5 Myths About Senior Nutrition
We’ve heard all our lives that it’s important to eat a balanced diet. It’s a simple concept, but one that’s not always easy to follow on a regular basis. That’s especially true as we age, and common misconceptions take hold.
Here are five senior nutrition myths that many people commonly accept, but are important to overcome for healthy living and wellness.
Myth #1: Older people naturally lose their appetite
As we age, it’s true that we don’t require as much food due to changes in metabolism and energy output. However, that doesn’t mean it’s normal to lose your appetite.
A loss of appetite can be a sign of a serious health problem or the result of dental problems or decreased sense of taste. That’s why it’s a good idea to weigh yourself periodically. If you discover a sudden weight loss, schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the reason.
Myth #2: Slower metabolisms require fewer nutrients
Senior citizens typically don’t need to eat quite as many calories due to a slowing metabolism. But it’s still important to eat just as many nutrient-rich foods – if not more. That’s because the ability to absorb nutrients decreases as we age. Physicians often recommend older adults increase calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 through diet or supplements.
Myth #3: Food is only fuel for the body
Good nutrition is essential for strong bones, sustained energy and a decreased risk for some diseases. But fellowship is important, too.
If you live alone, invite friends or family over to enjoy their company (and reduce loneliness and stress). If you live in a senior community, eat in the common dining room. Many seniors experience dramatic improvement when they move to a senior community because they’re regularly eating well again.
Myth #4: Seniors with weak appetites can skip meals
It’s not a good idea for anyone at any age to skip a meal. If it becomes a routine, your body may use your muscles as a food source – further decreasing your metabolism and sapping your strength. Skipping meals can also cause blood sugar levels to go haywire, triggering other health issues. If you experience a weak appetite, try eating smaller, but regular, snacks and then talk about it with your doctor.
Myth #5: Senior communities provide bad food
This stereotype probably originated with institutional nursing home cooking before assisted living options were available. Senior Living communities usually have experienced chefs who work with dietitians to provide nutritious – and delicious – food.
If you’re looking for a senior community, we recommend eating at least one meal in the dining room to experience the food and the overall atmosphere.
For more information about nutrition
At The Christian Village at Mason, we’re dedicated to helping our residents stay healthy and happy through activities, our wellness center and delicious, nutritional food. Visit our website or our social media at Facebook or Twitter for continued updates.