Nutrition in the elderly: features, recommendations and a sample menu

Old age is so different. For some, this is an opportunity to relax from the hustle and bustle, while others go headlong into their favorite hobby, which did not have enough time before. Still others take up the development of a new business, profession, craft. You donโ€™t need to be afraid of old age, this is a great time when children have grown up, you donโ€™t need to go to work and there is time for yourself. But we must not forget about the characteristics of the body. Proper nutrition in old age is more important than ever.

eating habits in old age

Economic realities

Remembering how many senior citizens live, the idea itself seems utopian. After all, a small pension is enough at best for cereals and milk. But today the state gently reminds us that we are responsible for how our parents will live in old age. Therefore, nutrition in old age is a matter that concerns all family members. You need to buy the necessary products and deliver them home. If necessary, help prepare and pack them in a way that is convenient to use. In case of illness, feeding may also be required.

To grandmother for pies

If a person has just retired, then he is quite capable of serving himself, visiting a store and cooking not only for himself, but also for his grandchildren. Pancakes, pies, flavored pastry begins to appear on the table more often. And it would seem that this is bad? Homemade cakes are inexpensive and very tasty. But!

Nutrition in old age implies strict control. It is very important to live long and stay healthy. We all know the principles of healthy eating. But it turns out that nutrition in the elderly has other features that need to be considered. As for baking, it is better to leave it to grandchildren.

nutrition of the elderly

Fresh food is better than salty

This is the first and very important rule. In old age, you need to limit salt intake to a minimum. That is, to what is contained in bread, vegetables and other products. Usually we observe the opposite picture. By old age, a person loses sensitivity to bitter and salty tastes. Therefore, more and more excesses food. This leads to the development of various problems. These are edema, hypertension. Increased stress on the kidneys, fragility of capillaries, stroke - all these are consequences of salt abuse.

Therefore, one of the principles of nutrition in the elderly is a careful selection of ingredients, study of the composition and refusal of fast food. Itโ€™s hard for many to switch to fresh food, but this is a temporary problem. Soon the receptors will get used to and notice even a small amount of salt. And in its complete absence, food will not seem nasty. To ease the transition, add aromatic herbs and spices to your food.

The second rule is to have breakfast

The nutrition of the elderly must be not only high-quality, but also timely. With age, the breakdown of incoming food becomes worse and some of the nutrients are absorbed in insufficient quantities or even leave the body unchanged.

Most often, a person at this age suffers from deficiencies of vitamins B 12 or B 6 . It is worth consulting with a doctor so that he prescribes additional nutritional supplements. It is also important to increase the amount of fiber in the diet due to vegetables and cereals, summer greens in the summer.

Oatmeal will be an ideal breakfast - it has a lot of vitamins and it is affordable. Moreover, the most inexpensive product that needs to be cooked for at least 10 minutes is most useful. All quick-cookers undergo serious processing, which does not affect the preservation of vitamins in the best way.

nutrition of the elderly

The combination of drugs with food

Nutrition of the elderly is usually "timed" to the schedule of taking drugs. At the same time, one cannot but note the influence of the latter on the digestive process. Medications can affect not only the mucous membranes, but also taste buds and appetite. As a result, habitual food may seem fresh, tasteless. Any changes, be it excessive appetite or its complete absence - this is an occasion to see a doctor. He will review the prescribed treatment regimen.

The type of food matters

With age, the process of chewing food becomes more complex. Loss of teeth contributes to this. But even if a visit to the dentist helped to solve this problem, age-related features remain. If you experience breathing problems while eating, you should review your menu.

The nutrition of the elderly must correspond to their physical abilities. It is worth giving preference to dishes in the form of mashed potatoes. A great option would be baked vegetables and fruits in the form of a smoothie. Baked fruits can be sprinkled with cinnamon and sprinkled with honey. Then they will become even tastier and healthier.

Drinking mode

Nutrition in the elderly and senile age should meet the following goals: the body should receive all the necessary nutrients, but it is very important that the food does not overload the digestive organs. There is another important issue - the amount of fluid drunk. Very often in old age the feeling of thirst weakens, and a person forgets what to drink.

For the normal functioning of the whole body and the prevention of digestive problems, it is necessary to normalize the drinking regimen. Pure water is best, but milk and other fluids also count. If there is no objection from your attending physician, then at least one and a half liters of water should be drunk per day.

