10 Nutrition Tips for Seniors

When it comes to geriatric nutrition, and like most all dietary recommendations, dietitians and nutrition experts push for meals comprised of nourishing, whole foods. But with advancing age, additional considerations surface to best accommodate factors that may impede on dietary patterns, intakes, and utilizations. Optimize health and nutrition for seniors with these 10 tips.

1. Enjoy a Nourishing Breakfast

Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day, as eating that morning meal is essentially as it sounds – breaking the fast. Especially if managing blood sugars, seniors going without nourishment for extended bouts of time poses concern of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugars that may cause faintness and weakness. But rather than leveling blood sugars with a sugar-filled donut, gravitate towards a fiber-filled, protein-packed breakfast, including a black bean egg white omelet, Greek yogurt parfait topped with fresh fruit, or overnight oats.

2. Drink Milk

Drinking milk supplies healthy carbs, protein, and that notorious bone-strengthening calcium, accommodating the senior health concern of a heightened risk of muscle and bone loss and weakening. Just one 8-ounce cup of milk supplies 8 grams of protein and provides approximately 25 percent of total daily calcium needs for seniors! But if lactose intolerant or managing a dairy allergy, additional calcium-rich sources include spinach, soybeans and soymilk, almonds, and fortified products including orange juice and cereals.

3. And Water

While drinking water does not supply calcium the way milk does, the practice is one of the most valuable elderly nutrition recommendations. Whether related to a compromised thirst mechanism or forgetting its intake, seniors are at an increased risk of dehydration. A simple way to validate adequate water intake is by checking urine. If the color is mostly clear and light yellow, proper hydration may be signified but if the urine is mostly dark or cloudy, increasing water may be validated. Seniors should drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day by using a large water bottle, setting out glasses in convenient locations, setting water reminders, or any other technique to increase consumption.

4. Offer Protein at Meals and Snacks

Seniors are encouraged to aim for at least 1.0 gram of protein per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight, with supplementary recommendations suggesting active seniors should strive for at least 1.2 g/kg. Offering protein at meals and snacks helps ensure adequate protein consumption while fostering muscle mass and other valuable benefits of protein. Choosing from these lean and plant-based sources can spark inspiration and ideas for achieving sufficient protein intake.

5. Mix Up Smoothies

Especially if appetite is low, mixing up healthful smoothies allows seniors to sip down ample nutrients. Adding frozen bananas to the mix not only offers extra creaminess, but supplies potassium, an electrolyte beneficial to regulate blood pressure levels. Additional necessities of a well-balanced smoothie include a protein source, a natural sweetener source, and other nutrients that are further outlined here.

6. Go Fish

Or, at least consume one or two servings a week. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fat that keeps gaining recognition related to its robust health benefits. In fact, omega-3 has been proven to reduce inflammation within the body, in turn showing promise in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Beyond fish, additional sources include flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, canola oil, and walnuts. In addition to offering the healthy fat, most sources offer muscle-strengthening protein.

7. Ditch the Salt Shaker

General sodium recommendations suggest no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day, but may be 1,300 mg or less if additional health concerns are impeding. Seniors are encouraged to ditch the salt shaker in the kitchen and at the table, as one teaspoon of salt supplies over the daily recommendation at 2,325 mg. Along with ditching the salt shaker, seniors can reduce the sodium intake by limiting processed snacks, rinsing off canned products such as beans, and enhancing flavors with the use of spices.

8. Eat with Others

Isolation is of concern in the elderly population, particularly when determined to live at home, which increases the risk of association depression and loss of appetite. To lessen the risk of such ramifications of isolation, continue encouraging socialization, including eating with others at a senior center, preparing meals with family members, or monthly gatherings with neighbors.

9. Confide in Silver Cuisine

Silver Cuisine is an extension of the leading meal delivery service bistroMD. It was created with seniors in mind and delivers well-balanced, nutritious meals straight to doorsteps. Seniors can maintain health, while caregivers have peace of mind they are receiving it, and lessen the stress of meal preparation. For more information on Silver Cuisine, visit the official website here.

10. Make Simple Changes

While the identified elderly nutrition tips show promise to health, they must be implemented to obtain such benefits. For the most adherence, make simple changes and slowly progress to them. Especially if set in habitual ways, such tips may be hard to achieve. So rather than going for all 8 recommended glasses of water, especially if only consuming a couple of glasses at the time, increase to 3, 4, and so on until the habit has become innate.

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Our team of dietitians, chefs and fitness experts love to share helpful information and tips to make living your best life as easy as possible. We stand for longer and healthier living through what we eat and how we live.