Eating right is important at any age, but it sometimes gets neglected as people grow older. Healthy living for seniors requires the right food choices, which is why many retirement programs like assisted living include dining services. What does a healthy diet for seniors look like?
Why Nutrition Matters for Seniors
Good nutrition is essential for everyone, but seniors don’t always get it for a variety of reasons, such as:
- They don’t have access to the right foods. Maybe they can’t get to the grocery store.
- They don’t want to cook or fuss with normal meals anymore. So, they eat more snack foods than fruits and vegetables.
- Their appetites can change with age.
- They may have medical and dental health problems that interfere with their diet.
- They may take medication that affects their appetite.
- They may forget to eat.
Without the right foods, the body can get sluggish and fatigued. Seniors can develop joint problems and become less mobile. If they lose muscle mass from lack of activity and poor diet, their metabolisms can slow down.
Weight Gain in Seniors
Healthy living for seniors requires an age-appropriate diet with fewer calories. Older adults require fewer daily calories because they may be less active and have less muscle mass. If someone age 72 eats continues to eat the same number of calories that he did when he was 22, chances are he’ll gain extra fat, especially in the belly.
Postmenopausal women also have declining estrogen levels. That can increase fat storage around the belly.
There is evidence that suggests that visceral fat — that’s fat around your waist — can affect the health of men and women. Belly fat produces a chemical that increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes. It may also cause inflammation that can lead to certain cancers.
What Is a Healthy Diet for Seniors?
Since older adults require fewer calories, it’s important to make every one of them count. A healthy diet for seniors means avoiding empty calories like chips and candy. Instead, they should focus on foods that have a lot to offer, such as:
- Fruits and vegetables — The more colorful, the better.
- Whole grains — Oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice are wonderful choices.
- Low or no-fat dairy — Even non-dairy products like soy or rice milk are helpful as long as they have added vitamin D and calcium.
- Seafood and lean meat — Protein is critical at any age.
- Plant protein — Beans, nuts, and seeds also rich in protein.
One of the most efficient ways to ensure the older adult in your life gets the best possible nutrition is by using dining services for seniors. There are many options, but none as convenient as what you get from a program like Summer’s Landing.
How Summer’s Landing Promotes a Healthy Diet
For over 30 years, Summer’s Landing has served seniors their meals as part of their assisted living program. Assisted living allows them to live in a community of people looking to enjoy their golden years, stay active, and be independent. Our staff is there to provide help as needed.
We can assist with:
And, of course, we provide three tasty and nutritious meals each day. Our menus are all dietician-approved.
At Summer’s Landing, we believe our residents deserve quality care but at an affordable price, and that includes healthy dining services designed for seniors.
Diet is important no matter what your age, but especially for seniors looking to live right. Give Summer’s Landing a call today at 850.265.9829 and find out more about our dining services for seniors. You can also go online and fill out the contact form on our website.