Geriatric Nutrition

Growing in age is growing with wisdom and nutrition while ageing is more crucial as it helps in the overall management of health. Proper nutrition can delay ageing and also the incidence of diseases.
When we think of ageing we always associate with common ailments like diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis etc. But why do we relate aging to such diseases rather than to youthfulness? Youthfulness involves being active and energetic, resulting in freedom from ailments, therefore being able to perform one’s own day-to-day activities comfortably. It is clear that all of the above mentioned diseases are conditions developed due to one’s lifestyle.
The key to all the testimonials that we have read and heard from our forefathers who lived long is simple DAILY ROUTINE. Yes, they followed a routine right from exercising to food habits to stress-free life. Everything was planned. Antioxidants were part of their diet, which definitely aided anti-ageing (simply put, ageing gracefully).
Our elders knew the science of ageing. As age increases they understood that total energy needs are less, so they reduced the calorie intake especially refined carbohydrates that incidentally also lead to constipation. Body composition changes and muscle loss can be avoided by consuming right amounts of quality proteins. Consuming the required soluble fiber can help in proper bowel moments.
A balanced diet with considerations of whole cereals and legumes, fruits and vegetables, milk and meat products with lesser fats and sugar can take care of most requirements of ageing, and contribute to delaying most of the lifestyle disorders.
General pointers to remember apart from eating a balanced diet:

• Include fiber rich food in place of refined foods.
• Add more coloured to fruits and vegetables.
• Drink adequate fluids to ensure proper flushing of unnecessary salts
• Eat more steamed food as opposed to fried or semi fried foods
• Consume adequate protein and calcium to maintain bone health
• Reduce meat consumption; choose lean varieties.
• Eat small frequent meals.
• Engage in a social physical activity that enhances overall wellbeing.
– Ms. Veena, Nutritionist

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