Old age can be a burden on those who have weak health. Hence, the best way to keep healthy is by taking proper nutrition
Age and food have an intense relationship. It is a myth that someone above the age of 50 cannot live a life like he/she did when young. One of the significant determinants of a healthy mind and body is the food that you eat. With increasing age, the body needs more nutrients. In this state, the growth of the cells and tissues in the body slows down, leading to a drastic decline in the immunity. Problems such as stomach problems, weakening of bones and muscles, fatigue and decreased physical activity tend to take over. Also, there is an increased risk of diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, high blood pressure. But this does not mean that you start cutting down on food. Under-eating is way more harmful. Hence, it is essential to ensure that your diet is apt to supplement you completely.
Those finding it difficult, below are some expert tips by Dr Upasana Sharma, Head Nutritionist, Max Hospital, Gurgaon on how and what to eat for a healthy and disease-free old age:
Adequate nutrition and a well-balanced diet are vital even during old age. It helps prevent and control the common hazards of ageing. Hence, it essential to eat a proper diet with all essential nutrients, including protein, carbs, healthy fats, fibre, etc. Adequate care should be taken that the diets of the elderly are nutritionally adequate and well balanced. Hence, if suffering from a health ailment, one should always consult a doctor and have a diet, which does not disturb your overall health. Intake of energy-rich foods like sweets, fried & high-fat foods, cereals and starches ( sugar, maida, etc) should be reduced while the liberal amount of milk and milk products, green leafy vegetables, fruits should be included to meet the vitamin and minerals needs
Diseases Galore In Old Age
Undernutrition, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis have been identified as the essential and commonly prevalent nutrition-related health problems among them. Hence, wide variations inability of the elderly to ingest, digest, absorb and utilize nutrients, make it difficult to generalize their nutritional needs. To make sure that the person is eating well, keep a check on any of these diseases or ailments for further modification in diet. Also, one should be regular on periodic health checkups and weight monitoring for early detection of health problem.
Mental Health Barriers
Many factors like decreased mobility, social isolation & depression are known to affect the health & well being of the elderly. Hence, a proper diet and physical activity and a pleasant environment are essential for adding healthy and happy years to the life of the elderly. So, make sure that the elderly are not left in isolation, have someone around them for sharing and talking. Also, never let them feel that they are of no use in the house. Keep them engaged in certain household activities as per their physical ability.
Some Tips From The Expert:
- An adequate intake of calcium should be ensured in case of insufficient exposures to sunshine, and vitamin D supplementation should be considered.
- Foods rich in fats, especially saturated and trans fats, should be avoided.
- One should include mustard oil, til oil, canola oil etc.
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