As you age, your dietary needs change. A less active lifestyle, a slower metabolism, and changing appetites all affect the nutrients you need.
Getting older means that your body is beginning to absorb fewer of the nutrients that you consume, leaving you with greater nutritional requirements than before. Chronic conditions such as diabetes and related medications can also have an effect on the levels of nutrition you need.
Since what you eat has such a big impact on overall health, these factors can’t be ignored. Your heart health, immune system, and even cognitive functions are all affected by the foods you choose.
Barriers to Healthy Eating
Many seniors have trouble getting all the nutrients they need. Aging often comes with a decreased appetite that can make eating less appealing and lead to weight loss or frailty. Add on mobility challenges that make getting to the store or moving around the kitchen difficult, and it’s not hard to see why malnutrition is common among the elderly. Thankfully, there are many easy and practical solutions to these problems. If your mobility is stopping you from getting to the store, transportation services can help. Breaking your diet up into smaller, more frequent meals can help with appetite and there are plenty of ways to get all the nutrients you need in a shake to avoid painful chewing.
Find solutions for common problems that affect seniors, like difficulty chewing and lack of appetite, on the National Institute on Aging's website.
A Healthy Diet
Your diet is made up of how much you eat, and what. You should always control how much you’re eating in a day while making sure to get all the nutrients you need – vitamins, minerals, and all the necessary food groups.
Vitamins and Minerals
You’ll need a good mix of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. They help you resist infection, keep your nerves healthy, and help you absorb the nutrients in your food. The National Institute on Aging has a great overview of vitamin and mineral needs for seniors.
If you didn't find the information you need, you can browse our service directory by category, or call your local Area Agency on Aging using the search box on this page.