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How Does Your Diet Change as You Age?

  • Written by NewsServices.com

People who work in aged care at home are familiar with specific changes that occur with aging. They have devised ways to manage these changes and ensure that senior citizens age well – in their bodies and mind. However, seniors and young adults must understand the changes their bodies undergo as they age and how they must adjust their diet. Thankfully this article discusses how your diet changes as you age.

How Does the Body Change with Age?

At the beginning of life, the body undergoes several changes for growth to occur. Then, at a later stage in life, the changes decline as one continues to age.

One prominent sign of aging is wrinkled skin resulting from reduced production of a protein, collagen. There is also a reduced amount of gastric acid and vitamin D production in the body as we age. Nevertheless, these nutrients are essential for bodily function and must be taken into the body.

There are other changes your body undergoes while you age, such as:

Reduced Calorie Need

Reduced calorie levels are typical among senior citizens, affecting their diet. In addition, as we age, we become less active, our body's metabolism reduces and the body's composition changes.

These changes cause reduced calorie needs in the body, invariably making us less hungry. A common way to detect reduced calorie needs is by monitoring body mass. A significantly reduced body mass shows a deficiency of body building elements, and a steady or increased body mass shows adequate levels of body building elements.

Increased Nutrient Need

Different from calorie needs, nutrient needs can increase as we age due to several factors. Some of these factors are chronic health conditions, changes in body composition, and the use of medicines.

Some nutrients like vitamin D and vitamin B12 are reduced in the body, but the body sends a signal for their needs:

  • Vitamin D: it is essential in the absorption of calcium into the body for bone development. Therefore, a reduction in vitamin D levels will cause bone diseases like osteoporosis and bone cancer.
  • Vitamin B12 {cobalamin}: vitamin B12 is essential for producing red blood cells and brain function. A reduction in vitamin b12 will affect one's PCV and can lead to anemia.

Despite the increased nutrient need, a countering signal discourages aged persons from eating – eating is the primary way we get vitamin D and B12. So, seniors must adjust their diet to replenish the natural vitamin pools in the body or take supplements if a doctor recommends this.

Reduced Fluid Intake

The sensation of fluid intake reduces with age. Older adults do not get as thirsty as younger adults. Nevertheless, they must continue to consume adequate levels of water for proper bodily metabolism.

Remedies for Diet Changes Due to Aging

The remedies for diet changes due to aging will revolve around adjusting diets. 

For reduced calorie levels, people taking care of aged persons must experiment with different food types and identify textures more appealing to seniors. For some seniors who find it difficult to chew foods due to declining dental health, serving them food they can swallow easily can coax them to eat.

Moving on, there must be an adjustment to vitamin levels in the body. An excellent way to adjust the diet to achieve sufficient vitamin levels in the body is the inclusion of fruits and vegetables in one's diet. In addition, one can include fishes and eggs to replenish vitamin B12 levels in the body. Supplements may be needed to assist in vitamin retention.

Finally, for reduced fluid intake, consistent water intake is important; likewise, constant consumption of fruits like watermelon can balance the water levels in the body.

For adults that drink alcohol, it should be moderated to 2 drinks a day, depending on the person’s health.

There is a need for senior citizens to be under close supervision when adjusting their diet, so consider the above changes if you take care of someone who is elderly.

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