Over the years, there have been countless opinions about which diet is going to give us optimal health. Plant based, low fat, gluten free… you name it! With this abundance of information, it has become increasingly difficult to know which “diet” to follow. As a business that focuses solely on feeding seniors, there are apparent misconceptions about nutrition as to what we should be eating to age well, prevent diseases and illness, and feel good mentally and physically. In this article, we are going to discuss 4 common myths about senior nutrition.
#1 Seniors can afford to skip meals if they aren’t hungry/don’t have a desire to eat or cook
As we’ve discussed in a past blog post, as we age, our metabolism seemingly changes. This means that our food preferences can change, and some foods that we used to enjoy just don’t appeal to us anymore. We often see that with a lack of desire to cook or even grocery shop, seniors are not eating as much as they should be. When we skip meals, we deprive our bodies the chance to obtain essential nutrients like fats, protein, vitamins and minerals that keep our body functioning at an optimal level. We feel energetic, mentally alert and we don’t crave junk foods!
#2 Seniors can have their nutritional needs met by taking vitamins and supplements
High-quality vitamins and supplements can certainly be a great addition to a well-balanced diet, but they should never take place of the naturally occurring nutrients in food like high-quality protein sources, fruits, and veggies. Taking an abundance of supplements can even be dangerous in that there is the risk of getting too much of a particular nutrient without realizing it, which can do more harm than good. In other words, multivitamins will not fix an otherwise unhealthy diet-even if they seem like the most easy and convenient option.
#3 Seniors should eat a diet consisting of low-fat and low-calorie options
We know that there are a lot of foods available in the super market that advertise themselves as “healthy”, but those options in reality may be even less beneficial for our diets than we realize. For example, a low-fat flavored yogurt may seem like a healthy breakfast option, but could be full of sugar and artificial ingredients. Instead, opt for plain Greek yogurt that can be sweetened with honey or fruit. Especially for seniors who struggle to eat at least 3 meals a day, it is important to make sure that they are getting enough high-quality protein, fat and carbohydrates (yes- these are all necessary nutrients).
#4 Seniors can rely solely on eating at restaurants/ordering takeout
While going to a restaurant or ordering takeout is an easy, no hassle (and no cleanup!) option, the cost for eating out regularly adds up quickly- especially if it’s multiple meals a day. Not to mention, the ingredients that are used in commercial restaurants often contain high amounts of sodium, saturated fats and sugar that should not be consumed on a regular basis.