The nutritional requirements of each older adult vary, taking into account their age, health status, and daily activities.
The diet of the human being varies throughout his life, but when a person becomes an older adult, the consumption of water and the intake of foods rich in: proteins, calcium, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates, potassium and oils made from canola, olive and plant-based, it becomes increasingly important to maintain a healthy body.
The body loses muscle mass, the levels of iron, folic acid and vitamins D, C, E and B12 decrease. The deficiency of these nutrients can cause the appearance of clinical signs that affect the ability to develop specific functions of the organism, compromising in the long term the quality of life.
Out of every three older adults, one has some type of chronic disease, which can be cardiac, cerebrovascular, pulmonary, diabetes, high blood pressure, cognitive impairment, depression, and cancer. Hence, it is advisable to combine a diet with 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
The meals of the elderly, which must be hygienic, palatable, easy to prepare, chew and digest; they have to include foods like:
1. Dairy (milk, yogurt or low-fat or low-fat fresh cheese, 3 times a day).
2. Vegetables and fruits of different colors, especially green ones (2 daily dishes).
3. Nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds).
4. Proteins (meat, chicken or fish).
5. Carbohydrates (rice and whole wheat bread).
6. Canola and olive oil.
7. Potassium (guinea or tomato).
8. Fats (in moderation).
It is important for older adults to hydrate. That is why it is necessary to consume 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, in addition to reducing sugar and salt in meals. The latter is to reduce the risk of hypertension.
Each older adult is different and your GP will be able to indicate your nutritional requirements taking into account your age, health status and daily activities.
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