October 27 2017
The aging process isn’t something that just happens one day. No one ever wakes up on their 55th or 65th birthday and says, “Now that I am a senior citizen, I must use old person things.” Aging is something that catches up with you, and if you do any realizing it comes when you look in the mirror, add up all your aches, all your prescriptions, and all your wrinkles and say, “Well, at this point I must be old.”
Because aging is a process, it can be hard to know at what point you should change your diet and eating habits, or even if you should. It also doesn’t help that everyone ages differently, and different people experience different diseases and health challenges. But in the end, eating healthy as senior citizens is just the same as eating healthy when you’re younger, just with a few extra tips.
Senior citizens don’t need to eat quite as much as they did when they were younger. A big part of this is a slowing metabolism that burns fewer calories and converts more of what we eat into fat. There’s also the fact that we usually burn fewer calories as we grow older. Even if you stay active and keep exercising well past your 60th birthday, you probably won’t be able to keep up the intense workouts you could’ve pulled off in your 20s.
Keep Your Condition In Mind
Senior citizens are more likely to have diseases or other health issues that have a big impact on the diet. Having a heart condition means watching out for cholesterol, and type II diabetes can determine what kinds of foods you can eat and how fast you’re allowed to eat them. Health conditions like these have more of an impact on senior diets than anything else.
Choose Healthy Meals
The best food you can eat is the kind you cook for yourself instead of relying on fast food or convenience meals. But a lot of people go their whole lives without really learning how to cook, and even those who do learn can become unable to cook for several different reasons. That’s why assisted living communities and home care programs usually include professionally cooked and nutritious meals as part of the program. Not only do these meals account for special dietary needs, they’re also much healthier than frozen meals or the food you get from most restaurants.
Ultimately, there is no set “senior diet” that’s different than it would be for a younger person with the same health problems. Instead, a healthy senior meal is one that keeps track of the individual’s dietary needs and provides the right number of calories for that individual’s activity level. And in the end, that’s what young people should be eating, too.