It’s another fact of life that we all have to face at some point – the dreaded “I’m not as young as I used to be” means that you need to make changes. Aging adult bodies just can’t keep up with the reckless diets of our youth – fried foods, sugary drinks, fatty cheese dishes – you name it. Even trying to keep up with what you know as a “healthy” diet can cause some issues. To stay on top of you or your loved one’s health, you have to make some changes!
Foods Seniors Should Avoid
As a whole, aging bodies are a lot more sensitive to several illnesses brought on by a poor diet – or food of lower quality. The immune and digestive systems are weaker, less able to handle any problems that occur. As such, a lot of the foods that were safe “enough” to eat, or only marginally unhealthy for you may cause a lot more problems.
First and foremost, foods that have the potential to cause illness should be treated carefully or avoided outright. Undercooked, underprepared, or raw animal products (like milk, meat, and eggs) is a prime example. On top of that, food that was incorrectly stored or prepared poses a significant threat, as well. Avoid unpasteurized beverages, ill-stored meats and cheeses, untreated vegetables (especially leafy greens like kale), and fresh fruits and vegetables. Being careful to store your food properly will make them safe to eat, though! Make sure you check the expiration date, though.
Then, you need to be aware of foods that are significantly more unhealthy as the body ages. Highest on the list of concerns includes foods high in sugars or artificial sugars. Your risk for diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions rises dramatically as you get older, so veering clear of fruit juices, sodas, cakes, or candies is a good step. Opting for sugar-free or sugar substitute food and drink isn’t recommended, either – artificial sweeteners can still contribute to weight gain and unhealthy blood sugar drops. These guidelines are similar to those given to anyone concerned about their weight, but they are more essential as you get older.
As you get older and need to take medication to keep on top of various ailments, your diet needs to start reflecting these problems as well. First and foremost, you should NEVER have alcohol in the same time frame as you take your medications. There are a lot of interactions between different medications and alcohol that can range from upsetting to fatal – it’s not worth the risk. As a lesser-known interaction, you should also avoid eating grapefruit if you’re taking blood pressure, anxiety, or insomnia medications. Grapefruit contains a compound that can make the intended effects of those medicines too strong, potentially making them dangerous.
Food Seniors Should Eat More Of
Eating right when you get older is mostly reminiscent of eating healthy when you’re younger, but shifting your focus to include some vital nutrients is a must. Focusing your diet around lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats should be your first step, staying away from non-nutritional or overly processed foods. Getting your recommended daily amount of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods is also crucial. Focusing on getting the proper amounts of vitamins B6, B12, D, folic acid, and calcium is also important.
We Know Nutrition
Nevada Adult Day Healthcare is more than just having physical care and support – we can also help you or your loved one maintain a balanced diet! Our nutritionists are skilled and well informed on how one needs to eat as they grow older, and can help provide that care! If allergies, illnesses, or preferences are a factor, we can help accommodate! NADHC can give healthy and hot meals to make everyone happy!