Diet for the elderly – what should elderly people eat

A diet for a senior should meet his specific needs. Seniors eat badly and hence many ailments that could be easily avoided. With age, we more often complain about malaise. And we think that this privilege of old age must be accepted somehow. Nothing more wrong! Older people simply need to take more care of a healthy diet.

Special treatment

Is a special diet for a senior really needed? Over the years, our body works more slowly. Adverse changes do not bypass the digestive system. The amount of saliva and digestive juices is reduced, so it’s harder to digest food. Intestinal peristalsis is slowed down, intestinal villi become shorter and wider, the colon microflora also changes, so nutrients are less well absorbed.

So if we do not adapt our diet to these new conditions, we are threatened by gastrointestinal discomfort, but also a general deterioration of well-being resulting from nutrient deficiencies. Research shows that seniors eat very badly. First of all, bad habits that are difficult to change are to blame. “I’ve eaten like this all my life and have been healthy. Why change that?” 70-year-old asks. And on his menu animal fats do not disappear, eg butter, lard, bacon, and soups and sauces are seasoned with cream.

Senior ‘s diet – not just a thin wallet

Usually, the lack of money means that the pensioner’s diet lacks full-value animal protein (lean meat and sausages) because it is simply too expensive.

Elderly people, especially the sick, rarely go shopping, which is why when they go to the store, they choose products with extended shelf life, e.g. canned goods, and give up fresh fruit and vegetables that break quickly.

Healthy fats and vegetables should be the daily basics of such diet!
Healthy fats and vegetables should be the daily basics of such diet!

Disturbances in the sense of taste and smell, as well as the often associated lack of appetite, mean that seniors do not attach importance to food. They also do not prepare meals that require a lot of effort. Especially lonely people who live in a sense of isolation, feel less useful for the environment, do not care about their diet.

Lack of teeth can also be the reason for improper nutrition – they make chewing and crushing food more difficult, which impairs digestion. That is why seniors eat little fruit, whole wheat bread, i.e. products rich in fibre. They prefer easily digestible food, but not necessarily valuable, e.g. wheat bread (does not cause food ailments, but also does not provide valuable nutrients).

For these reasons, older people are often overweight or emaciated and the deficiencies of nutrients accompanying both these conditions.

To avoid this, the diet should be arranged carefully. He must take into account the individual dietary needs and recommendations of the doctor, e.g. In diabetes or atherosclerosis.

Golden tips for senior diet!

The menu must include cereal products (whole grain and mixed bread – wheat and rye), cereal, rice, pasta and potatoes ( preferably steamed).

Once a week, cooked meat is recommended, eg lean beef (provides iron) and poultry meat (strengthens the heart).

Two weekly eat about 200 g of fish – they provide essential fatty acids that increase the level of good cholesterol, reduce clotting blood, prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease. Fish, especially oily (herring, mackerel), contain a lot of vitamin D. Elderly people rarely use the sun, so vitamin D is not synthesized in their skin in sufficient quantity.

Eat no more than 2-3 eggs a week, because the yolk contains a lot of cholesterol (protein can be eaten at will). The menu must contain dairy – an excellent source of calcium that strengthens bones and teeth. However, it should be remembered that the amount of lactase – the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose (milk sugar) decreases with age. So if sweet milk causes bloating and stomach ache, drink kefir, yoghurt, buttermilk or acidophilic (fermented) milk. They do not cause discomfort and improve colon microflora. You can also take lactase preparations (available at pharmacies without a prescription) just before a meal containing milk.

Eat legumes, beans, soybeans, lentils twice a week. They contain phytoestrogens – compounds acting similarly to estrogens, which alleviate menopausal discomfort, lower cholesterol and protect the heart. Season the dishes with herbs that prevent bloating, e.g. cumin, marjoram, and savoury. Essential vitamins and fatty acids in the senior diet

Eat vegetables and fruits raw or steam and shred. They are a source of fibre, potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamins. They delay ageing, reduce the risk of cancer and atherosclerosis.

Use 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil or corn, sunflower, soy, linseed oil daily. Add them to salads, because they facilitate the absorption of vitamin E and beta-carotene.

With age, we start to lack enzymes that facilitate the absorption of unsaturated fatty acids. That is why it is worth reaching for evening primrose and borage oil (in capsules) – which the body will use much better.