Article by Aging.com
Nutrition can be especially confusing for seniors, but of course these days nutrition is confusing for everyone. Every month a new study comes out that revises our understanding of what, and how much, we should eat. And even when experts agree on nutrition advice, it can be next to impossible to understand how to apply that advice to senior nutrition.
The confusion isn’t just about what seniors eat: it’s also about what they don’t. Because aging affects all systems in the body, seniors frequently have additional challenges to face when it comes to eating properly. Illness, disability, and isolation can prevent seniors from getting the food they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and even some of the more common effects of aging, such as the loss of taste and smell and the loss of appetite, can make seniors less interested in taking in calories and nutrients.
Unfortunately, nutrition is just as important for seniors as it is for younger people: undernourished seniors can have problems fighting infection, experience cognitive issues, and suffer from the sort of muscle weakness that can put them at risk for catastrophic falls.
Fortunately there are ways to address all these issues, and, armed with those strategies, and with a full understanding of how standard nutrition advice can be modified to suit seniors’ unique needs, there’s no reason why age should prevent an otherwise healthy senior from getting all the nutrition they need—or, if they’re fighting illness or injury, getting the nutrition they need to heal.