84 Hotham St, Preston VIC 3072

Office Hours: MON – FRI 09:00am – 5:00pm

 

Email: info@gihc.com.au

 

Nutrition Needs for Seniors

 

We all know that maintaing a balanced diet with regular meals is essential to a person’s health at any age however, The Better Health Channel which was produced in consultation and approved by The Victoria Department of Health and Dietitiens Australia suggest that nutrition needs vary with age and gender and that in fact, foods and Drinks that are considered to make up a healthy diet for younger people differs slightly from a healthy diet for seniors. Seniors are recommended to eat less of some foods and more of others. It is important to note that people may have specific nutrition requirements can differ from person to person.

According to The Better Health Channel, having a healthy diet benefits your body, your mind, and your social life, and without a healthy diet, there is a greater risk of acquiring chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and even mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

Specific advice for Seniors offered by The Better Health Channel (2022):

  • Your need for calcium for strong bones and teeth will increase, so extra serves of low fat milk, yoghurt and cheese are important. Other good sources of calcium are tinned salmon, sardines, leafy greens like spinach, kale and bok choy, sesame seeds (and tahini) and almonds.
  • Limit your intake of foods containing saturated fats and trans fats. Remember those ‘extras’ or ‘sometimes foods’ referred to in the guidelines? Keep those to a minimum. Foods like pies, pastries, fried and battered foods, chips, and chocolate are generally high in saturated fat, and may contain dangerous trans fats. Eat these foods very occasionally. Fresh fruit with reduced fat yoghurt is a good dessert option, or cakes and crumbles made with wholegrain options, like oats.
  • Talk to your doctor about your personal health needs, particularly about how best to apply the dietary guideline that says to limit saturated fats, added salt, and added sugars (above). Some older people may be at risk of malnutrition from restricting their food intake, and eat too few nutrients and kilojoules for their age.
  • Eat plenty of fibre and drink plenty of fluids. Water is essential for hydration, digestion and blood volume, but now you’re older, you may not feel as thirsty as you once did, even when your body needs fluids. Try to drink water about 6–8 cups of fluid a day, and more in warmer weather or when exercising. Water is your best bet for hydration, but tea, coffee, mineral and soda water, and reduced fat milk count too. High fibre foods and plenty of fluids will help to move slow bowels.
  • Use less salt. Everyone needs some salt, but too much can increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Watch your intake of high salt foods, such as cured meats (ham, corned beef, bacon, lunch meats etc.), snack foods (potato chips and savoury pastries etc.), and sauces (soy sauce, for example). Choose reduced salt food when shopping, and flavour your cooking with herbs and spices instead of salt.
  • Watch your alcohol intake. Follow Australian guidelines if you drink: no more than two standard drinks on any given day for healthy men and women.
  • Get your vitamins and minerals. If you eat less or have digestive issues, you may be deficient in some important vitamins and minerals. Speak to your doctor about your levels, and always choose a variety of foods from the five food groups.
  • Fish is your friend. Regularly consuming fish may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and macular degeneration (a type of vision loss). Eating fish twice a week is wise.
  • Maintain healthy weight and muscle strength through physical activity. The benefits of walking for older people]. It’s been shown people over 65 years often have better health if they carry a little extra weight and have a slightly higher body mass index. Talk to your healthcare professional if you need to lose or gain weight.
  • If you’re on a budget, simply do your best with your food choices. Plan well, use what’s available, and buy only what you need. Look out for quick and easy healthy recipes for one or two people, and try to eat regularly with family and friends if possible.
  • Be careful with your teeth. If nuts, grains and hard fruits and vegetables are difficult to chew, try milled wholegrains, soft cooked and canned fruits and vegetables, and nut pastes and butters.

Seniors should incorporate the advice offered above, as well as making sure to follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines set out by the Australian Depertment of Health which is a guideline for people of all ages, developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, with input from Nutrition experts.

 

What are the Australian Dietary Guidelines?

  • Eat a wide variety of foods from the five food groups: plenty of colourful vegetables, legumes/beans; fruit; grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and high fibre varieties; lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds; milk, yoghurt, cheese or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat.
  • Drink plenty of water – six to eight cups of fluid per day.
  • Limit foods high in saturated fat, such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps and other savoury snacks.
  • Replace high fat foods containing mostly saturated fat with foods containing mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Swap butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with unsaturated fats from oils, spreads, nut butters and pastes, and avocado.
  • Limit foods and drinks containing added salt, and don’t add salt to foods in cooking or at the table.
  • Limit foods and drinks containing added sugars, such as confectionery, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks.
  • Limit alcohol. (Drink no more than two standard drinks a day.)
  • Keep ‘extras’ or ‘sometimes foods’ to a minimum – they’re not a regular part of a healthy diet. Extras are the high sugar, high fat, high salt foods listed above, such as commercial burgers, pizza, alcohol, lollies, cakes and biscuits, fried foods, and fruit juices and cordials.
  • Be physically active. (Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking, every day.)

 

Shopping support and Meal preparation Assistance

Shopping for ingredients and cooking healthy meals can often seem daunting. This leads to a reliance on quick and easy foods that may lack the nutrition required. Gratitude In-Home Care offer a personalised service for food shopping and meal preparation, with experienced carers to help prepare meals that are tasty and nutritious.

Our friendly support workers will happily clients in keeping  meal planning and preparation simple. Our support workers will lovingly prepare meals for, breakfast, lunch and dinner based preferences of clients such as favourite meals and snacks.

We understand you might not have a driver’s licence, so it can be difficult to go to supermarket on your own, and walking around a store with a shopping trolley or a full basket might be tricky.

Your nutrition and health is as important to us as your meal satisfaction. We provide healthy meals, giving you the option to enjoy fresh foods that match your specific dietary needs, food preferences and nutritional requirements while still tasting delicious.

Meal and shopping services include:

  • Grocery shopping, food preparation and/or cooking
  • Transport to and from the shops
  • Meal delivery
  • Food subscription services
  • Cooking programs
  • Diet, nutrition, food storage and food safety
  • Feeding
  • Special dietary requirements for health, religious, cultural and other reasons
  • Shopping for items like clothes and gifts, etc
  • Personal care
  • Palliative care
  • Overnight & 24-hour care
  • Respite care
  • Medication assistance
  • Nursing services
  • After hospital care
  • Companionship
  • Shopping support and meal preparation
  • Gardening and home maintenance
  • Transport support
  • Assistance with household tasks
  • Community access

Contact us to have a no-charge, no-obligation chat about your options.
For more info, visit our website at: https://GIHC.com.au/ Call us on (03) 9863 6959, email us at info@gihc.com.au
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