Protein diet

To date, there are no studies that would allow us to say with precision how an excess of protein will affect the body of an elderly person. But the lack will affect him accurately, and far from the best way. After 50 years, metabolism slows down, and food portions need to be reduced, but protein is required no less than 0.8 g per kg of body weight. The minimum dose is 45 g for a woman and 60 g for a man. This allows you to maintain normal muscles and bones and reduces the risk of paralysis.

Protein is found mainly in animal products, but nutrition in the elderly and senile should be based on the principle of avoiding large amounts of refractory fats. Meat must be lean. Preference should be given to turkey, chicken, sea or river fish. Regarding dairy products, it is also a valuable source of protein. But village milk, as well as skimmed milk, is best avoided. Normal fat products provide excellent absorption of calcium, but do not overload the body.

nutrition in old age and old age

Such needed calcium

Osteoporosis is one of the main problems that a person faces after 50 years. But this disease is the first path to fractures. Nutrition in the elderly should be the main measure to prevent osteoporosis. Using the prescribed rate of calcium, you can reduce bone fragility. Calcium can be consumed in the form of tablets and supplements, but do not forget about the traditional sources of this trace element: cheese, kefir, cottage cheese.

You should consult your doctor if you have lactose intolerance. Sometimes a person eats dairy products all his life, but only in old age begins to feel discomfort and nausea. This indicates age-related changes in the functioning of the digestive and enzymatic systems. In this case, it is worth replacing dairy products with low-lactose ones or abandoning them altogether. In this case, you must consult with your doctor, purchase calcium preparations and supplement them with food. A fracture in old age is poorly fused, forcing a person to bed for a long time.

rational nutrition of the elderly and senile age

Most important is the weather in the house

Malnutrition and dehydration can be caused by a variety of reasons. Features of nutrition of the elderly are that a person often does not experience appetite. There is also the opposite situation, when by age they begin to eat a lot. The reason for this may be various cognitive impairment. If you notice a sharp fluctuation in the weight of a relative, then you need to show it to the doctor.

In this case, most likely, you will have to monitor the quality of food. But the matter is not only in the prepared dishes. An elderly person is very important your care, attention and warmth. A positive psychological atmosphere affects digestive processes very well.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

This is an element that should be present on the menu of each person regularly, throughout life. But if we talk about the organization of nutrition in old age, then the role of the Omega complex is even more important. Fish oil helps to cope with the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Polyunsaturated fatty acids can reduce the intensity of inflammatory processes. The choice of fish in the store today is huge, cheap and expensive - all of them will be a valuable source of Omega-3. But choose fatty varieties: herring, mackerel, catfish. Eat fish twice a week in boiled or baked form.

nutrition in old and senile age

Calories: friend or foe?

When a person grows, and in adulthood does a lot of physical work, he can practically limit his calorie intake. With high activity and heavy workload, he simply does not have the ability to sort out calories. The nutritional characteristics of the elderly are that now they no longer need as many calories as before. This is easily explained by the fact that metabolism slows down.

But this does not mean that you can now eat once a day or refuse most foods. The body still needs the nutrients that it will receive only with a balanced diet. To avoid sudden weight gain, you need to eat small meals five times a day. Calorie calculation is carried out individually, special calculators or professional advice from a nutritionist can help with this.

Food pyramid

Calorie intake depends on the amount of physical activity. But most often in old age people are starting to spend more and more time at home, near the TV. Therefore, the caloric content should not exceed 2000 kcal per day. At the same time, a balanced diet in old age involves the inclusion in the menu of different products in a certain percentage ratio:

  • The first group is the largest, it forms the basis of the diet. These are cereals and potatoes, bread and pasta. By weight it is about 1.5 kg, but when choosing products you need to give preference to unpolished cereals or bread from wholemeal flour.
  • The second group is vegetables and fruits. About 400 g of these products are required per day. This does not include sauerkraut, canned food or pickles. Vegetables and fruits can be used as snacks.
  • The third group is protein products. The percentage of consumption is 20% of the diet. About 200 g of chicken, meat, eggs or legumes and nuts should be eaten per day, which can be considered a worthy alternative. The only limitation is to choose foods with a low fat content.
  • The fourth group is dairy products, the consumption of which should be about the same as protein. Do not forget about the nutritional characteristics in old age, the percentage of fat should be low, but low-fat foods are not a good choice, since calcium absorption will be insignificant.
  • The fifth group is fats and sweets. This includes butter, sausage, muffin. The share of products of this group in the diet should not be more than 5%.
healthy food pyramid

We calculate the portion

The nutrition of the elderly and senile age differs from the diet of a middle-aged person both qualitatively and quantitatively. Overuse of simple and wholesome foods can lead to overweight and related problems. Depending on age and gender, body weight, physical activity, the number of servings can vary within the specified limits:

