Eating healthily becomes increasingly important as we start to age.
When we age, there are many changes including nutrient deficiencies and inadequate dietary intake that can have a profound impact on our nutritional status.
This can start to exacerbate the decline in physiological and psychological functions that occur as we age.
Studies indicate that many older people produce less stomach acid. Low stomach acid can affect our absorption of nutrients; for example
B12 Calcium Iron Magnesium.
We also experience a reduced need for calories. Energy requirements start to decline after the age of 50 for woman and around 60 for men. However, our need to consume the same amount of vitamins/nutrients does not.
This means that that the importance of a nutrient rich diet with the correct vitamins and minerals is paramount. So, older adults need to get just as much, if not more, of some nutrients, all while eating fewer calories.
As we age, we may need fewer calories to maintain our weight, since we tend to move and exercise less and carry less muscle.
If you continue to eat the same number of calories per day as you did when you were younger, you could easily gain extra fat, especially around the belly area). This is especially true in postmenopausal women, as the decline in oestrogen levels seen during this time may promote belly fat storage.
Are you eating enough protein OR maybe too much? Eating the correct amount of protein can help your body to main muscle mass and strength (sarcopenia) as you age. The average adult loses 3-8% of their muscle mass each decade as they age.
Age also affects the gut microbiota, changing its composition so that it becomes less protective and supportive of health. Your diet can have a strong impact on your gut microbiota. Eating foods that contain prebiotics and taking a good probiotic can help to improve this.
- Are you eating enough of the right nutrients?
- Do you understand your calorie/energy requirements?
- Book a Nutritional MOT with the FOOD COACH.