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The ideal diet for older adults
As the body changes with age, the diet of older adults must also change.We give you the primary keys to a healthier diet.
The diet of older adults should be different because as the years go by, gastrointestinal mobility slows down, the intestine does not absorb nutrients as before, and chewing problems get worse.
In addition to being often alone, the elderly are less motivated to prepare meals and keep eating schedules, and as a result, their appetite decreases.
The University Clinic of Navarra, Spain, gives general advice to follow for the diet of older adults:
First, diets should be simple and easy to prepare.
Maintain personal habits and tastes as much as possible.
Take care of the presentation of the food. Divide the diet into several meals. Moderate the consumption of coffee, alcohol, and stimulating drinks.
Get used to drinking fluids between meals. Meals should be light.
The atmosphere at mealtimes should be pleasant and harmonious.
Food should be easy to chew and swallow.
Importance should be given to the diet of milk and dairy products.
Watch your intake of salt and sugar.
Increase your intake of fiber and whole foods.
With age, caloric needs decrease. There is talk of a 10% reduction in calorie intake but that should not affect foods that contain proteins, minerals, and vitamins but rather those foods that contain a greater amount of fats and sugars.
It is important to take into account the main nutritional needs of older adults:
Water needs: It is very important that they stay hydrated, although the sensation of thirst may be reduced, they should drink about 8 glasses of liquid during the day.
Protein needs: It is recommended to eat 60% protein of animal origin, grilled lean meats, cooked or steamed fish, and an indicative amount of 3 eggs a week (boiled or soft-boiled). The remaining 40% is provided by plant-based proteins, combining legumes and vegetables, or legumes and cereals to improve digestibility.
Lipid needs: Avoid excessive fatty foods.
Carbohydrate needs: The ingestion of carbohydrates in the form of bread, cereals, and pasta is recommended instead of sugar.
Mineral needs and Iron needs: Similar to those in adults. Calcium intake must be adequate to prevent or improve osteoporosis.
Vitamin needs: In various studies, it has been found that the intake of vitamins in the elderly is less than recommended.
Source: Navarra University Clinic, Spain
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