How Your Nutritional Needs Change as You Age
As we age, our bodies change in a myriad of ways that aren’t always visible. Muscle loss, less stomach acid, and thinner skin are all common as our bodies evolve. Often, fewer calories are expended throughout the day, which means that weight gain may occur if your daily diet isn’t changed. Nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, protein, and vitamin B12 also naturally decline, so increasing these elements through proper senior nutrition is critical.
5 Common Myths About Senior Nutrition
Senior nutrition facts versus senior nutrition myths are a common topic of conversation for people looking to establish the best guidelines for eating and living well. Here are the top nutrition myths debunked:
Myth #1: You Need Fewer Nutrients As A Senior
While it’s true that you need fewer calories as you age, it’s untrue that you need fewer nutrients. In fact, your body needs even more nutrients packed into a lower calorie diet to maintain a healthy weight.
Myth #2: You Can Skip Meals
A frequently misunderstood senior nutrition fact is that you can skip meals if you’re not feeling hungry, or if you’re trying to lose weight. Skipping meals can lead to spikes in blood sugar when you do eventually eat, and can also cause you to overeat at your next meal. Even if you’re not feeling ravenous at a meal, try to eat a little something to keep your energy levels up.
Myth #3: It’s Natural To Lose Your Appetite As You Get Older
Losing your appetite as you age, especially if food was once pleasurable, can indicate some additional underlying issues. Depression is commonly linked to a lack of appetite, so losing your appetite is a sign that something isn’t quite right. Discuss your changing mealtime habits with your doctor to identify what else could be causing your lack of appetite.
Myth #4: You Can Just Drink Liquids When You Feel Thirsty
Dehydration commonly occurs in older adults, and can decrease kidney functions. It’s critical to drink water before you feel that you’re thirsty to avoid dehydration. Carrying a water bottle or making an hourly effort to stay hydrated are good tactics to avoid dehydration, which can cause confusion, lethargy, a rapid heart rate, or difficulty walking. Always make sure to replenish your fluids after exercise, as well.
Myth #5: It’s Too Late To Begin Eating Healthy Once You’re Past 60
It’s never too late to begin eating healthy and getting proper exercise! Even if your nutrition habits weren’t the best in your younger years, you can still turn things around with a diet high in vegetables, protein, and whole grains and low in saturated fat, sugar, and salt. You’ll find that once your diet changes, your energy levels will also rebound as well.
At Nye Health Services, we’re here to help you and your loved ones with proper senior nutrition, along with a host of other senior health services. Contact us to see how our team can help celebrate your “fine wine” status with more ways to keep your vintage a classic!