As we age, our nutritional needs change. You may need to consume fewer calories than you did before, but it is important that you continue to eat enough nutrients. Older adults must be aware of these changes and ensure that they consume a healthy balance of nutritious food.
Unfortunately, it can become more difficult to eat a healthy diet as you age. Many seniors have a harder time purchasing food and cooking. Seniors may also have trouble chewing and swallowing food, or may not have enough money to buy food. Luckily, there are resources to help older adults obtain nutritious and healthy food.
A person who is malnourished is deprived of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients a person needs to maintain a healthy body. A person who is malnourished could be either undernourished or overnourished. A person who is undernourished is not consuming enough essential nutrients for their body while someone who is overnourished is eating too much, eating the wrong things, or is consuming too many vitamins or dietary replacements.
Malnutrition is very common among seniors. Approximately one in ten elders who live on their own is either under or over nourished. Common symptoms of malnutrition include an increase or decrease in appetite or weight.1 If you are concerned about your diet you should talk to your doctor.
Tips for Healthful Eating
One way to make mealtime more enjoyable is to make eating a social event. Have friends over for dinner or contact your local senior center for information on where you can join communal meals. If you have trouble eating your food, try eating softer foods or consider adjusting poorly fitting dentures. For seniors who struggle with grocery shopping, explore options that allow you to have food delivered. Many grocery stores have food delivery services. Meals on Wheels Diablo Region also delivers healthful meals to seniors.
As you age, food may lose its flavor. If this a problem for you, consider adding more spices and herbs to your food to boost its flavor. Lastly, pay close attention to nutrition labels. These labels can tell you a lot about the food that you consume and can help you make sure that you are meeting your nutritional needs.
Where Can You Obtain Healthy Food?
Meals on Wheels Diablo Region can deliver healthy meals to seniors in Contra Costa County. To learn more, call (925) 937-8311 or click here. Meals on Wheels Diablo Region also hosts CC Cafes around Contra Costa County. These cafes serve a nutritious lunch and provide an opportunity to socialize with other seniors. Click here to learn more.
Contra Costa County has many famer’s markets where you can buy delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables. Click here to see a list of farmers markets in the county. Many farmers markets allow you to use your CalFresh EBT benefits at the market. Click here and here to learn more.
The US Department of Agriculture publishes a number of nutrition resources for older adults, including tips on reading nutrition labels, recipes, and information on the nutritional needs of seniors. Click here to access these resources.