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An Overview of Dietary Guidelines for Seniors and Why This Is Important

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Dietary guidelines help us fulfill our changing nutritional needs as we age.

It’s clearly no secret that a healthy diet is essential for a healthy body. What many people misunderstand, however, is that the nutritional needs for adults adjust as we age. Nutritional professionals at Tufts University have introduced the MyPlate system, which is a more advanced version of the former food pyramid, providing up-to-date dietary guidelines for seniors in particular.

The MyPlate for Older Adults model contains important information on foods that are high in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, salt, and fat. However, it also gives advice on topics such as suggested physical activities and fluid consumption, issues that are of particular concern for seniors.

Because activity levels are oftentimes lessened, older adults tend to require fewer calories as they age, but they also still require equal or higher levels of nutrients and regular activity for ideal health. MyPlate for Older Adults recommends:

  • Bright-colored vegetables, such as carrots and peppers
  • Deep-colored fruits, like melons and berries
  • Whole, fortified, enriched grains and cereals, like brown rice
  • Low and non-fat dairy products, including yogurt and low lactose milk
  • Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads, which contain less saturated and trans fats
  • Spices instead of salt
  • Liquids such as water and fat-free milk
  • Physical activity such as walking, resistance training, and light housekeeping

Additionally, further recommendations include taking advantage of choices that are simple to prepare and reduce waste, such as bags of frozen, pre-cut vegetables and single-portion cups of fruit.

At CareFor, we understand it can be challenging to help senior loved ones adhere to dietary guidelines. Our qualified caregivers can help plan and prepare healthy, appetizing meals based on your loved one’s specific nutritional needs. Contact us online or call us at (512) 338-4533 to learn more about our Travis County senior care and care management services and to arrange a free in-home evaluation. To learn more about all of the areas we serve in Texas, please see our full service area here.