While most diet myths don’t have anything to do with seniors, there are some nutrition myths about seniors that can be misleading. Being able to identify nutritional myths and facts can have a significantly positive impact on your loved one’s life.
Make sure to consult a doctor before making any changes in your loved one’s diet. If you believe that a senior in your life is exhibiting any unhealthy eating habits, speak with them and seek professional advice.
MYTH 1: Seniors Don’t Need to Eat Very Much
Although aging does cause a significant change in your loved one’s diet, it should not cause them to abandon eating entirely. It’s common for seniors to consume less food than when they were younger, but eating a healthy amount of calories is important, no matter what age you are. Healthy seniors should still be consuming around 2000 calories each day to maintain a proper diet.
If your loved one is participating in a quality senior care program, make sure to speak to your loved one’s care providers to learn more about their diet. If your loved one is not eating consistently, speak with them and stress the importance of a healthy diet. Many times, seniors will skip meals because they are not feeling hungry at the time, but doing so can rob the body of essential nutrients.
For more information about maintaining a healthy senior diet, please visit the Department of Elder Affairs.
MYTH 2: Supplements Can Substitute for Food
As your loved one ages, it’s common for their body to absorb fewer nutrients from their meals. Supplements contain essential natural vitamins such as vitamin B and vitamin C, as well as many others. Many seniors take supplements that provide them additional nutrients that they don’t receive from their regular meals.
While taking supplements is recommended by doctors and can provide support to the body, they should not replace food. Taking more vitamins than recommended can have serious health effects, including stomach pain and malnutrition. Make sure to have your loved one create a meal plan that balances supplements and nutritious meals to ensure they are getting the nutrients their body needs.
MYTH 3: Senior Living Communities Have Bad Food
Many people are mistaken when thinking that senior living communities have terrible tasting food. Although many communities have menus that are tailored to what seniors should be eating, they can have very high-grade ingredients and professional cooking staff.
At communities like The Pavilion, guests are treated to three meals a day that are made by a chef and prepared specifically for your loved one. Having culinary services that specifically create food for your loved one can provide a series of benefits. If your loved one has diabetes or other eating conditions, the chefs at senior living communities can avoid making food that is high in sugar or salt.
Senior living communities make sure to prepare food that is not only healthy but delicious. Many communities will frequently have events where guests can visit and have a special dinner with their loved one. Check with your loved one’s community and learn more about their culinary services to see what accommodations are available to them.
To learn more about senior nutrition and senior living trends, subscribe to our blog!