Tips for a healthy diet in old age
Proper nutrition in old age is not much different from the rules for nutrition in younger years. Whole grain cereals, lots of vegetables and fruit, daily fresh dairy products and occasionally fish ensure a varied and balanced menu. Foods rich in fat and sugar are not recommended for children, young adults or seniors and should therefore be avoided as much as possible.
Nutritional problems in old age
Old age, physical changes or certain illnesses can make eating more difficult in old age. In addition, depending on age and state of health, sensations such as enjoyment, hunger and thirst are only falsified or no longer correctly perceived, so that various problems and restrictions can arise in the context of nutrition, which can make eating more difficult. What are typical nutritional problems in old age?
- Food intolerance
In the course of life, people can develop intolerance to food, which must be taken into account in old age. If you frequently have gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea and flatulence, but also headaches after consuming certain foods, these can be possible indicators of a food intolerance.
- Effects of drugs on diet
In addition to the digestive activity, which is already reduced in old age, medications that are taken regularly or acutely can impair gastrointestinal activity. In seniors who are taking drainage tablets because of high blood pressure or heart failure, this can result in short or long term to a threatening lack of fluids and nutrients.
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- Special nutrition for chronic or acute illnesses
Some diseases require special diets to relieve symptoms or to keep the disease from getting worse. Operations or treatments can also require special nutrition. These include omitting certain foods, taking nutritional supplements and sometimes using clinical nutrition.
The main diseases that raise nutritional problems include
- Parkinson’s Syndrome
- Depression or old age depression
- Diabetes requires low fat diet
Poor blood sugar regulation and a weakened pancreas can trigger diabetes mellitus in old age. Seniors with diabetes should only eat foods with a low glycemic index and generally eat as low in fat as possible. Because animal fats in particular have a negative effect on health due to their saturated fatty acids. However, what many diabetics tolerate well are high-fiber, highly filling products.
- Changed taste preferences and appetite in dementia
People with dementia sometimes develop taste preferences, as the perception of taste can completely shift as a result of the disease. Likewise, the perception of hunger, thirst, satiety and taste can be disturbed or decrease rapidly. As a result, people with dementia no longer feel hunger, appetite and well-being from eating.
- Underweight in old age? Set up a fixed nutrition plan!
Perhaps you are familiar with the situation: you have less and less appetite, often eat the same thing or lose your body due to illness. Then you should take special care now, consciously change your diet and try not to lose any more weight.
- Disturbed fluid balance in old age
In addition to nutritional problems, the fluid balance can also be impaired in old age. Basically, the recommended daily amount of liquid for seniors is 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day. As a result of a reduced or disturbed sensation of thirst, seniors automatically drink less and feel thirst late or no longer at all.
Swallowing disorders / dysphagia
A swallowing disorder occurs when people can no longer transport food and liquids into the esophagus. This can have far-reaching consequences and health consequences. Not only that those affected can no longer eat and drink with pleasure, but also that those affected are tormented by the constant fear of choking.
Malnutrition & malnutrition – common problems in old age
Many older people tend to have a one-sided and unbalanced diet, take in too few nutrients and too little fluid or even forget to eat completely on some days. If certain illnesses or food intolerances are added, malnutrition or malnutrition can quickly escalate and become dangerous for the human organism.
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