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Home Healthcare Company in Ann Arbor MI Provides Guidelines for Easy and Healthy Eating for Seniors
By: Right at Home of Ann Arbor
“Learning to adapt along with your body can be confusing and challenging for seniors,” said Charles Williams, President and General Manager of Right at Home of Ann Arbor, a home healthcare company in Ann Arbor Michigan. “But fulfilling the body’s needs with a nutritious diet can keep seniors healthy and independent for much longer. Right at Home of Ann Arbor (http://www.rightathome.net/
Seniors’ Changing Needs
As people age, their bodies change. These changes affect the nutritional needs and wants of the body. The metabolism begins to slow beginning at age 40, so seniors require fewer calories than they did when they were younger. When coupled with the reduced activity levels of most seniors, reduced calorie needs can require some significant diet changes to maintain a healthy weight. According to the National Institute of Aging (http://www.nia.nih.gov/
A Balanced Diet for Seniors
Due to these natural changes, the nutritional quality of what seniors consume matters even more than when they were younger; they must gain the nutrients they need through a smaller amount of food. Following simple guidelines can help make every calorie count:
-Choosing a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables rather than sticking to just a few favorites helps seniors gain the greatest nutritional benefits from their servings. Seniors should consume 1 1/2 to two servings of fruits and two to 3 1/2 servings of vegetables each day.
-Seniors should keep bones strong with 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. Dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese are great sources of calcium. Non-dairy sources include almonds, broccoli, kale and tofu.
-Keep the brain sharp with omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of these healthy fats has been linked to a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease. For optimal health, seniors should consume three to four servings of fish, nuts and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids each week.
-Fiber-rich whole grains can improve digestion, reduce risk of coronary heart disease and help the body absorb important nutrients. Seniors should eat six to seven ounces of grains each day; a slice of bread is one ounce.
-Seniors need to consume one gram of protein each day for every two pounds they weigh (half their body weight) to maintain energy levels.
-Many seniors may not feel as thirsty as they felt earlier in life, but they still need just as much water. Encourage your loved one to drink several large glasses of water throughout the day and not to wait until he or she feels thirsty.
-Seniors can benefit from adding vitamins and other supplements to their diets and should talk to their doctors to learn about which may help them stay healthy.
Starting with healthy raw foods is the first step, but how foods are cooked impacts their nutritional benefits, too. Overcome common cooking challenges for seniors and get more from each meal by cooking smarter:
-Although it’s important for seniors to reduce their sodium intake to prevent high blood pressure and other health conditions, seniors also have a reduced sense of taste. Stave off the impulse to douse meals in salt by cooking with more herbs and spices to keep meals flavorful.
-When cooking vegetables, opt to steam or sauté them in olive oil. Unlike butter, olive oil will keep bad cholesterols low and good cholesterols high. Steaming and sautéing preserve the most health benefits in veggies; boiling will deplete them of nutrients.
-It can take a while to get used to major changes in eating habits for seniors who have eaten a particular diet their whole lives. Taking small steps gradually to make healthier choices can have a more lasting impact than overhauling their entire diets at once.
The support and expertise of a home healthcare company can help seniors to adapt healthier eating habits and maintain them over time. Right at Home of Ann Arbor, for instance, offers wellness services that can make healthy eating easier, including meal planning.
Eating healthy can improve strength, energy and mental acuity. It also keeps the immune system strong, reducing seniors’ vulnerability to disease — as well as the risk for many health conditions that become common with age, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, anemia and much more. A balanced diet is also linked to better emotional stability and higher self-esteem. With a balanced diet, seniors can live fuller, longer and more independent lives.
About Right at Home
Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers home healthcare and companionship and assistance to seniors and disabled adults who want to continue to live independently. Local Right at Home offices are independently owned and operated and directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff, each of whom is thoroughly screened, trained, bonded and insured prior to entering a client’s home. Right at Home’s global office is based in Omaha, Nebraska, with franchise offices located in 42 states nationwide and throughout the world. For more information on Right at Home, read the Right at Home caregiving blog at http://www.rightathome.net/
About Right at Home of Ann Arbor
The Ann Arbor Michigan office of Right at Home is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home, Inc., providing home healthcare to the communities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Belleville, Plymouth, Chelsea, Dearborn, Canton, Dexter, and beyond. For more information, contact Right at Home of Ann Arbor at http://www.rightathome.net/