It’s no secret that proper nutrition for older adults is crucial for a healthy body. What many people don’t recognize, however, is that nutritional requirements for adults change as we age. Nutritional specialists at Tufts University have developed the MyPlate system for older adults, which is a more advanced variation of the earlier food pyramid, supplying updated dietary advice for older individuals in particular.
The MyPlate for Older Adults model contains important information on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, salt, and fat; however, it also offers guidance on topics such as advised physical activities and fluid consumption, issues that are of special concern for seniors.
Because activity levels are oftentimes decreased, seniors tend to require fewer calories as they age, but they also still require equal or higher levels of nutrients and regular activity for ideal health. MyPlate for Older Adults recommends:
- Bright-colored vegetables, such as peppers and carrots
- Deeply-colored fruits, such as berries and melons
- Whole, fortified, enriched grains and cereals, like brown rice
- Low- and non-fat dairy products, including yogurt and low lactose milk
- Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads, which contain less saturated and trans fats
- Spices instead of salt
- Liquids such as water and fat-free milk
- Physical activity, such as walking, resistance training, and light household chores
In addition, further recommendations include taking advantage of options that are simpler to prepare and decrease waste, such as bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables and individual-portion cups of fruit.
At San Diego Home Caregivers, we realize it can be a challenge to help aging loved ones follow a nutritious diet. A trained and experienced San Diego home nurse can help plan and prepare nourishing, appetizing meals according to your loved one’s specific nutritional needs, as well as help in a variety of other ways. Contact us online or call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our top-rated home care services and to request a free in-home evaluation.