Food Guide For 70 and Over

As a person ages, the body requires certain nutrients that may not be enough if the normal diet is to be followed. Elderly people may require a different diet in order to get all the necessary nutrients that their body needs. That is why seniors over the age of 70 years old are given to follow different nutritional guidelines than other people less their age.

The food guide pyramid that the elderly follows is usually narrower than the original food pyramid for those younger. The reason for this is that the elderly usually requires less and less energy since they tend to do less activity. And because of this, seniors should try to eat less. The food guide pyramid for the elderly now focuses more on taking more fluids rather than food.

In the original food pyramid, the biggest portion is reserved for the consumption of carbohydrates. The bigger portions of the diet usually include bread, rice or pasta and other cereals. But for the food guide for the elderly, the biggest portion is taken up by the consumption of at least eight, eight-ounce servings of liquid per day. The essential fluid takes up the most in the food guide because the elderly tend to drink less and less as they grow older because they experience less thirst. But the body may still need the same amount of fluids to function well. The elderly should take enough water most of all but may also include other fluids such as milk, juice or non-caffeinated beverages.

In the elderly food guide, the grains, cereals and pasta takes the second tier on the food pyramid for the elderly. Breads and cereals should take about six servings of the senior’s daily intake. Vegetables comes next with three servings and fruits at two servings per day. Dairy products as well as lean meat and poultry and other protein sources can be consumed at two to three servings on a daily basis.

One notable part of the food guide for the elderly is the addition of nutritional supplements that are usually taken along with the daily diet. Supplements may be required and recommended because the body absorbs essential nutrients less efficiently as it ages. The supplements would provide the essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and B vitamins that the body needs. Calcium intake should be around 1200-1400 mg per day. Some may be taken from a diet of calcium rich dairy products with the rest provided by supplements.

Vitamin D intake should be 600 IU daily which can be equivalent to drinking three glasses of milk. Another problem facing seniors is their inability to easily absorb vitamin B-12. The body would require 2.4 micrograms of the vitamin a day which can be taken from eating fortified cereals that contain vitamin B-12 that can easily be absorbed by the body. If that is not possible, taking a nutritional supplement daily would ensure that the body gets its dose of the said B vitamin daily.