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Nutrition For The Elderly

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Healthy eating and nutrition for the elderly is

greatly impacted by several factors, one of them

being a change in body composition. During the

later years in life, the body will lose bone and

muscle and gain fat because the hormones aren't

very active anymore.

There are many factors which hinder an elderly

person's health. The information below will help

you to lead a healthy life - no matter how old you

may be.


Water in the body decreases with age, so many older

folks will become dehydrated very easily. Sometimes

they won't feel thirsty, while other times it's

too much work to pour a glass a water. With this

in mind, it's recommended that they drink at least

1 ounce of water for every 2.2 pounds of weight.


At this stage in life, protein is very important.

Protein is needed to support a healthy immune

system and prevent the wasting of muscle. Since

energy needs are less, older folks should eat high

quality protein such as eggs, lean meats, poulty,

and fish.

Carbs and fiber

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for

the entire body. You can find carbs in bread,

cereals, pasta, and other grain products. A diet

that's high in fiber and water will help to

prevent constipation as well.


Fat intake for the elderly should be limited, not

eliminated. You can limit fat by choosing lean meats,

low fat dairy products, and food preperation

methods that don't include frying.


For the elderly, iron deficiency can be seen with

those who aren't eating much. Good sources for

iron include lean red meats or breakfast cereals.


Zinc intake is normally with the elderly, and to

make matters worse, it's not absorbed very well

either. Meat, poultry, and fish should be a part

of your diet to help you meet the requirements for



Calcium is one ingredient that most elderly folks

simply aren't getting enough of. Most believe

that milk upsets their stomach, and therefore they

will avoid it. They should be getting around 1,500

mg of calcium a day, and nonfat powdered milk can

be used in recipes as a substitute for milk. Other

foods such as yogurt, low fat cheese, and broccoli

can also help you meet the requirements for calcium.

Vitamin B12

In order to absorb the benefits of B12, the intrinsic

facotr must be produced by the stomach. Most elderly

people suffer from a deficiency in B12 because they

have a condition known as atrophic gastritis. This

condition causes inflammation of the stomach,

bacterial overgrowth, and the intrinsic factor.

Without the intrinsic factor, this vitamin can be


Each one of the above nutrients are needed to keep

an aged body in good health. Elderly individuals

should try to stay active and strive for a well

balanced diet. Even though the aged body isn't the

same as it used to be, proper care and the right

nutrients can help the elderly enjoy a healthy and

long life.

getting full nutrition for the elderly is a tricky balance

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