A well-balanced diet is an important part of healthy aging. Healthy eating can assist seniors with maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and getting the daily nutrients they need. It also lowers their risk of developing chronic health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.’ Canada’s new Food Guide is a huge step in the right direction. It has a strong emphasis on healthy eating behaviours and enjoyment of food. The new guidelines are also flexible and can easily be adapted to many different diets, cultures, tastes and cuisines. One thing is clear, the Guide has come a long way since the 1944 version that advised people to eat one serving of potatoes, many slices of bread with butter and drink plenty of milk every day [source: The Globe and Mail]. The problem is that as we age, our metabolisms slow down, our senses weaken and we are more likely to develop chronic conditions. The good news: There is something to be done about it. We have the ability to ensure our overall well-being over time by making smart, healthy eating choices. In this blog post, our home care agency in Vancouver highlights 5 tips for improving healthy eating habits for seniors:
1. Consume More Liquids
As we age, we lose our sense of thirst. To combat this, a senior should be drinking plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, even if they do not feel thirsty. Non-fat milk and freshly-squeezed juices are other options to consider giving a senior.
2. Avoid Processed Foods & Read Labels
Many nutritionists recommend shopping only along the perimeter of a supermarket and for good reasons. This is where fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are usually stored. In pointing you towards the fresh foods aisles, nutritionists hope to steer you clear of the processed foods aisles. Processed foods tend to come in cans, plastic sachets or bottles. These go through different procedures and contain non-natural flavoring and chemical preservatives, which is not really good for seniors’ health.
3. Include good fats and oils
The old Canada’s Food Guide had a large focus on limiting the intake of all fats and oils in your diet. It would not differentiate between good fats and bad fats and treat all fats as one in the same. While saturated fats and trans fats should be avoided at all costs, it is okay to include some good fats and oils in our diets. These include polyunsaturated and monosaturated oils (e.g., canola, sunflower, olive, sesame and peanut oil) as well as fats and oils found in avocado, unsalted nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews) and seeds (e.g., linseeds, pumpkin and sunflower).
4. Consider Supplements and Vitamins
Eating fruits and vegetables is the best way to get the nutrients you need, but from time to time, it is not enough. Seniors may want to consider talking to your doctor about taking supplemental vitamins and minerals to make sure they are maintaining a well balanced diet.
5. Eat More Fibre
As we age, our digestive system slows down. The walls of the gastrointestinal tract thicken and the contractions are slower and fewer, which can lead to constipation.Foods high in fiber promote easy digestion by moving food through the digestive tract faster. Some of the foods that are rich in fiber are nuts, wholegrain cereal, wholegrain bread and pasta, brown rice, brown bread, fruits, and vegetables.
ACE PERSONNEL | PROFESSIONAL CAREGIVERS FOR ELDERS & HOMECARE | VANCOUVER AND SURREY
ACE Personnel is a family owned and operated service founded in 1977 by Diane Anderson (“Mrs. A”). It began as a home-based business and has since been devoted to helping the local community with childcare and home care solutions. Mrs. A took great pride in the fact that she was able to help others through elderly care and nanny placements. She took time to get to know her each of her clients and as a result developed lasting relationships with many of them. Contact us today if you are looking for a professional caregiver or homecare for your loved one.