When it comes to senior nutrition, there are a lot of myths out there that just aren’t true. As people age, their nutritional needs change, and they require different amounts of vitamins and minerals than they did as younger adults.
It’s important to understand the facts and clear up some common misconceptions about senior nutrition to ensure your loved ones get the proper nutrients for a healthy lifestyle. Here are five myths about senior nutrition that need to be debunked.
Older Adults Don’t Need Much Protein
When it comes to senior nutrition, many myths just aren’t true. One of the most pervasive is that our loved ones don’t need as much protein as younger adults. This myth stems from another myth that aging bodies don’t need or use as much protein.
This is false – those in their golden years need higher protein levels than younger adults because their bodies undergo more changes due to age-related illnesses and diseases. To ensure an adequate intake of nutrients and minerals, they should focus on eating nutrient-dense foods such as lean proteins like poultry and fish, vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats like nuts and olive oil.
Older Adults Require Less Food
Growing older doesn’t mean that our loved ones require less food. Senior nutrition is just as important as ever, and several myths can cause confusion. It is essential to debunk these myths to ensure your loved ones get the proper nutrition.
One of the most common nutrition myths is that calories and nutrients are not important. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As people age, their bodies change, which means they may require more or different types of nutrients than when they were younger.
Ensuring elderly individuals have access to a nutritious diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help them remain healthy and active into their later years. Additionally, our loved ones need to keep hydrated; oftentimes, dehydration can be mistaken for hunger, so drinking plenty of water throughout the day is key!
Meals Served in Assisted Living Communities are Bad
Another common misconception is that food served in assisted living communities isn’t particularly appetizing or nutritious. This simply isn’t true! Many assisted living communities offer well-balanced meals made by talented chefs, with various options catering to different tastes and dietary needs.
Many residents comment on how much they enjoy their meals and look forward to them daily. As long as you choose a retirement community with a reputable reputation for providing healthy, enjoyable meals, you can rest assured the food will be tasty and nourishing.
Supplements Can Replace Food
The final myth is that older adults can take supplements instead of food. Eating a well-balanced diet packed with nutrient-dense foods is still the best way for your loved ones to stay healthy and get all the nutrients your bodies need.
Supplements can be beneficial, but they should never replace real food in any diet, especially for those who may not have access to or be able to afford enough nutritious meals daily. In addition, taking too many supplements at once may interfere with how those supplements are absorbed by your body and reduce their effectiveness overall.