We have talked a lot about babies in the blog in recent months. No luck if you are not interested: the two journalists on the blog are young mothers! We’re making an effort nonetheless writing today about the elderly! They have well-defined needs in terms of nutrition and treatment. It is interesting to distinguish them in case you find yourself with this kind of patient. Or if you yourself are in this age group, past sixty …
A basic rule that we learn in course 244, Energy Approaches: the older we get, the less calories we need. From the age of 60, it takes an average of 1900 calories for a sedentary man (per day) and 2300 for a man who is still quite active. For women, we speak of 1600 and 1750 calories respectively. After age 70, the numbers drop to 1600 and 2000 for men, and 1500 and 1600 for women. For the really active elderly, it is of course necessary to add calories (+400 for men and +300 for women).
Although we age, we still have to be careful about what we eat. It sometimes happens that our “seniors” eat poorly and therefore die faster. Pity. The imbalance caused by bad diet has more repercussions in old age because the body is less efficient at responding to it.
In addition, the body therefore changes metabolic processes too.
The elderly generally have less appetite. However, they must still accumulate calories (see previous paragraph) and therefore pay attention to undernutrition … less food is also less vitamins and minerals the body needs!
It is true that smell and taste are no longer as effective senses as before so it gives less the taste to eat. All this without taking into account the problems with the teeth and the jaws.
In short, we must be careful.
In terms of metabolism, protein anabolism decreases and catabolism is maintained. So, in clear terms, because of the protein imbalance (greater muscle loss) you have to consume 1g of protein per kg of additional body weight per day. To restore balance. Otherwise there may be atrophy of the muscle.
Also, the elderly need more energy than the young to do their physical activities. We are talking about 20 to 30% more energy expenditure for the same activity – so we will increase the amount of food just as much to compensate.
It is therefore interesting to monitor the weight if you have to treat a person in this age group.
In Terms of Vitamins
The most recommended vitamins are the most classic vitamins, and also the cheapest (because more popular):
- vitamin B12, to create energy from food,
- vitamin D, the cheapest of them all,
- Omega 3 to reduce inflammation and improve heart health,
- glucosamine and chondroitin for joints.
For lunch, we can suggest:
hard boiled eggs,
whole wheat pancakes,
hot cereals with berries,
smoothies with yogurt and bananas or other fruits,
For snacks, we can suggest:
mixtures of nuts,
For lunch or dinner:
salmon with vegetables,
lamb with potatoes,
pasta with fish cubes,
fennel and liver,
lentils and rice,
a quinoa salad.
Contrary to popular belief, physical activity is essential in the elderly. It is of course ideal throughout life but at this age (around 60-70 years) you must change the type and method of exercises.
Indeed, exercise maintains our muscle mass and limits the formation of fatty tissue, which therefore improves the lipid profile of the person, especially in terms of cholesterol. In the long term, this prevents cardiovascular risks.
By improving bone mass, physical activity increases bone density – we therefore reduce the risk of osteoporosis and risk of fracture …
Softer activities are the best choice: walking, gentle fitness routine, etc.) and it is best to practice them regularly at medium intensity: a few minutes a day is more beneficial than an hour and a half once a week.
In conclusion, the profile of the elderly person generates specific lifestyle habits that must be taken into account in the consultation. Often older people (or not so young?) Have less of an appetite and think they don’t need to eat a lot or even exercise. It is therefore important to keep in mind that a good diet will allow them to meet the higher calorie demand of this age, provided that they do.
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