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What Makes an Older Man’s Nutrition Different?

Senior Couple Enjoying Beach Holiday Running Down Dune

Senior Couple Enjoying Beach Holiday Running Down Dune

Why is it so important that we take a good look at nutrition especially when it is about the elderly? Why can’t we just nonchalantly eat whatever is available and not be conscious about the nutritional value we get from our food?

The answer is simple, older men and women for that matter, are greatly prone to malnutrition. The diet that younger men have been used to no longer applies when they reach a certain age because energy requirements change as well as their nutritional needs and we need to adapt and adjust to these needs accordingly. And to be able to do that we must acquaint ourselves with the recommended nutrition intended for our age.

Malnutrition Risks and Complications

There are several factors that contribute to the risk of malnutrition in older men. One example would be the presence of chronic diseases that could limit physical mobility such as arthritis. Cognitive limitation can also be considered as a contributing factor such as Alzheimer’s. These conditions make eating difficult and if nobody is there to assist them, there is a very big chance that they will not be able to finish their meal or worse, not eat at all.

As men grow older their sense of taste and smell change, this alteration can be attributed to aging or it could be a probable side effect of taking synthetic drugs. Either way it affects a person’s interest in his food. Dental problems are also common in older men and they tend to avoid eating foods (including healthy ones) that are difficult to masticate.

There is actually a wide array of reasons why older men are considered possible candidates for malnutrition. These are just to name some of them.

The Solution

To counter this problem we must start off by knowing the nutritional requirements needed for older men and then once this has been dealt with, it is then our second most priority to take necessary actions to meet those nutritional needs.

Fiber is very important to be included in the diet for older men because it promotes good bowel functions. Apart from that it is also been found that fiber is good for the heart. Some older men who want to lose weight to lower their risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes can take advantage of fiber because it makes them feel full longer.

Hence, the need to snack and munch will be lessened. Men need thirty grams of fiber in one day. You can get fiber from fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains. If you intend to buy from bottle products make sure that you look at the label and choose those with at least three grams of fiber/serving.

Calcium and Vitamin D. Both of these go hand in hand. Vitamin D is needed by our body to be able to absorb calcium. For thirty one years old to fifty you need 1000 mg of calcium per day. For fifty one to seventy year old males you need 1000 mg of calcium per day. For seventy year olds and above you need a total of 1200 mg of calcium per day.

Foods that are rich in calcium include fat free dairy moil, low fat dairy milk, yogurt, fruit juices, fortified cereals, canned fish or sardines (those that have soft and chewable bones) and of course don’t forget the dark green and leafy vegetables. Some elderly would opt to take supplements just to ensure that they are taking enough, if this is the case make sure that you choose one containing vitamin D.

Older man surfing

Healthy fats are needed by older men. It is a misconception that fats are bad for us. In fact we need fats in order to function optimally just make sure that you limit the calories to twenty to thirty five percent. The fats that you must consume should be the healthy ones such as unsaturated fats. You can get this from canola oil, almonds, avocados, walnuts and extra virgin olive oil. For men who do not have any heart problems, they should limit their intake of saturated fat to ten percent of the total fat calories.

Potassium is also important in older men’s diet. You must make an effort to increase your potassium intake and concomitantly decrease your sodium intake as this may help lower your risk of hypertension. Foods that are excellent sources of potassium include yogurt, fruits and vegetables and also low fat or fat free milk. Men who add salt to their meals should really think of other alternatives. Try peppering herbs and spices to your meals to add flavor instead of sprinkling salt all over it.

Now, since older men are at risk of malnutrition it is important that you, as a caregiver or as a concerned individual, should collaborate with them in making plans to achieve optimum nutrition. Take for example when the problem is about his dental health; convince him to have a dental appointment with his dentist so this problem can be addressed. If the reason why he isn’t eating his meals properly is because of altered taste as a side effect of a medicine then you should accompany him to his doctor and request for a different one.

Taking dietary supplements is another option to keep men in their fifties and older healthy. This gives men an assurance of the amount of vitamins and minerals their bodies are getting through the supplements they take that’s reflected on the label. It isn’t just malnutrition that older men should concern themselves of when they advance into aging. They should also consider the symptoms associated with low testosterone. Studies have shown that as a man grows older his levels of testosterone decline. When this happens a series of symptoms begin to manifest such as lack of energy, poor sperm count, compromised sperm quality, infertility and so on. For men who are currently experiencing any of these, a daily dose of Tongkat Ali may just be the answer to your problem. Tongkat Ali has been proven safe and effective by millions of people, health experts and common users alike. It has no side effects, no long term adverse effects and it guarantees to boost your testosterone in no time!

Florence Aguilar is a registered nurse working for NaturalTongkatali.com and an avid health writer who keeps herself abreast of the latest research and studies on Tongkat Ali Extract and Health Topics. She believes in the benefits of continued learning and aims to inspire and make the world a better place for both men and women through her writings.

SOURCES:

http://www.nutrition.com.sg/he/heseniors.asp

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0906b.shtml

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6836

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm267499.htm

photo credit: SalFalko via photopin cc
photo credit: mikebaird via photopin cc

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