Sunday, 31 July 2022
A healthy diet for older adults may not initially seem so different from younger ones, but with one crucial difference: “If an older person moves less, that is, they expend less energy, they need fewer calories, But in the same quantity. of micronutrients”, explains the professor Rainer Wirth, President of the German Society of Geriatrics (DGG, for its acronym in German).
In this sense, the expert recommends the following: “More vegetables and fruits, more fish than meat, olive oil and some nutsHe adds: “They have to eat less, but from the point of view of micronutrient density, the food should be of high quality and as lean as possible.”
Risks in losing weight:
Losing weight is very delicate for the elderly as they do not recover as quickly as the young and as a new stage of the disease is added, they may lose between 10 and 15 kg.
Often, a vicious cycle begins: if musculature returns due to age, the loss of muscle mass increases significantly in a state of malnutrition. This, in turn, impairs the mobility of older people. And if there is a lack of energy and protein supplies, the immune system often suffers and wound healing is hampered.
The important thing is the desire to eat, but the problem in older people is usually that they experience a lack of appetite. “If a person is given a food that they like, they tend to eat more,” Wirth says. Eating together can also increase the calorie intake.
A dental prosthesis can hinder the pleasure of eating as well as problems with chewing or swallowing. Theresa Stachelscheid of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) warns that in any case, older people should not stop eating fruits, vegetables and whole grain products.
Protein sources are foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, but also legumes. The calcium contained in dairy products is also important for bones.
If the diet is lacking in protein or older adults have lost weight, Wirth recommends turning to specialty foods, such as high-protein breads. There are also yogurts or protein quarks that are very effective.
“Vegetables can be steamed, broth added and turned into a vegetable cream soup with a blender,” advises nutritionists. And he adds: “For example, if you’ve always loved muesli for breakfast, you can now mix soft oat flakes with a little yogurt or milk and fruit puree.”
there is another important point drink plenty of fluids, although many older people do not drink water to avoid frequent bathroom visits; It is important to include plenty of fluids to have a healthy diet.
The main thing is always water, but you can add fresh herbs like mint, lemon wedges, unsweetened cucumber or fruit tea, fruit drinks are also great options.