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Nutrition And Aging. Provided Courtesy of Review Date 11/07 G-0510. Physiological Changes Associated with Aging. Changes in body composition Decline in immune system Changes in GI tract Dental problems Sensory losses. Other Issues for Older Adults. Eating alone

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nutrition and aging

Nutrition And Aging

Provided Courtesy of

Review Date 11/07


physiological changes associated with aging
Physiological Changes Associated with Aging
  • Changes in body composition
  • Decline in immune system
  • Changes in GI tract
  • Dental problems
  • Sensory losses
other issues for older adults
Other Issues for Older Adults
  • Eating alone
  • Changes in support system and/or environment
  • Polypharmacy
nutrients of concern for older adults








Vitamin D


Nutrients of Concern for Older Adults
energy nutrient needs
Energy & Nutrient Needs
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Protein
  • Whole grains and fiber-rich foods
  • Fat
  • Vitamins and minerals
health concerns of older adults

Heart Disease




Macular Degeneration/ vision problems


Alzheimer’s disease

Health Concerns of Older Adults
nutrition related diseases common in older adults
Nutrition-Related Diseases Common in Older Adults

1.Vision problems:

  • Cataracts
    • thickening of eye lens
  • macular degeneration
    • deterioration of center of retina responsible for straight-ahead vision
  • Antioxidants in foods may be protective against vision loss
nutrition related diseases common in older adults8
Nutrition-Related Diseases Common in Older Adults


  • Osteoarthritis
    • cushioning cartilage in joint

breaks down

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • disease of immune system with painful inflammation of joints
  • Being overweight can affect arthritis
nutrition related diseases common in older adults9
Nutrition-Related Diseases Common in Older Adults

3. Alzheimer’s

  • Use foods rather than vitamin supplements.
  • Foods that may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease include
    • Vitamin E
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Unhydrogenated, unsaturated fats

Source: Diet and Alzheimer’s: What the Research Shows.

nutrition related diseases common in older adults10
Nutrition-Related Diseases Common in Older Adults

4. Osteoporosis

  • Loss of bone density, resulting in fractures
  • More common in women than men
  • Diet and exercise can help treat osteoporosis but may not prevent it in older adults
calcium sources


Cottage cheese

Calcium-fortified juices and cereals



Bok choy

Fortified soy beverage

Canned fish with bones

Calcium Sources
promoting bone formation all ages
Promoting Bone Formation(all ages)
  • Participate in weight bearing activities
  • Avoid smoking
  • Consume calcium-rich foods or supplements
  • Consume adequate vitamin D
calcium requirements
Calcium Requirements


(mg/day)(dairy servings/day)

9-18 years 1,300 4

19-50 years 1,000 3

50+ years 1,200 4

Source: Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, Dietary Reference Intakes 1997

eating patterns recommended for older adults
For disease prevention and for management of chronic diseases, there are several similar dietary recommendations:

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Food Guide Pyramid

DASH Eating Pattern

Eating Patterns Recommended for Older Adults
dietary guidelines 2005
Dietary Guidelines 2005
  • Adequate nutrients within calorie needs
  • Weight management
  • Physical activity
  • Food groups to encourage
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Sodium and potassium
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Food safety


adequate nutrients within calorie needs
Adequate Nutrients Within Calorie Needs
  • Consume nutrient-dense foods and beverages within the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit saturated and trans fat, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.
  • DASH healthy eating pattern
  • Food Guide Pyramid
weight management
Weight Management
  • To maintain weight in a healthy range, balance calories eaten with calories expended.
  • To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food calories and increase physical activity
physical activity
Physical Activity
  • Older adults should participate in regular physical activity to reduce functional declines associated with aging
    • Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate –intensity physical activity most days of the week
    • More exercise is recommended for weight loss
food groups to encourage
Food Groups To Encourage
  • Sufficient fruits & vegetables while meeting energy needs.
    • 2000 calories: 2 c. fruit, 2½ c. vegetables
  • Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat 3 oz.equivalents of whole grains daily – at least half whole grains (rest enriched).
  • 3 cups/day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent
  • < 10% of calories from saturated fats
  • < 300 mg/day of cholesterol
  • Total fat 20 to 35% with most fats from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
  • Choose meat, poultry, and milk or milk products that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free.
  • Limit fats and oils high in saturated and/or trans fatty acids.
  • Use liquid oils over solid fats when possible
what are fats and oils
What are “Fats and Oils”?
  • Oils contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, and are usually low in saturated fats
  • Oils are fats that are
    • liquid at room temperature
    • come from plants and fish

Foods That Are Mainly Oil

  • Mayonnaise, some salad dressings, and soft (tub or squeeze) margarine with no trans fats
  • A number of foods are naturally high in oils:
    • nuts
    • olives
    • some fish
    • avocados

Solid Fats

  • Solid at room temperature
  • Often come from animal foods
  • May be are result of hydrogenation of vegetable oils, resulting in trans fats
  • Fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Choose less added sugars or caloric sweeteners, such as amounts suggested by the DASH plan and the Food Guide Pyramid.
  • Consume fewer foods and beverages that contain sugar
sodium and potassium
Sodium and Potassium
  • Consume < 2,300 mg (~1 tsp. salt) of sodium per day.
  • Choose and prepare foods with little salt. Consume potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic Beverages
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation – up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
  • Alcohol should be avoided by individuals engaging in activities that require attention, skill, or coordination.
dash eating pattern
A diet pattern that meets the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

High in fruit & vegetables

Low in saturated fat

Low in sodium

High in potassium

High in fiber

DASH Eating Pattern

Activity Proportionality

Moderation Variety

Personalization Gradual Improvement

nutrition for aging
Nutrition for Aging
  • Follow the DASH eating pattern or the Food Guide Pyramid
    • Enjoy whole grains, fruits and vegetable,s and low-fat dairy products daily in recommended portions
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week