  • The first group. Servings Per Container: 5 to 14 per day. Each of them can make a piece of bread, half a bun, 1 potato or 1/2 cup rice, pasta or crumbly cereals.
  • Fruits and vegetables - they can be from 5 to 9 servings in the diet. Each of them can be 1/2 tbsp. chopped vegetables or a glass of greens, 1 fruit, 1/2 tbsp. berries, 3/4 tbsp. fruit juice, 1/4 tbsp. dried fruits.
  • The third group. Two to three servings of meat and other protein foods. Serving size is 90 g of poultry or fish meat, 2 eggs or a glass of legumes, 3 tbsp. l nuts or seeds.
  • Milk and dairy products. On the day, 2-3 servings, each of which can be a cup of yogurt, 50 g of cheese, half a glass of cottage cheese.
  • The fifth group - from 0 to 4 servings, which can be represented by a tablespoon of oil, margarine or mayonnaise, sugar or ice cream.

Despite the apparent simplicity and approximation, this calculation is highly accurate and helps the nutritionist in work, as well as facilitates the task of patients.

Sample menu for the week

Given the nutritional characteristics of the elderly, you can develop a special diet that provides the body with everything necessary and does not lead to obesity. The table shows one of the options for the menu for the week.

Days of the weekBreakfastLunchDinnerHigh teaDinner
MondayTea and sandwichMilk porridge, apples, grated with boiled carrotsSoup, fish cutletsSour-milk productsApple, Cutlets with boiled vegetables
TuesdayChicory with milk, cottage cheeseHercules and teaBeef stew with peas, compoteThe fruitBaked eggplant, mashed potatoes, jelly
WednesdayTea with bakingFruit and porridgeSweet pepper salad, soup, meatballs with rice, compoteCompote and cottage cheeseRice porridge and tea
ThursdayBagel milkPorridge and sandwichMeatball Noodle SoupDried fruitsFritters and fermented milk drink
FridayCocoa with milkOatmeal porridge, egg and teaRice soup, fish steak, steamed, compoteGrapes, cheeseTomatoes and rice and mashed potatoes, dried fruit compote
SaturdayTea with milk, bunMilk porridge, sandwich with butter, teaLentil soup, fish with mushrooms, cranberry jellyThe fruitLean fish and vinaigrette
SundayChicory and ham sandwichSandwich and Cocoa with MilkSoup and Boiled ChickenKefir and bread with jamPie with cottage cheese, compote

As you can see, the nutrition of the elderly and senile is not at all boring or monotonous. Man usually has enough time to cook everything fresh every day. This is all the more important because proper nutrition preserves health and prolongs life. The opposite is true of fast food, a diet with a predominance of fats and carcinogens.

It is very important that nutrition in the elderly and old age is accompanied by pleasant conversations. It is enough for a person to just be in the family circle so that his appetite improves. It is important to select products based on diseases and personal preferences of a person. But in the proposed version, there are definitely no products that could harm the digestion. Therefore, you can safely take into service this menu and make your own corrections to it.

Nutrition for constipation

It is no secret that this problem in old age is quite acute for most people. Proper nutrition in old age and old age is the key to a quick recovery and well-being. To do this, you do not need to follow complex rules:

  • Exclude any dough and bread from premium flour. This category also includes fatty meat and poultry, smoked meats and canned goods, eggs, radishes and garlic, onions, turnips and radishes, mushrooms, any confectionery, fatty sauces. Cocoa and coffee, strong tea and jelly fall under the ban. Add to this rice and semolina - and the list can be completed.
  • Be sure to eat with constipation bread from wholemeal flour, vegetable soups, borscht and beetroot soup, semi-viscous and crumbly cereals, low-fat varieties of poultry and meat, fish, seafood and greens.

Usually, with proper and sufficient nutrition, problems with constipation do not occur. If the diet does not help, then you need to see a doctor for the appointment of a correction course. Although in some cases the cause is physical inactivity.

nutrition of the elderly

Instead of a conclusion

It is very important to eat properly and balanced throughout life. But even more relevant this issue is for the elderly. Good nutrition is not a diet, but a conscious change in the menu in order to maintain health and improve the condition of internal organs. A full-fledged diet is the path to health and longevity, and yet it is now becoming more important than ever. More healthy foods and movement, less fat and sweets - only in the first days such a regimen causes discomfort. Soon you yourself will feel lightness and a surge of vigor. The body quickly weaned from junk food.


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