Getting older means your body changes – all parts of your body — including the nutrition you need.
That’s why, if you want to remain the active as you age, seniors that live active lives in retirement communities like those at Westminster Village North should consider the changing needs of their stomachs as well as their bodies.
“People need fewer calories every decade,” says Connie Bales, PhD, RD, associate director of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center at Durham VA Medical Center. “We move around less, we have less muscle, and our metabolic rate goes down.”
Although seniors need to eat less, they do need to eat more nutrient rich food, according to the nutritionists at Westminster Village North. No matter what, active and not-so-active retirees still need to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean meat and whole grains.
The chefs at Westminster Village North prepare meals with seniors’ nutritional needs in mind. Here are some recommendations on how aging adults should address each change:
- If your sense of taste and smell decreases, vary your diet and experiment with salt-free herbs and spices.
- Decrease in appetite. Although very normal, it’s a good idea that you monitor your weight, eating enough to maintain a healthy weight for your height. Choose more “energy-dense foods” including any kind of nut, avocados, olives, and sun-flower seeds. Use drinkable meal replacement products if necessary.
- Decrease in thirst means that you should monitor your fluid intake and watch for evidence of dehydration.
- Difficulties in breaking down lactose. Substitute yogurt or cheese for milk. Use reduced-lactose or lactose-free products, and seek non-dairy calcium sources in cream, milk and even ice cream and yogurt.
- Decrease in iron levels. Sometimes seniors can feel when their iron is low. Others may not notice it. Be sure to include lean meat and iron-fortified foods in your diet and ask your physician to monitor the blood iron status.
- Lowered insulin function. Choose carbohydrates with low glycemic index and be sure to engage in regular physical activity.
Residents at Westminster Village North who have allergies, special dietary, medical or nutritional can give those to the chef in the dining area. We are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions or concerns of all sorts.
Actually, every stage of life brings changes new changes and adaptations. At Westminster Village, we adapt right along with you to make retirement and senior life the best, most nutritious – and most delicious — it can be.