It is unavoidable that elderlies experience aging. Physical and mental functions degenerate and they become more susceptible to diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and decreased viability.
Good nutrition is crucial in achieving healthy aging. Adequate caloric and nutrient sufficiency is critical in sustaining quality of life and longevity. Below are tips which elderlies and caretakers should follow.
• Follow the ‘pinggang pinoy’ for elderly, with the required proportions for each food group in each meal promoting basic nutritional principles of moderation, balance, and variety. The three food groups are Go (rice, bread, corn, potatoes, root crops), GROW (fish, chicken, lean meat, legumes), and GLOW (vegetables and fruits).
• Reduce intake of salts, saturated fats, and sugar. Too much of these contributes to development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
• Consume at least one glass of milk per day. If milk is unavailable, alternative milk products or calcium-rich foods, such as dilis, are recommended for strong bones and teeth and to prevent osteoporosis.
• Drink plenty of water to ensure proper hydration.
• Eat easy-to-chew and swallow foods to compensate weak teeth.
• Maintain physical activity. Encourage exercise such as walking to help increase strength and flexibility.