As we get older, many of us need to reassess our food intake. Many older adults ingest the same amount of calories for years, yet their activity levels are much lower than they used to be. On the other hand, some forget to eat at all or have no appetite. Losing or gaining significant weight at this stage of life can predispose a person to many difficult diseases and conditions. At Huntingdon Health and Rehabilitation Center, our nutritionists are trained to recognize dietary issues and address them quickly. We take our residents’ meals seriously, as they are the basis of a healthy, active life.
A healthy diet is all about balance. The human body needs a mix of the right nutrients to thrive. However, varying their sources give off the full health benefits your loved ones need.
Healthy foods include fruits and vegetables of varying colors, whole grains, and healthy fats. Our nutritionists make sure your loved ones get these in their diets every single day.
Hydration is vital to proper body function. You may not consider fluid intake as part of your diet, but it is. Water, in particular, is essential for good health. We make sure all our residents have access to good hydration, and our nurses encourage drinking even when residents say they aren’t thirsty.
The reason we’re told to eat certain types of foods is for the contained nutrients. Certain nutrients are essential for overall health.
Vitamin B12 is one of those nutrients. To make sure your loved one gets enough of this vitamin, we choose foods that are great sources for it. These include some types of fish, lean meats, and fortified cereals.
For good bone health, we include plenty of vitamin D and calcium in our customized food plans. Dairy products and multiple beverages have added calcium. Foods like cheese, egg yolks, and calcium-enriched juices are all good choices.
Reducing blood pressure reduces the risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease, and a high-sodium diet can cause your body to lose calcium from bones, increasing your risk for osteoporosis. Not everyone is sensitive to sodium’s effects on blood pressure, but there is no way to identify those who are sodium-sensitive. That’s why we recommend that all our residents curb their sodium intake.
Fiber plays an important role in the body’s digestive system, but that’s not all it does. It may also help keep heart disease and Type 2 diabetes out of the picture. While fiber may not sound appetizing, there are plenty of great foods that will help your loved one get enough. Bran cereals, whole-grain bread, peas, broccoli, and other fruits and vegetables are all great sources of fiber.
Older people might not have the appetite they once did. Additionally, some residents with memory issues may forget to eat altogether. Because of this, they might end up not eating enough.
Eating enough healthy food is vital for keeping your body healthy, so we will help your loved one get enough of the right foods. Because, not eating enough can lead to issues with muscles, bones, and organs.
That being said, it’s still important that you don’t overeat. If your loved one’s appetite is still intact and they are merely eating more because they are not as active, they could have a problem.
As our bodies age, we need fewer calories. That means that a healthy weight can be maintained with less when we’re older. This happens because of energy loss, metabolism slowing down, and other circumstances.
Healthy eating can be difficult. Planning ahead can make it easier, though. We want to hear all about your loved one’s food preferences and needs. Together with families, we map out a food plan our residents can enjoy and benefit from. We are always available to answer your questions and hear your concerns. Please feel free to contact us anytime. At Huntingdon Health and Rehabilitation Center, your loved one’s nutritional health is our top priority, because enjoyable, healthy meals ensure a greater quality of life!
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