5 tips on proper nutrition of the elderly population
The main advice of a gerontodietitian is that every person with aging reduces their daily meals or eats less. It is impossible to compile a unique menu for the elderly that would both prevent disease and delay the aging process. However, gerontology or the science of nutrition for people over 60 recommends balanced calorie regimens for all people.
- Rest after each meal – in the body of an elderly person oxidative-regenerative reactions in the tissues are slowed down. Metabolism is less active. Food is poorly absorbed and separated into final products. People generally move less, so energy consumption decreases. This can lead to obesity. This is highly undesirable. With weight gain, there is a risk of diabetes, atherosclerosis, painful joints and obesity. Feelings will be better if older people have smaller meals with aging. A full stomach presses on the diaphragm, making it difficult to move, which interferes with free breathing and often causes pain in the heart area. The amount of food should be reduced gradually. Calories are reduced by eliminating sweets and flour products. A sudden change in diet can cause weaker immunity and psychological discomfort. The menu can still be varied but reduced. It is desirable to use black bread or wholemeal bread, which is saturated with vitamins, especially B and E, and contains a lot of plant proteins and micro-elements, especially grapes and cellulose. White bread is recommended for people with gastrointestinal problems. In case of insufficient body weight, rest and sleep are possible and recommended. People who have a normal weight or are overweight should not sleep after a meal. It is better to sit in an armchair or take an easy walk. Eating on the go, dry food, alcohol and smoking are not good options.
- Intestinal protection – intestines in the elderly population contain putrefactive bacteria that disrupt the synthesis of vitamins in the body, endanger the detoxification function of the microflora, create secondary fatty acids with carcinogenic properties and reduce the excretion of cholesterol. Sour milk products, beans, bran, cereals, vegetables and fruits help to alleviate the situation with the intestines. The daily menu should include onions and garlic, which contain substances with hypocholesterolemic and hypolipidemic effects, ie lower the level of lipids and cholesterol and anticancer components. Anticancer components are quite present in carotenoids, ie in yellow-red vegetables (pumpkin and carrot). Gerontodielotologies believe that the diet of the elderly population should include foods that reduce aging. These are amino acids (methionine, cystine, glutamic acid), vitamins or ascorbic acid, A, B, P, E, K, provitamin A, carotene, mineral substances (magnesium, zinc, copper, iron). This group includes bioflavonoids, plant steroids and betanidine, which are found in products of plant origin – nettle, beet, rosemary, sage, coriander and tarragon. Apples, grapes and tea are rich in antioxidants.
- Vegetable oils and lipids against atherosclerosis- Some older people try to use more vegetable oils because these oils are supposedly good for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. Sunflower oil, peanut oil, olive oil and other oils have a truly antisclerotic effect due to polyunsaturated fatty acids that lower the level of lipids or fats in the blood and prevent the penetration of cholesterol deposits into the walls of blood vessels. However, excessive use of vegetable oils is not desirable. If vegetable oil with food reaches the body in large quantities, then with acids it participates in activating the aging process. Therefore, in the daily diet of the elderly population, there should be a maximum of 25 to 30 ml of vegetable oil, preferably unrefined oil because it contains lecithin or a compound that acts against cholesterol. It is not necessary to completely give up any products unless it is a doctor’s request according to the person’s health image.
- Nutrition in accordance with the region of living – health should be maintained and fed from the environment in which the person has lived for decades. Milk, meat, vegetables and fruits should preferably be from each individual’s own region, ie from a nearby factory, market, garden, forest and the like. As little exoticism and experimentation with unfamiliar foods as possible. The quality of drinking water is important. Sometimes, according to your possibilities, choose water from a well, a clean spring, and the like. No work during the night is desirable. At least seven hours of sleep is desirable. During a peaceful night’s sleep, hormones are secreted in the blood that regulate metabolism and proper metabolism, protect genes from damage, destroy free radicals, stimulate the immune system and coordinate biological rhythms in the body. These activities contribute to the normalization of appetite.
- General recommendations for the elderly – meat and fish is better to eat cooked with side dishes of vegetables, which increases the value of the dish. The recommendation is 60 grams of lean meat per day or 50 grams of fish. Use meat soups the most 2 to 3 times a week because the broth contains substances that cause gout. On other days, vegetarian soups are preferred. Include seafood or squid, crabs, sea cabbage in your diet. These products are especially useful for people over 70 years of age because they work against sclerosis. Limit animal products saturated with fat and rich in cholesterol, i.e. ham, kidney, salami in the menu. Eat yesterday’s rye bread or soft bread up to 200 grams a day. If a person has no contraindications then he can make more dishes from cereals, bran, beans or peas. Vegetables, potatoes in winter and early spring, fresh or sauerkraut, onions are the main sources of vitamin C. In case of vitamin C deficiency, the elderly have dizziness, weakness, apathy and irritability. Consume a maximum of 500 grams per day with fruits and green vegetables. Take a maximum of 30 grams of sugar a day or a maximum of 60 grams of honey a day without other sweets. One teaspoon of salt per day is allowed. Spicy marinades and sauces have no nutritional value but can irritate the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and nervous system. Eat small meals several times a day. Eat 2 to 3 hours before bed for example one apple or carrot with a glass of yogurt. Drink the liquid in sufficient but not excessive amounts with soups and drinks no more than 5 glasses a day. The total weight of food consumed daily should not exceed 3 kilograms. Hot dishes should be around 60 degrees and cold dishes at least 10 degrees C.