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Diet for old age

I am 71 year old men. Height- 5.5 inch, weight-76 kg. I would like to know what is my correct diet in this age.
(November 2, 2010)

Diet For Old People

As people are affected by the aging process, their bodies change, along with their appearance. Older people are more prone to various health problems, especially those that are related to the gastrointestinal tract. It has been seen that conditions like diarrhea and constipation are more common in elderly people. Apart from gastrointestinal problems, older people may also have metabolic concerns as well as a reduction in physical activity due to which, they need a lower number of calories, but the same amount of nutrients. Other factors that could affect a senior citizen’s health & eventually dietary requirements are the reduced production of saliva as well as poor dental health.

Therefore, most doctors advise people who are aging to follow a special diet for old people.

Just like a diet that is followed by teenagers as well as young adults, a diet for old people should follow the principles of a well balanced and healthy eating plan.

Given below are the different food groups that should be a part of a diet for elderly people:

• Cereals, bread and potatoes: This food group should form the main part of every meal consumed by elderly people. The items that are included in this food group are whole grain bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, wheat bran and other breakfast cereals as well as potatoes.
• Fruits and vegetables: Items form this food group should be consumed with every meal. Hence elderly people should consume at least 5 to 6 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday. Fruits that are most beneficial for the elderly are oranges, prunes, tangerine, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupes, grapefruit, bananas, pomegranate, plums, apricots and apples. Vegetables that should be included in a diet for old people are carrots, spinach, peas, okra, bitter gourd, tomatoes, beets, squash and onions. The elderly people should eat a lot of garlic, which is excellent for several health conditions, especially blood pressure.
• Dairy products: While not all elderly people can stomach dairy products comfortably, at least 3 servings of dairy products should be consumed every day, to strengthen the bones. A balanced diet for elderly people should include skim milk, plain yogurt and low fat cheese.
• Meat, fish and beans: At least 2 servings of foods that are high in protein should be consumed every day. This could include skinless chicken and turkey, fish and eggs. Red meat is known for increasing the levels of cholesterol in the body and therefore, foods like lamb, beef, pork, veal, venison and meat organs should be consumed in limited quantities. Since most dried beans as well as legumes are high in protein, they are also good for consumption and should be included in a diet for old people.
• Herbs and spices: If the elderly suffer from blood pressure or other such problems, they may need to restrict their consumption of salt. Moreover, since many elderly people suffer from loss of smell and taste, it is best for them to enhance the flavors of food, by using herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary. Several spices like cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and ginger are not only great for improving the taste of food, but can also be beneficial for the health of the elderly. Therefore such herbs and spices should be an integral part of a diet for old people.

A diet for old people should consist of 6 small meals a day, instead of 2 or 3 large meals. This helps aid digestion and reduces the levels of stomach acid. The way foods are cooked also play an important role and therefore, the elderly should mainly eat foods that are baked, grilled, roasted or broiled.

In a diet for people of old age, foods that are high in fats and sugar should be limited, though not necessarily eliminated. Hence chips, sodas, sweets, cakes, chocolates, cookies pies and other such foods should be eaten only once in a while. However, not every senior person should follow a high-fiber and low fat diet. People who are prone to infections or other immunity related problems, as well as a poor appetite should choose a diet that is high in nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, proteins and so on.

Elderly people should consult a doctor or a dietician, before following any diet on a long term basis.

Submitted by C N on November 2, 2010 at 06:18


Dietary Advice for Old Age

Your diet in this age depends more on the presence or absence of any complication. If you are not suffering from any complications, such as diabetes, heart problems, hypertension or renal diseases, feel free to eat what is healthy. A balanced diet is recommended; especially in the old age is essential to follow, as absorption of nutrients is hindered and malabsorption results in malnourishment. This in turn might give rise to certain complications.

A diet rich in vegetables, fruits and other foods are helpful. The food pyramid helps in choosing the right kind of foods. The base of the pyramid comprise of cereals. About 6-11 servings of cereals are recommended. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, oats and rye are preferred more, as the fibre helps in relieving constipation, which is typical of old age. Vegetables and fruits provide phytonutrients helpful in overcoming diseases. Three to five servings and 2-4 servings are recommended respectively. About 2-3 servings each of meat, poultry and fish and milk and related products prove beneficial. These supply the essential protein and other minerals essential for the various body functions. Fats and oils are used in a sparing manner. Sweets are eaten in a restricted manner to avoid any complications.

Read useful information on BMI and bmi chart to know your weight and height ratio.

Submitted by E L on April 6, 2008 at 10:34


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