Your nutritional needs, like everything else in your body and life, change as you get older, and you may have to alter your diet to match your older age. However, although many people realize that their nutritional needs change as they age, they do not always know in what way. With that in mind, here is a guide to how your dietary needs may change as you reach your senior years.
Do you need to eat less?
Many people believe that they do not need to eat as much as they did previously as they get older. Although metabolism often slows as you get older, and you may need fewer calories, you should make sure that you are still eating enough healthy food as an older person, or else you may find that you experience muscle loss and lose weight, which can impact your immune system and general health.
Luckily, if you ever need to live in a care home, the trained staff will be aware of the nutritional and dietary requirements of older people and can tailor your diet to you and your needs. For instance, the teams at Signature at Reigate Grange can maintain specialist diets to cater to the differing nutritional needs of residents, depending on their age and any medical conditions they have.
Do you need more nutrients?
However, although your appetite may not be as large as it once was, it is important to eat enough so that you can get all of the nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that you need to thrive and remain strong for years to come.
Instead of simply cooking microwave or ready meals because they are easier, you must try and ensure that you consume a balanced diet that is filled with tasty meals and all of the components that your body requires – especially if you live alone and there are no family members helping you with your cooking and grocery shopping.
For instance, you should ensure that you eat enough protein, as this can allow you to prevent muscle loss (which is common among older adults). You should also check your calcium intake so that your bones remain strong and you can avoid osteoporosis.
You should also ensure that you consume enough vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Many older people struggle to get the amounts of these vitamins they need because they often find their body has a decreased ability to absorb important nutrients – such as the ones above. This is because their body produces a lower amount of stomach acid than it did when they were younger. Not only this, but older people may find that they cannot get as much vitamin D as they did previously as their skin is less able to convert sunlight into vitamin D.
Why do you need more nutrients?
There are many reasons why you might need to consume more nutrients as you age. As well as to stave off the common health issues that can manifest in older people, they may need to check their nutrient levels because some medications can prevent them from absorbing nutrients. If you are struggling to get these vitamins and minerals from your diet, you should consider taking supplements to ensure that you can remain healthy for a long time to come. Still, it’s wise to see your doctor before introducing any supplements into your diet or making any changes.