Nutrition is always an important part of our lives, and as we age, its importance only increases. It becomes extremely important to pay attention to what we eat and what we don’t eat when we get old.
Therefore, in this article we’re gonna take a look on all those things that we should eat and not eat in old age to stay healthy. So without taking a lot of time, let’s begin:
What to eat:
First of all let’s take a look on things that should be eaten in old age:
Fruits and vegies: A mix of fruits and vegetables everyday is very important when it comes to old age diet. Three – five servings of seasonal fruits and vegetables everyday is very important to keep you fit and healthy in old age. It helps in preventing constipation and works as antioxidants. And these can be in any form – fresh, frozen, dried or tinned – depending on your preferences.
Protein: Next most important thing in line is protein. It helps in building muscles and new cells. So you should also include protein rich foods in your everyday diet. The best sources of protein are fish, lean meat and poultry. If you’re vegetarian, soybean is an effective alternative of these things.
Calcium: As we age, bones are one of the very first things that get affected. The bone density decreases, and the extent of its reduction depends on your overall health, diet and age. This is a reason why old age people get fractures more easily than young people. To reverse this effect of aging it’s imperative to consume ample amount of calcium everyday. Calcium helps in rebuilding the damaged bones, and therefore it can make you less prone to fractures and other bone related issues. Dairy products are a good source of calcium, so you should get them in your everyday diet. Milk, yogurt and cheese are some products that you should consume everyday. If you can get some food supplements/products with combination of Calcium and Vitamin D, it will be even better.
Heart Healthy Fats: Heart problems are very common in old age, and therefore you should include some items for heart health too in your everyday diet. And when it comes to heart health, fats that you consume play a major role. Use mustard oil or olive oil instead of Refined oil or other types of oils to cook your food. Both mustard and olive oil help in keeping your cholesterol levels in check, while increasing the good cholesterol at the same time.
Fibre: Constipation is another common problem of old age, and in order to avoid it regular fibre intake is also necessary. Besides that, dietary fibre also helps in reducing the risk of obesity, heart diseases and some cancers. So you should eat fibre rich foods, like wholegrain bread, brown rice, brown pasta and pulse vegetables like peas, lentils and beans.
Water: Lastly, hydration is also important for our body, and its importance only increases with our age. So it’s imperative for you to drink at least 8 glasses of water, juices and other fluids per day to keep yourself hydrated.
What not to eat:
Besides what you should eat, it’s also imperative to keep an eye on what not to eat when you’re old. So here’re a few things that you should avoid eating in old age:
Salt: Too much salt in your food can lead to high blood pressure, therefore, you should use less of it in your food as you get old. If you’re already suffering from high blood pressure then this is even more important.
Saturated fats: We discussed the importance of fats for our heart above. Saturated fats (found in butter, cream, cream based sauces and meat etc.) can affect your heart health in a very bad way, so try to stay away from them as much as possible in old age.
Empty calorie foods: Biscuits, cakes, snacks, sweets and other confectionery items usually tend to have empty calories in them. That is, these foods tend to be rich in calories, but not in other nutrients. These foods, therefore, can do more harm than good to your health. So you should eat them in limited quantity only.
Alcohol: Finally, we have alcohol. Too much alcohol consumption is always bad for body, no matter what your age. But as you get old, the complications of excessive alcohol consumption can be extraordinarily bad. The recommended amount of alcohol that old men can consume is 17 drinks per week. For women it’s even less – 11 drinks per week. These guidelines are based on standard drink size of half pint of beer and 100ml of wine.
So this was our health guide for old age people. As long as you follow it, combined with regular physical activity, you’re very likely to have an independent old age. Happy aging!