Senior Nutrition and Weight Loss Guide
It's important to ensure that your senior nutrition is well-rounded, and that you understand when weight loss might be appropriate, and when weight loss might indicate a decline in health for your elderly loved one.
When you are looking for a good reference point for senior nutrition and weight loss guide, sifting through all the media and find the right source of information can prove a challenge. These days, anyone feels like they can make dietary recommendations, but it's important to ensure that your senior nutrition is well-rounded, and that you understand when weight loss might be appropriate, and when weight loss might indicate a decline in health for your elderly loved one.
One of the best sources for information about nutrition for seniors is from the USDA's Food and Nutrition Center, where senior adults can find a wealth of health information about healthy aging, how to obtain home-delivered meals for seniors on a fixed income, a graphic guide to eating called Myplate for Older Adults, food labels, food safety, meal planning, food shopping, and ways to increase enjoyment with eating.
It's important for your senior to maintain body weight once they are advanced in age, experiencing frailty, or undergoing treatments for cancer. Weight loss for seniors who are advanced in age is typically not recommended, and rapid weight loss in older adults can indicate a medical problem, malnourishment, or an issue with ease of eating or dental problems.
Another great source for senior nutrition and weight loss is the National Institute of Health's article, entitled Healthy Eating after 50, which provides answers to questions like, "How much food should I eat?" and "Should I cut back on salt or fat?" This article provides two optional meal plan ideas, and a guide for water, a guide for increasing fiber intake, and what to do if your senior is having problems with food intake.
Food that is nutrient dense - meaning food that contains a large amount of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals - are an integral part of any senior nutrition plan. With the aging process, it becomes more difficult for elderly adults to absorb and digest nutrients from the food they eat, and so choose foods that provide a variety of nutrients is vital. Examples of nutrient dense foods include sliced fruits and cooked vegetables, dairy products, and fish, chicken, and other lean proteins that are easy to chew and swallow. Sometimes, softer foods such as pudding, yogurt, or applesauce are helpful for increasing senior nutrition, and filling in calorie gaps in older adults.
Food safety is a major concern when it comes to your senior's nutrition, as the immune system of older adults is not able to handle foodborne illness as well as younger adults, making them more susceptible to foodborne illnesses such as salmonella, E. coli, and other common food infections. For an elderly adult, a food-related illness can be life threatening, so ensuring that food is prepared in a way that meets food safety guidelines is essential. The National Institute on Aging and the FDA has prepared a video on how to keep food safe, and avoid getting sick from your food.
There are many senior food assistance programs available to older adults on a limited or fixed income to help with food delivery, including Meals on Wheels, Elderly Nutrition Program, and the Home-Delivered Nutrition program, which serves frail, homebound or isolated individuals who are age 60 or over. The Congregate Nutrition Program creates an environment for older adults to eat a congregate meal. Sharing meals with other adults can help increase food intake and food enjoyment, which benefits senior nutrition overall.
While these are great options, most of the seniors who qualify for programs such as these include low income individuals, minority individuals, older individuals in rural communities, older individuals with limited English proficiency, and older individuals at risk of institutional care.
However, the option to have a home-delivered meal can be available to any senior. Silver Cuisine by bistroMD provides nutrient-dense, controlled sodium, and downright delicious meals for senior nutrition care. Their award-winning chefs follow instructions for senior nutrition from founding physician, Caroline Cederquist, MD, and create meals that taste delicious and provide balanced nutrition for senior adults. Senior meal planning becomes a breeze, as Silver Cuisine does all the planning for you. Breakfast, lunch, dinners and snacks are available, and prepared, chilled, and delivered right to your doorstep. All you or your senior have to do is heat, eat, and enjoy a nutritious meal at home.
The convenience of home-delivered meals makes them a great option to help people stay in their own home, for a longer period of time. When you are spending less time preparing meals, this allows seniors to stay socially engaged and more active on a daily basis. Senior nutrition is vital to increase quality of life and maintain health in older adults.