Balanced Diet For The Elderly – Nutritional Needs Of The Aged

Nutrition and healthy eating for the elderly depends upon several factors. The bodies of the elderly have undergone a number of changes. Bones and muscles have given way to fat because of the inactive condition of hormones.

Several factors have an effect of the health and well being of the elderly. Here is some nutritional information that will be of great help to you irrespective of your age.


The body’s water content decreases as its becomes older, which is reason why the elderly often suffer from dehydration. The elderly should bear this point in mind and regularly drink at least an ounce of water for every 2.2 pounds of body weight.


Protein is essential for the elderly. They need it to maintain a healthy immune system and to prevent muscles from wasting away. At the same time, they do not need that much of energy. Foods such as eggs, chicken, meat, and fish, which are low-fat sources of proteins, are very much essential for the elderly.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

The entire body obtains its energy from carbohydrates. Bread, pasta, cereals, and other grains are rich in carbohydrates. You can prevent constipation by taking a diet that is rich in water and fiber.


The diet of older people should be low in fat, not fat free. You can limit your fat intake by including lean meat and low-fat diary products. As far as possible, do not fry your food in oil.


Iron deficiency is common among elderly people who do not eat much. Such people should eat plenty of breakfast cereal or red meat.


Elderly bodies find it difficult to assimilate zinc. You should take fish, poultry, and meat in order to satisfy the zinc requirements of your body.


Most elderly people hardly get enough of calcium. The elderly require at least 1,500 mg of calcium per day.

Many of the elderly avoid drinking milk out of fear that it might upset their digestive processes. If you are averse to milk, you could use nonfat milk powder instead of milk. You can also obtain the calcium you require from foods such as low-fat cheese, broccoli, and yogurt.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is usually absorbed by an intrinsic factor in the stomach. Many of the elderly suffer from Vitamin B12 deficiency because they suffer from atrophic   gastritis , a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the walls of the stomach, growth of bacteria, and lack of the intrinsic factor that is responsible for the absorption of this vitamin into the system.

The elderly need each of the above nutritive elements to keep themselves in a healthy condition. The elderly should be as active as possible and take a good balanced diet. The elderly body may not be what it once used to be; this does not mean you have a reason to neglect it. You should take enough nutrition to enjoy a long and healthy life.