You must always eat a balanced diet.
We have been hearing that ever since probably lower high school and maybe even before that. Needless to say, it’s the best advice you can ever get.
As much effective as it is for a regular adult, it is just as much or perhaps even more effective and important for a senior citizen.
However, owing to other physical conditions or illnesses like high blood pressure or diabetes, it may become more difficult to follow a balanced diet during the senior years in life. According to recent surveys conducted to study the eating and general lifestyle habits of senior citizens in Canada, the overall level of keeping up is unsatisfactory. Meaning, Canadian seniors can do better in life.
Even though the metabolism levels go down with age, it doesn’t mean that seniors don’t have to be active at all. The study in fact proved that seniors in Canada are not active as they should be and that a lot of them are overweight.
Additionally, around one third of them are at a nutrition risk.
It is not uncommon for senior citizens to have a lower appetite every now and then, but if it happens too often, it may keep them from consuming any kind of nutritional food, let alone a balanced diet.
Dr. Nina Sereen of Halo Health Care says that it is up to the caregivers to ensure that their senior loved ones are eating well rounded meals at all times, even if they’re living alone. This is very important to maintain regular bodily functions such as:
– Smooth digestion
– Maintenance of proper memory
– Maintenance of general mental capacity
– Maintenance of fairly strong bones and teeth
– Maintenance of normal energy levels
– Ensuring the proper functioning of all the other organs of the body
Suffice it to say that a balanced nutrition is all the more important for a senior citizen and as difficult as it may be for a senior citizen who is living alone to follow a diet, it should be done.
Here are a few tips for senior citizens to boost their nutrition levels and maintain an optimum level.
Try incorporating more nutrition instead of more food
It is understandable that appetite levels may not be the same in the senior years and that’s ok because the metabolism levels are not that high either. The important thing is to ensure that the food that you’re eating, however small an amount it may be, contains all essential nutrients. For this, you need to substitute all kinds of processed food with healthy food, and whenever you’re hungry make the most of it and ensure that the most nutrients go in while you’re eating. If you’re a caretaker, you can keep a note of when your senior loved one does get hungry and make every possible substitution to make sure that they get their nutrition. For example, you can replace butter with peanut butter for toast and nuts for snacks instead of anything processed.
Maintain a schedule
One of the characteristic qualities of human beings is to be able to follow routines and be systematic in life. That benefits our lives in more ways than one. Hence, make sure that you’re following a regular routine every day or at least in terms of your eating habits. This will help increase appetite and at the same time make sure that you’re not eating anything unnecessary or unhealthy. If you’re a caretaker, make a plan for your senior loved one and stick to it.
Socializing plays a very important role in the general mental well-being of senior citizens. It can also help in boosting nutrition as an implication of its effects on mental health. Studies suggest that eating alone or the thought of it can make a person lose their appetite or skip their meal altogether. Hence, once in a while you need to catch up with family and friends and enjoy meals with them. If you’re a caregiver, make sure you have your food with your senior loved one.
One way to avoid junk food or too much processed food is to prepare healthy meals and keep them ready at all times, so that you can much on them instead of reaching out for anything unhealthy. You can easily chop up a few veggies plate out some nuts or fruits and keep them covered for a later part of the day. If you’re a caretaker, you can very well do it for your loved as well.
Cheat on cheat days
Of course you love sweets, pizzas and pretzels. It’s human nature and it is difficult to avoid such things completely. Hence, you can have your cheat days where you very well can indulge in some chocolate or pizza but be sure to maintain a limit. You don’t want to go too overboard as you may have to pay a prize for that later, especially if you’re diabetic.