A good dietary plan gives the individual access to a sufficient intake of necessary calories, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. The idea of a healthy diet may actually sound humdrum, but with a bit of forethought and planning, you can make our daily diet one that is both delightful and healthy.
A Few Facts about the Elderly and Food Consumption
Did you know when you get older your taste buds change and it even becomes difficult to enjoy spices and flavors we once enjoyed? With a perceived loss of taste, it can become a dull event when it comes time to consume a meal. If food tastes bland and it leaves no appeal, weight loss may occur.
Couple this fact with the notion that many of the elderly are put on special diets to deal with health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular issues and the fact that some medicines can also make food bland or depress one’s appetite.
Now you can see just how difficult it is for the elderly to maintain healthy eating habits. Thankfully, there are means of helping the taste buds along with the use of healthy alternatives. Below are a few things you can do to spice up the menu so it can appeal even to the most finicky senior.
Tasty Eating Tips
- Mix natural spices with a bit of natural sweetness. Your goal when it comes to sugar is to cut the intake of it by 50 percent. You can do this by replacing sugar with other natural sweets like nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, or even citrus flavors. What you choose depends on the recipe you are making. Want another sugary substitute? Why not consider adding all natural honey to your recipes, which has outstanding health benefits, or molasses, which also has some good-for-you ingredients. Both can serve as an excellent substitute when you need to add a sweetener to a choice beverage. Consider adding a touch of frozen yogurt to desserts – it is great for visual appeal and increased flavor.
- Use healthy replacements for fats. Consider using things like prune puree, mashed bananas, and applesauce in your baked dishes when looking to replace some fat-filled ingredients. Take out half the included fat and put one of the healthier options in its place. Swap out the use of whole milk for 2%, 1%, or even skim milk to lose some of the fat in your diet. Want an alternative to fattening gravy? Think about mixing a bit of flour, some skim milk, and some low sodium, fat free broth and heating it until it becomes thick.
- Reduce sodium intake with healthy substitutions. Do not be afraid to use spices to taste. Vinegars, herbs, and low-sodium condiments can replace the salt filled condiments one might otherwise be accustomed to using. Reading labels will become an important part of your shopping when trying to make a switch to a healthier option.
Living in an assisted living facility such as those offered by www.carltonseniorliving.com can take all the stress out of daily meal planning. It could mean that you only have to pull up a chair and enjoy yourself with some of the other residents.