Most of us already know that nutrition is a vital part of maintaining good health as we age. However, maintaining a nutritious diet is not an easy task, especially for seniors. Many seniors have struggled to get all the necessary nutrients to be strong and healthy because of limited mobility and chronic health conditions. Therefore, it is no wonder that some seniors lose track of a healthy eating routine resulting in malnourishment. Additionally, It can also be a result of social isolation and reduced cognitive and physical capacity.
Another possible factor is a misconception. Many older adults are not aware of what they should be eating, leading to an unhealthy way of eating. Which then results in to not receive the proper nourishment they need to strengthen their aging bodies.
6 Common Misconceptions About Nutrition for Seniors There are a lot of commonly believed myths about nutrition that older adults should be aware of. This article will discuss a few of those myths and list some facts to dispel them. The following are a few common misconceptions that older adults have about nutrition.
Myth 1: Seniors Must Eat Three Meals a Day, Everyday. Fact: Caloric need differs depending on the health condition of seniors. Hence, their caloric requirement changes too. Instead of three meals a day, older adults should eat small meals or snacks throughout the day to prevent unwanted weight gain or loss.
Myth 2: Protein is not Important for Seniors. Fact: Proteins are essential in building and repairing muscles and tissues in our bodies; this is why they are vital for optimal growth and development. Studies show that protein deficiency makes it harder for people to maintain proper body weight and muscle mass, leading to weakness and impaired physical function that could cause injuries and accidents, especially in seniors who have limited mobility.
Myth 3: Seniors Should Eat Lots of Fat. Fact: This is a myth that seniors should avoid. While it is true that seniors need more fats in their diets, extra fats and oils can cause unwanted weight gain and could lead to cardiovascular diseases and other chronic diseases. It would be best to stick to healthy fats like fatty fish, flaxseed oil, and olive oil.
Myth 4: Sugar-Free or Sugar-less Foods are Good for Seniors. Fact: Avoiding sugar is not always good for your health, especially if you are an older adult. You need sugar in your diet, specifically simple sugars, because they are quickly metabolized by the body, giving energy for your daily activities and making you feel active. Seniors should consume about 25-40 grams of sugar for every 180-pound bodyweight.
Myth 5: Supplements are Sufficient. Fact: If you think that supplements contain enough nutrients to nourish your body, you are wrong. While supplements give nutrients, they do not contain the necessary micro-nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, present in the whole food. Therefore, seniors should ensure they get their nutrients from whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, and dairy products.
Myth 6: Seniors Only Need to Eat What They Feel Like. Fact: The aging process can play tricks on older adults’ appetites, making them feel hungry or full, leading seniors to eat more or less than their bodies need. It is vital to realize the importance of continuing to eat despite the trick. It will ensure your senior loved one’s body will get the nutrients and energy needed to function properly. Try to provide them with small meals regularly throughout the day, even if they are not hungry at the moment.
Most of the time, these misconceptions lead to malnutrition and unhealthy eating habits. However, these myths can be avoided when you know how much nutrients you need to eat every day and which foods contain these nutrients. Ultimately, it is best to consult a registered dietitian or a physician specializing in geriatrics if you have any nutritional questions or concerns regarding your health that could lead to malnourishment and other diseases.
Link: https://www.serenity-senior-care.com/tips-for-healthy-aging Author bio I’m Andrea Gibbs, Born, raised, and still living in New York. I’m a work-at-home mom with a background in business development, strategy, and social media marketing. I’m a blog contributor at Serenity Senior care to motivate other parents about how they can enhance their elderly loved ones quality of life.