A healthy diet starts with a better understanding of nutrition. That is why Westminster Place offers comprehensive nutrition education counseling to all residents. Call 903.329.6520 to learn more about Westminster Place’s health programs.
Maintaining a healthy diet is important for everyone, no matter their age. However, it’s even more crucial for seniors to support their health through their daily meals.
Issues like older people not eating enough or eating unhealthy foods can create deeper health problems over time or exacerbate current ones. That’s why it’s important to know which foods should be prioritized and which foods older people should avoid.
Foods Elderly People Should Avoid
Are there specific foods older people should avoid? It’s okay to have these foods once in a while on special occasions, but there are some food items that seniors should avoid to support good health.
Junk food is a broad category that generally includes foods with excessive levels of a harmful metric. This could include foods with excess sugar, saturated fat, salt, preservatives, or additives. In addition, junk foods often have very little nutritional value. Here are some examples of junk foods:
- Potato chips
- Fried foods
While these foods can help increase calorie intake for seniors not eating enough, they can pose health risks when consumed in excess. In particular, seniors with a slow metabolism could end up gaining weight from overconsuming these foods.
Sharp or Hard Foods
Experiencing difficulty with chewing is one of the most common senior eating problems. This could occur due to dental issues or poor jaw mobility. As a result, seniors should generally avoid foods known to be sharp, hard to chew, or common choking hazards. Some of these include hard candy, meat with bones intact, popcorn, and large chunks of fruit or vegetables.
Alcohol is not healthy to consume at any age. However, its negative health effects can be even more dangerous for older adults, especially those with preexisting health conditions. Alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure, cause poor sleep, trigger hypoglycemia, or even interfere with medications in a dangerous way.
What Foods Should Senior Citizens Eat?
After learning about the foods older people should avoid, you may wonder, “What foods should senior citizens eat?” It can be difficult to find healthy food for seniors with no appetite or slow metabolism. However, there are many options available for older adults with all kinds of limitations and preferences.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support senior health. And as long as you choose options that are soft and easy to eat, fruits and vegetables make easily accessible snacks for those with elderly eating problems like chewing difficulty.
Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
A high-protein diet is crucial for maintaining muscle mass and mobility, especially for seniors who want to keep their physical independence for as long as possible. Yogurt and cottage cheese are two tasty and soft high-protein snacks that are easily customizable to your liking.
Toast is an easy food for seniors with no appetite to consume, as it can help to soothe the stomach. Choosing a whole-grain bread option is a great way to help seniors who are not eating enough to include more nutrients in their daily diet. Whole-grain bread is also a great source of fiber, which can aid digestive health.
Fixing Elderly Eating Problems with Daily Decisions
When it comes to improving your diet, making a change can feel intimidating. However, you don’t need to completely switch your daily food intake all at once. By making small changes each day, you can get closer to your healthiest self one step at a time.
Find Your Happiest, Healthiest Retirement at Westminster Place
Curious about what your ideal retirement could look like? Contact us at Westminster Place by calling 903.329.6520.