How many food myths are your parents falling for? While many older adults believe them to be facts, they are risky and can lead to malnutrition. Make sure they know the realities and aren’t putting their health at risk.
A Loss of Appetite is a Normal Part of Aging
Having little to no appetite isn’t a normal part of aging. The appetite may decrease slightly, but it shouldn’t be a drastic change. If your parents are rarely hungry, they should see the doctor to rule out a health issue.
A Strict Low-Fat Diet is Ideal
Your mom and dad may believe that low-fat is best, but that’s not the case. Your body needs fats for healthy cells. Cutting fat intake isn’t ideal. Cutting bad fats is what they need to pay attention to. Instead of fatty fried foods, your parents need to focus on fats that are found in avocado, fish, nuts, and seeds.
It’s Okay to Drink Only When You’re Thirsty
Drinking only when the thirst response triggers is unhealthy. It’s likely to lead to dehydration as the thirst response is usually triggered when water stores are low.
The exact water intake depends on your activity levels, weight, and gender. Generally, the goal for a woman is two liters. It’s around three liters for a man.
Older Adults Need Fewer Calories so Skipping Meals is Okay
Skipping meals is never okay. If they’re going hours without any food, your parents’ blood sugar levels will likely dip. That can lead to dizziness that causes a fall.
Seniors indeed need fewer calories than a young adult, but it’s only a few hundred calories different. Calorie intake depends on activities, but men should aim for 2,000 to 2,600 and women should aim for 1,600 to 2,000.
Three Meals a Day Are Best for Adults
Three large meals are not ideal for aging adults. The evening meal especially is likely to cause heartburn at night when your mom and dad are trying to sleep.
They may find that smaller meals every couple of hours work better for them. This helps maintain blood sugar levels and helps eliminate the feeling of being too full.
Vegetables Are More Important Than Meats
Instead of focusing on certain categories of food, your parents need to look at what their body needs most. Fiber, protein, and calcium top the list. Protein is one of the nutrients many older adults don’t get enough of. Fish is especially important as it contains the fatty acids that adults need.
Have a caregiver cook meals for your parents. With senior care services, your parents have a companion stopping by. The caregiver can take them shopping, create a weekly menu, and prepare those meals for them. Learn more about meal preparation by calling a senior care agency.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Westfield, IN, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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