A Balanced Diet for Elderly People

March 22, 2022
A Balanced Diet for Elderly People

Getting a healthy, balanced diet is vital at any stage in your life. It is particularly important when you elderly though. When you are older, you are naturally more susceptible to certain illnesses and injuries, which eating well can help prevent. Here, we look at some tips for how elderly people can ensure that their diet is the best that it could be. A lot of what we suggest is not revolutionary, but just small changes that, when taken together, can add up to a big difference. It is best, when trying to change your diet, to work closely with your healthcare professional first to ensure that you are being as safe as possible. 

Eat plenty of fruit and veg

Fruit and vegetables are essential to any diet due to being packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Upping the amount of them that you eat in your older years can help you stay healthy as studies have shown that those who eat a diet rich in fruit and veg, are less likely to develop heart disease and certain cancers. Experts advocate eating at least five portions of different coloured fruit and veg a day. That sounds a lot, but an easy way around that is eating soups, chopping fruit up to eat with your breakfast and as snacks, and simply adding a couple more types of veg to your evening meal. If you are really uncertain, you could try signing up to healthy meal delivery services which will have plenty of fruit and veg in every meal as standard. Many meal kit delivery UK companies also offer a smoothie bundle - which is just plenty of fruit to liquidise to make into a delicious smoothie every morning. 

Cut down on processed food

Another way that healthy meal boxes from meal kit delivery UK companies can help elderly people stay on the straight and narrow of healthy eating, is by supporting home cooking which immediately cuts down on the amount of processed food a person eats. Processed food can be bad for anyone to eat, but especially so for the elderly. Processed food is high in preservatives, salt and sugar - all of which can be harmful to your body. If you eat a lot of them over the long-term, you likely are not going to be eating the vitamins and minerals you need as well as having a diet severely lacking in fiber. 

Drink plenty of water

One thing that you could definitely try immediately, without the help needed of healthy meal delivery services, is simply to drink more water. Water helps you stay hydrated and enables the body in so many of its basic functions. It is good to try to drink 6 - 8 glasses of fluid every day, so it doesn’t have to be just water. You can take in water from eating soup, and drinking tea or milk. However, if you have certain medical conditions, you may not want to drink a lot of water a day. In fact, some conditions will be negatively affected by drinking too much. Work through this problem with your doctor first if you are unsure of what to do. 

Try including good fats

While eating too much fat can be bad for you as a diet high in fat has been linked to heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure, to name just a couple of conditions that put the elederly particularly at risk, you do want to eat some fat. The key is to eat only good fats. That means trying to eat less saturated fat and eating more unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fat helps you reduce the risk of heart disease and some fatty acids, like Omega-3, are good for you. They can be found in oily fish. 

Ingest the right types of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can keep you fuller for longer as well as being a fantastic source of energy. Ensuring that you are still physically able when you are older is key to your mental health too. Being able to socialise and take care of yourself are both crucial ways that you can stay feeling independent. Carbohydrates that help you stay fuller for longer, with more energy, are potatoes, rice, pasta and starchy vegetables. They’re all ingredients that healthy meal boxes will always include in every meal. Meal boxes are designed by chefs and nutritionists who know how to create a delicious and well balanced meal for elderly person. That’s why signing up to such a service can be nothing short of life changing. 

Reduce red meat intake

While it may taste delicious, red meat is not that good for you. Once in a while is fine, but red meat has been linked to many illnesses which as an elderly person you really want to reduce the risk of developing. Instead, eat lean proteins like chicken and fish. Beans, pulses and eggs are also great for upping the protein in your diet, without having to include overly processed meat like ham or bacon. 

Recommended Read: Best Meal Delivery Services for Families in 2022

Read food labels

Food labels may be small and annoying to read, but they are packed full of information. It is a really good idea to read them before you start eating something to ensure that the type of food you are thinking of preparing is good for you. The traffic light system in the UK has looked to reduce the complicated nature of these information labels. They will give you the information you need to ascertain whether something is too high in fat for you to eat, or too high in sugar and salt. Staying within the RDA of something like salt is an easy way to ensure you are reducing your risk of heart disease. 

Everything in moderation

Finally, life is for living. If you do not abide by these tips and rules every day that’s fine. The key is to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon as soon as possible after a weekend hitting the biscuit tin a bit too often. Users of healthy meal delivery services often say that these boxes really help stay on the straight and narrow for longer as they make creating delicious, nutritious meals easy as well as fun. They make it far more likely that you will be eating home cooked meals that are low in fat and processed ingredients far more often than if you are left to your own devices. 

Rachel Lee
Having worked at Morgan Stanley and BNYMellon for over 10 years in pensions and investments, Rachel now works as a full-time business and financial writer.

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