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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dietary Advice For Elderly

The boundary between middle age and old age cannot be defined exactly because it does not have the same meaning in all societies. In many parts of the world, people are considered old because of certain changes in their activities or social roles. Examples: people may be considered old when they become grandparents, or when they begin to do less or different work — retirement. In North America and Europe, people are often considered old if they have lived a certain number of years.
Many North Americans think of 65 as the beginning of old age.

Dietary Advice for Old Age
A diet rich in vegetables, fruits and other foods are helpful. The food pyramid helps in choosing the right kind of foods. The base of the pyramid comprise of cereals. About 6-11 servings of cereals are recommended. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, oats and rye are preferred more, as the fibre helps in relieving constipation, which is typical of old age.
Vegetables and fruits provide phytonutrients helpful in overcoming diseases. Three to five servings and 2-4 servings are recommended respectively. About 2-3 servings each of meat, poultry and fish and milk and related products prove beneficial. These supply the essential protein and other minerals essential for the various body functions. Fats and oils are used in a sparing manner. Sweets are eaten in a restricted manner to avoid any complications.

Dietary Modifications in Old Age:
Depending upon physical activity and general health conditions some modifications in the pattern of meals, type of foods included / excluded and changes in an elderly’s diet are listed below;

1) Take small, frequent meals. For easy digestion
2) Take soft foods. Problem of fallen teeth.
3) Avoid Fried foods . Decreased acid secretion.
4) Restrict Saturated fats. To prevent heart disease
5) Consume fibre rich foods. To avoid constipation
6) Take calcium rich foods Lower incidence of osteoporosis
7) Liberal intake of leafy greens . Rich in Minerals & Vitamins.
8) Soups & Juices. To improve digestion.
9) Luke warm Milk before bed. Induces sound sleep.
10) Avoid too much Tea & Coffee. To prevent Insomnia

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