towards utilizing our energy stocks and thus one has to eat properly in order to replenish them. However, it’s important not to overeat or eat too less, so keep an eye on your meal portion size.
h) Always consult your family doctor, dietician or nutritionist on your eating and dietary habits because of the prevalence of acute and chronic illnesses amongst the elderly.
The bottom line, an efficiently managed geriatric diet can lead to a healthier lifestyle for the elderly. So, start planning on your healthy diet!