Water – sometimes a little less is better
Vilma Sališienė, a social worker of NSII’s “Senior” program, says that it is not uncommon to reduce the amount of water you drink per day at an older age. She adds that seniors are advised to drink up to 1.5 liters of fluids a day, and it’s also important to consider existing chronic conditions that require fluid restriction.
Avoid excess spices
“Almost everyone knows that fatty foods should be avoided. However, we rarely think about spices. In fact, it is better for the elderly to avoid spicy food, because it can irritate the mucous membrane of the organs of the digestive system, which can disrupt its function. Therefore, you should avoid salt, salted, preserved food products, which retain fluids in the body, increase blood pressure, and complicate the work of the heart,” says V. Sališienė.
Smoked meat products are not friends
The social worker does not hide that the diet of most seniors does not lack heavy and fatty foods – these are smoked meat products, hard margarines, mayonnaise and flour desserts. However, they are rich in saturated fatty acids, which promote the risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, it is recommended to use them very rarely and in moderation.
The less sugar, the better
“Since the need for energy decreases in old age, it is better to avoid foods with a high energy density – sweets, confectionery, other sweets. It’s no secret that foods high in sugar increase the risk of developing diabetes. That’s why we gather together with sweet-toothed seniors to look for healthier alternatives and make desserts at home,” says V. Sališienė, who takes care of the seniors.
Fruits instead of sweets
It is always better to exchange sweets for fruit, says the social worker of “Senjoro”. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, which older people need to get more than usual. Also, some fruits and vegetables have antioxidant properties, strengthen the body’s resistance to various infections, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and cancer. Not only that, citrus fruits rich in vitamin C strengthen blood vessel walls and normalize cholesterol metabolism.
It is extremely important for seniors to include protein-rich products in their diet, says Vilma Sališienė, social worker of the “Senior” program of the National Institute of Social Integration. These include poultry, meat, eggs, legumes and dairy products.
Variety on a plate
“The variety of products on the plate promises not only color, but also nutrition. In older age, it is especially important that each meal consists of three or at least two groups of nutrients. And it would be even better if the majority of the ration on the plate was not of animal origin, but of vegetable origin,” advises V. Sališienė.
Less, but more often
“For the elderly, it is very important to eat in moderation, preferably 4-5 times a day in smaller portions. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. It is best to choose fruits or nuts, kefir with bran as snacks between main dishes. And in order to achieve a long-term result, you should eat regularly at the same time – this helps regulate the feeling of hunger and satiety”, says V. Sališienė.
Boiled and stewed food
It is important to choose the right method of food preparation, says the social worker. Boiled and stewed food is much more suitable for seniors’ digestion. Instead, she reminds that fried food should be avoided, since fat-degrading substances disrupt the digestive system and bile secretion.
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