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Nutrition For The Elderly

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in Diet & Nutrition by HistoryYak
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
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.

Protein
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
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.  

Iron
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
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
zinc.

Calcium
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
absorbed.

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.

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