It’s no secret that a healthy senior diet is essential for a healthy body. What many people don’t recognize, however, is that nutritional needs for adults change as we get older. Nutritional specialists at Tufts University have developed the MyPlate system, which is a more advanced version of the earlier food pyramid, giving up-to-date nutritional advice for older individuals in particular.
The MyPlate for Older Adults model features important information on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, salt, and fat; however, it also gives advice on topics like advised physical activities and fluid consumption, issues that are of specific concern for seniors.
Since activity levels are oftentimes lessened, older adults tend to require fewer calories as they age, but they also still require the same or greater levels of nutrients and regular activity for optimal health. MyPlate for Older Adults advises:
- Brightly-colored vegetables, such as peppers and carrots
- Deep-colored fruits, such as melons and berries
- Whole, fortified, enriched grains and cereals, such as brown rice
- Low- and non-fat dairy products, like yogurt and low lactose milk
- Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads, which contain lower amounts of saturated and trans fats
- Spices as a substitute to salt
- Liquids like water and fat-free milk
- Physical activity, such as walking, resistance training, and light housework
In addition, further recommendations include taking advantage of choices that are more simplified to prepare and reduce waste, such as bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables and single-portion cups of fruit.
At Complete Care at Home, we realize it can be a struggle to help aging loved ones stick to a healthy diet. Our dedicated caregivers can help plan and prepare wholesome, appetizing meals based on your loved one’s particular nutritional needs. Contact us online or call us at (805) 727-3445 to learn more about our home caregivers in Santa Barbara and surrounding areas, and to arrange a free in-home evaluation. To learn more about all of the areas we serve in California, please visit our Service Area page.