Importance of Healthy Eating for Seniors

National Nutrition Month: Importance of Healthy Eating for Seniors

National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign held every year in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the significance of making informed food choices, developing sound eating practices, and committing to routine physical activity.

Nutrition is important no matter your age, but especially for older adults. This March, Vista Grande Villa is encouraging seniors to review their eating habits and prioritize nutrient-rich foods. Here’s a look at why nutrition matters for seniors and simple ways to enhance your eating habits for better overall health.

Nutrition Matters for Seniors

As human bodies change with age, so do our nutritional needs. Although good nutrition is vital in every stage of life, it becomes increasingly more important as we enter our senior years. Many older adults experience a slower metabolic rate, a decrease in appetite, and an increased risk for certain diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Fortunately, many of these issues can be resolved with a healthy, well-balanced diet.

What’s more concerning is that the senior population is at a high risk for malnutrition. Decreased appetite, weight loss, reduced mobility, and memory impairment can all contribute to senior malnourishment. Some older adults cannot absorb nutrients efficiently because of swallowing or taste issues. Others have trouble cooking or getting transportation to the grocery store—all of which can lead to a lack of nutrients and a decline in overall health.

Tips for Healthier Eating

Small changes can help seniors get on the road to eating healthy. This March, make nutrition a priority in your loved one’s everyday life by following these tips:

Pay attention to food labels

Always read labels when selecting foods and drinks. If they don’t meet your nutritional needs, it’s probably not a good idea to include them in your diet. Avoid processed foods that are high in sodium and sugar, which lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Focus on fruits and vegetables

Add color, flavor, and texture to every plate with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients which are important for overall health.

Drink more water

Staying hydrated is good for everyone, but it is especially important for older adults. As we get older, our bodies become less efficient at retaining water, which can lead to dehydration. To prevent this, seniors should avoid drinks with added sugars and instead aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.

Make snack choices

Healthy provide good nutrients and energy between meals. Select whole grains, healthy fats, and protein sources. For example, try raw fruits or vegetables and pair them with low-fat cottage cheese or hummus.

Seniors should consult their physician about specific dietary needs. A doctor can help seniors understand what foods should be avoided and which ones to consume more often. Your doctor may also recommend supplements that provide the additional nutrients you need to combat any deficiencies.

Vista Grande Villa

At Vista Grande Villa, we celebrate healthy eating habits every day. Our on-house culinary expert prepares fresh, delicious meals every day; residents never have to worry about preparing food or getting the right amount nutrients in their diet!

To learn more about our incredible dining program and meal options, schedule a tour with Vista today!

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