The Issue of A Balanced Diet For Seniors
The issue of a balanced diet for seniors is a serious one. Some issues we will never outgrow, like the need for healthful eating. Good nutrition is important at every stage of life, from infancy through late adulthood. The basics of a balanced diet remain the same but individual nutritional needs change as one grow older. Eating healthfully means consuming a variety of good foods each day. Food provides the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and water you need for good health. For one reason or another your body may not be getting the right amounts of these nutrients.
Older adults need the same nutrients as younger people, but in differing amounts. As you get older, the number of calories needed is usually less than when you were younger. This is because basic body processes require less energy when there is a decline in physical activity and loss of muscles.
The challenge is to develop an eating plan that supplies plenty of nutrients but not too many calories. This can be done by choosing nutritious foods that are low in fat and high in fiber like whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables.
Everyone can benefit from a balanced diet that is rich in a diversity of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Yet seniors have particular needs that make eating a nutritious diet even more important. While chronic disease conditions can develop as the result of poor eating habits early in life, a nutrient-rich diet can reduce seniors’ risk and symptoms of diseases at any age. Eating well contributes to aging well, as well as a general improvement in the quality of life.
The older adults may have to consult a registered dietitian to develop a balanced diet plan according to their specific needs, based on a number of relevant factors.
In a well defined combination a balanced diet must contain a good amount of milk and milk products, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables. Food rich in fats, especially saturated fats, should be avoided. The diet should be soft, well cooked and should include foods that need little or no mastication such as milk and milk products, soft cooked eggs, soft cooked vegetables, grated salads, fruit juices, soft fruits like banana.
The best way to establish a nutrient-dense diet is to balance a variety of food choices that are adequate to meet nutritional and caloric needs of each individual being served. Different disease diagnosis will require specific dietary changes based on the specific requirements the doctor and patient agree upon.
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