Proper and healthy diet is an important factor for sustaining life and for leading a healthy life. But as we pass through different phases of our lives, our dietary needs undergo a lot of transformation. Elderly people experience a lot of physiological changes in their digestive system; hence they need to eat a special diet that can take care of their unique needs.
Importance of a Balanced Diet
The importance of consuming a balanced diet cannot be emphasized enough. This holds good for any age group; as a balanced diet not only supplies adequate calories to fuel various activities, but also provides vital nutrients like vitamins and essential minerals that are crucial for good health.
Importance of Fiber in Diet for Elderly
As we age, the intestinal motility and ability to propel waste matter forward through the intestines, is gradually reduced. This explains the higher incidence of constipation in older folks. Chronic constipation can also aggravate the risk of developing cancer of the rectum or colon in aged people. Fiber is an indispensable part of a healthy diet for elderly people; as it can help in proper removal of waste fecal matter and also prevents incidence of many dangerous disorders like rectal cancer.
Best Sources of Fiber in Diet
- Whole grain
- Vegetables, especially green and leafy veggies
- Fruits; consumed with the exterior covering (wherever possible)
Importance of Eating a Low Fat Diet
As age advances, the risk for developing atherosclerosis, cardiovascular troubles, diabetes, hypertension etc are all on the rise. This makes it all the more important to control the amount of fat in diet for old people. Ensure that the daily consumption of fat is not more than 20 % of recommend daily calorie value. One excellent way of controlling fat intake and using the consumed fat to your advantage is by cutting back all unhealthy saturated fats and substituting them with healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids.
Best Sources of Healthy Fat
- Olive Oil
Other Important Factors to Be Included In Healthy Diet for Elderly
- Adequate amounts of water
- Calcium sources like low fat yogurt, eggs, low fat milk.
- Iron sources like fish, low fat meat, and green leafy vegetables.
- Folate sources like green leafy vegetables, whole grain, eggs etc.
A healthy diet has to be supplemented with adequate exercise in order to prove beneficial. Moderate amount of exercise should be performed regularly; but only after consulting your doctor for advice regarding the safety.
About the Author: Aaron Garcia has experience assisting and caring for the elderly. He understands the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and recommends Craftmatic Electric Beds for in-home care of elderly individuals.