National Nutrition Week: Healthy Diet for Elderly People

 Who are Elderly?

Individuals of age 60 years and above are called elderly. 

What is the need?

The body composition changes with the advancing age which affect nutritional needs of the elderly hence nutrient rich foods needed to enable them to be fit and active.

When National Nutrition Week is celebrated?

1st to 7th September every year in India to focus on various aspect of Nutrition among all age groups.

What should be included in diet?

MyPlate is diagram of a plate divided into four sections of approximately 30 percent grains, 40 percent vegetables, 10 percent fruits and 20 percent protein, accompanied by a smaller circle representing dairy, such as a glass of milk or a yogurt cup.

  • Carbohydrates:Less calories should be taken. Take more whole grains & fortified foods which are rich in fiber & vitamin B-complex.
  • Proteins: They provide many important nutrients. A variety of protein sources should be chosen including nuts, beans, fish, lean meat & poultry.
  • Oils & Fats: Liquid vegetable oils & soft margarines  provide important fatty acids and some fat soluble vitamins but saturated fats should be avoided. 
  • Fruits & Vegetables: Whole fruits & vegetables are rich in important nutrients, vitamins & fibers. Choose vegetables & fruits with deeply colored flesh. Choose canned varieties that are packed in their own juices & low sodium.
  • Herbs & spices: Use a varieties of herbs & spices to enhance the flavor of food & reduce need of salt but avoid eating much spicy food.
  • Dairy products: Fat free & low fat milk, cheese, yogurts provide protein, calcium & other important nutrients.
  • Fluids: Drink plenty of fluids in the form of water, soups, fruits juices. Reduce intake of tea, coffee & alcohol.

How should be cooking?

The diet needs to be well cooked, soft and should be less salty and spicy.

How to take the food?

  • Ensure to eat small quantities of food 
  • At more frequent intervals and 
  • Drink water at frequent intervals to avoid dehydration and constipation. 

Consult doctor/dietitian for an individualized diet depending upon the medical condition in the case of persons suffering from chronic diseases and bed ridden patients.

Points to remember?

  • Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
  • Match food intake with physical activity.
  • Avoid fried, salty and spicy foods.
  • Consume adequate water to avoid dehydration.
  • Exercise regularly or go for a walk.
  • Avoid smoking, chewing of tobacco and tobacco products (Khaini, Zarda, Paan masala) and consumption of alcohol.
  • Go for regular checkups. 
  • Check regularly for blood sugar, lipids and blood pressure.
  • Avoid self medication.
  • Adopt stress management techniques (Yoga and Meditation).


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