Healthy Eating as You Age – Part two
In Part two of Healthy Eating as you Age, we will focus on 2 main topics. They are:(1) Dietary guidelines for healthy eating.(2) Tips for healthy eating.
Here, at Vermont Aged Care, we plan our menus carefully to ensure the good health of our elderly residents. If you are caring for an elderly loved one these further tips may be very useful for you. We certainly hope so.
Dietary guidelines for healthy eating
The dietary guidelines are designed to give people advice on eating healthily. Furthermore, they are based on the latest scientific evidence. As well, they provide helpful information about the types and amounts of food that promote good health. This is especially important for the elderly. That is because they react more quickly to situations. Eating unhealthy food can affect their health rapidly. You could say they are a bit more fragile than younger people.
There are several benefits to observing dietary guidelines. Firstly, to promote health and well-being. Secondly, to avoid diet related conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. What’s more, they can reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. Finally, they help to combat obesity, an increasing problem in our modern society.
Tips for healthy eating
Most people now know that being overweight is unhealthy. This is especially important for elderly people. If your elderly loved one is putting on too much weight it will cause problems for both of you. For you as the carer and for them as the patient. Since the advent of television the government has been educating people on the subject. Also, more people living in cities than on the land, has resulted in more sedentary lifestyles. We are no longer burning off what we consume quickly enough. Furthermore, old-fashioned recipes contained animal fat in larger proportions. Over the years we have learnt to choose foods that are high in nutrients and low in kilojoules.
Breakfast, literally means breaking the fast. The idea being that your elderly loved one has not eaten since they went to bed the night before. Unless they are a midnight snacker which is very naughty! Whether they like eating breakfast or not, is not the point. In fact, skipping breakfast will have two negative impacts. The first is a downturn in energy before lunch. As a result of which they might suffer from inertia. The second consequence will be that they will be extremely hungry at lunchtime. That might lead them to overeat lunch. That’s why it’s important to encourage them to eat breakfast. Nonetheless, let them choose foods that encourage them to eat amongst the healthy options. You will find more information via the following link: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/eating-well/tips-eating-well.
Healthy eating habits
Healthy eating habits are easy to learn. Our bodies are designed to tell us when we have had enough to eat. However many of us are tempted to eat more than we need. Since a large part of our immune system resides in our stomach this is a dangerous habit. Especially for the elderly, because it can result in choking and difficulty breathing. What’s more, overeating affects sleep. Often, insomnia is the result of overeating.
The second important healthy eating habit is routine. Regular mealtimes are much better for the elderly person. They will provide them the balance of energy they need all day. As a result they will want to be more active. Doing gardening, participating in activities or going out will be better managed that way. They will also remove the need for between meals snacks which are often undesirable.
Last but not least, encouraging your elderly loved one to eat with the family has great benefits. TV dinners are okay sometimes. However, they should not be a daily habit. What’s more, the conversation will encourage them to eat. Providing healthy vegetables as well as protein is essential. Vegetables have no fat in them but lots of fibre. They are also easier to eat for the elderly than meat. Make sure you cook vegetables that they enjoy eating.
In our next blog, we will address further topics under the heading of healthy eating as you age. Our aim as ever is to help you in caring for your elderly loved one. So, from our family and residents here, at Vermont Aged Care, we wish you and your family the best of health. Bye for now.
This blog is intended to provide helpful advice. Please speak with your family GP for personalised information or, for specialist advice & support in Melbourne Australia, please contact VERMONT AGED CARE:
770 Canterbury Road, Vermont, Victoria, Australia 3133
Phone: +61 03-9873 5300. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org