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Senior Health: Myths about Nutrition After 60

By Home Care Assistance, 8:00 am on

Maintaining a healthy diet later in life can be a very challenging endeavor. Aging adults need fewer calories and fat, but still have to get an optimal supply of nutrients from their diets. Unfortunately, these efforts are made all the more complex by a number of widely-circulated nutrition myths. Today, Vancouver Home Care Assistance is going to provide some insight into some of those myths, so that family members are empowered with the information they need to ensure optimal nutrition for their aging loved ones.

Myth 1: Supplements Are Essential

Many aging adults are encouraged to supplement their meals with vitamin products in various forms. It is important to note that some supplements can negatively interact with a number of prescription medications. Seniors can also wind up getting too much of certain nutrients when relying heavily upon these to balance out their diets. Supplements are not easy for the body to break down and synthesize either and this means that they really aren’t the best source of nutrition. Aging adults can get all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they require by simply eating the right foods.

Myth 2: A Lack of Excess Body Fat Allows for Overindulgence

Although some seniors are able to retain slim physiques throughout the years, this certainly doesn’t mean that they can eat whatever they want. Seniors should still focus on maintaining modest portions and balanced meals, and on getting plenty of physical exercise. Not only does the human metabolism go through a gradual slow-down later in life, thereby making weight gain more likely, but seniors also have to be cognizant of their potential for developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other diet-related health issues. Limiting salt, refined sugars and trans fats is still of the utmost importance, even for elderly individuals who are slim.

Myth 3: Seniors Need Fewer Nutrients

Although the body is metabolizing calories and fat at a slower rate during this stage of life, this does not mean that seniors should be cutting back on nutrient-rich foods. There are actually a number of nutrients that seniors need more of, including those that provide good joint, bone and brain support. Ultimately, the goal of the diet should be to load up on as many nutrients as possible, while working hard to get these from fresh, natural sources that do not contain excess and unnecessary calories and fat.

Ensuring the Health of an Aging Loved One

If you are concerned about your aging loved one’s health, consider any barriers that may be preventing them from attaining optimal levels of nutrients. For instance, some seniors eat poorly because they lack transportation to get fresh foods from the grocery store. Physical limitations can make meal preparation difficult or exhausting. Memory loss can also play a role, as a senior may simply forget to eat a meal. Once you’ve identified any possible barriers, take steps to provide solutions, whether it be meeting with your loved one’s doctor or providing them with extra support at home through services such as Vancouver hourly care.

For more information about senior nutrition, reach out to a friendly Care Manager from Home Care Assistance of Vancouver today. 778-279-3634 – we’re here to help 24/7.