Healthy Eating for Older Adults - Increased Age Does Not Mean Decreased Nutritional Needs
Information provided by the American Dietetic Association: Your Link to Nutrition & Health
You can't stop the clock or reverse the aging process. However, choices made now can slow the changes and challenges that come with getting older.
After age 50, most people require fewer calories due to decreased muscle mass and energy expenditure. But that doesn't mean they need fewer nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C and iron, among others.
Calcium keeps bones healthy and helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a particular concern for Caucasian and Asian women. For both men and women over age 50, calcium needs increase 20 percent, to between 1,000 and 1,300 milligrams per day.
The body also needs help from calcium's partner, vitamin D, to help keep aging bones strong. Good vitamin D-rich food choices include milk, fortified cereals, eggs, canned salmon or tuna.
To help keep energy levels up, older adults need to make sure iron and vitamin C are part of a daily eating plan, too. Iron-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, beans, cereal and whole grains. For vitamin C, focus on citrus fruits, melons and berries.