Five things to ditch from your diet

We seldom think about how our nutritional needs change as we go through life. Yet it’s fairly logical to assume that a 70 year old person does not need to consume a diet with the same type of foods that a 7 year old does. Their respective bodies are doing very different things afterall. One is growing at a rapid rate and geared to process food quickly and efficiently. The other is slowing down in most respects.

Many older people suffer from malnutrition, even in our affluent society. It doesn’t necessarily stem from lack of funds to purchase good food. It’s more a case of convenience and education that can lead an older person into a worrying decline of health. It’s important to take stock of your nutritional needs, and make sure you are giving your body the best support for its current state. If you know of an older person not feeding themselves correctly, it may be time to obtain some support to assist them to maintain a quality life with as much independence as they need, but the support that they require as well.

Glenvale Villas and many other aged care communities employ highly trained chefs and nutritionists to deliver menus to residents. This gives many families peace of mind knowing their loved ones are at least well fed! Grandpa may like his chocolate cake, but it’s not a good idea for him to eat it all day every day!

We’ve put together a list of five things you can easily avoid or cut back on in your senior years, to ensure optimum health.

  1. Salt
    It’s notorious for making everything taste better, but in our society, we consume salt in excess and it’s not a good idea. Salt raises your blood pressure. For most ageing Australians – watching blood pressure levels is a top priority. A high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease. So reduce your salt intake, and you increase your odds of avoiding some serious health issues.
  2. Sugar
    You knew it, didn’t you! Too much sugar can cause insulin resistance and overloads your liver. It exposes you to more risk for coronary problems and also increases the chances of Diabetes. You may be thinking “Well, I don’t eat any lollies, so this is not me”. Think again. There are hidden sugars in virtually everything you pick up off the shelf at the grocery store. Cut back on processed foods and include whole foods in your diet.
  3. Saturated and trans fats
    Too much saturated and trans fat is difficult for your body to metabolise and can increase cholesterol.  You will consume saturated fats in fried foods, fast food, dairy products and baked goods. Make sure your diet is balanced with only small amounts of these foods.
  4. Alcohol
    As we get older, our bodies slow down and our ability to process certain foodstuffs changes. Alcohol is no different. Muscle mass reduces and the alcohol content in your blood thereby increases. Your body is able to tolerate less. Take a look at this informative article.
  5. Empty calories
    Are you filling up on breads, cakes and plenty of biscuits with tea? Does dinner consist of rice or pasta and a good slab of pie crust? Even though some of these foods are extremely satisfying to eat, the gratification is short lived and you won’t be doing your body any good. It’s essential to maintain a high quality diet so the effort your digestive system goes to is put to good use – extracting vitamins and minerals to aid your strength, stamina, healing, mental ability and so on. Tuck into those salads and vegetable sides folks!

 

For more information on Glenvale Villas healthy eating programmes, look here.

For further information on nutrition, take a look here.

Always consult your doctor or nutritionist for diet advice.

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