Seniors being overweight or underweight is a serious problem. This is because the body of a senior will lose muscle mass while adding weight and body fat even while burning fewer calories. Or the muscle mass is not replaced at all leading to gauntness. So you may decide that you’re going to eat fewer calories to combat the weight gain, but that also means that you may be getting fewer much needed nutrients. Or you may eat more if too thin, but it may be the wrong kind of foods which doesn’t help either.
Being underweight among seniors is especially a concern. There can be different factors which contribute to it such as the senior not having enough food to eat, especially when involved in independent living. Or the food itself may not be dense in nutrients because seniors will eat less nutritional better tasting foods because of changes in the sense of taste. Or seniors can suffer from chronic health problems that add to weight loss. On the other hand, when bad diet leads to being overweight, this adds to the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
What to do
Seniors need to eat foods from the rainbow which are rich in nutrients. The right diet helps with both weight gain and weight loss when done right. So seniors need to:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables in vibrant colors and different types. Colorful fruit signifies more nutrients.
- Eat more assorted whole grains such as whole wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal.
- Drink Soy or rice milk that’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Also, drinking low fat milk or fat-free helps with weight loss if you’re overweight, and the milk is still nutritious.
- Eat more lean meats, poultry, seafood and eggs.
- Eat more nuts, seeds and beans.
Other tips to keep you healthy while being involved with independent living is to carefully plan your own healthy meals instead of just grabbing off the shelf. Make extra too so that you can freeze it for the days when you don’t feel like cooking. Eating with company can help also if you hate to eat alone or you need encouragement to eat right.
Eating healthy is a choice and making sure that you get all the nutrients is important.