Senior Nutrition – Important Considerations for Seniors

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,201
    Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care and Amy Cohn, a registered dietician with General Mills Bell Institute Of Healthy and Nutrition talk about important nutritional considerations for seniors.

    Mary Alexander: Hi, I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care.

    Amy Cohn: And I am Amy Cohn a registered dietician with General Mills Bell Institute Of Healthy and Nutrition.

    Mary Alexander: Today we are here in the Betty Crocker Kitchens talking about important nutritional considerations for seniors. As we age our bodies usually don't need as much food as we did when we were younger. However, seniors still need just as many nutrients, sometimes more.

    Amy Cohn: Here are some of the key nutrients that should be included in a senior's diet. First is calcium. This nutrient helps keep bones strong and can help prevent fractures. Calcium can be found in low fat or fat free milk and yoghurt as well as green leafy vegetables, calcium fortified orange juice and soy products.

    Next up is fiber. Fiber helps keep foods moving along in the digestive track. Some types of fiber can also help lower cholesterol. Sources include whole grains, beans and legumes, vegetables and fruits.

    And one thing that you might not consider a nutrient but is critical to good health is fluid. Our sense of thirst tends to decline as we get older. So in order to prevent dehydration, it's a good idea to drink fluids regularly, whether thirsty or not.

    Now let's talk about a couple of important vitamins. First is Vitamin-D. This is vital for bone health because it helps the body absorb calcium. The body makes Vitamin-D from exposure to the Sun. But, as we age our bodies become less able to make Vitamin-D. So it's important to get enough from other sources such as foods and supplements.

    Sources include fluid milk or Vitamin-D fortified items such as yoghurt, margarine, soy beverages and orange juice. Another important vitamin is B12. With aging, it becomes harder for the body to absorb this vitamin, which is essential for healthy nerves and blood cells. Some seniors may require supplements or B12 injections. Some food sources include meats, fish and shellfish, fortified cereals and tofu.

    Mary Alexander: Thanks Amy. So, as you heard that even though a senior might need extra nutrients there are easy and convenient food sources and supplements that can ensure that they are getting the healthy meals they need to remain vibrant.