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Five diet do's and don'ts for seniors
Azmina Govindji RD MBDA
23 January 2012
  • People today are living longer, but it’s not much fun if you suffer from conditions that hamper your quality of life. Nutrition plays an important role in preventing diet-related diseases. Here are five dietary tips geared specifically to seniors and those approaching their elder years.

  • Oily fish such as salmon are packed with healthy omega 3 fats. Photo: Nazma Lakhani Oily fish such as salmon are packed with healthy omega 3 fats. Nazma Lakhani

    Thankfully, people today are living longer, but it's not much fun having extra years if you suffer from conditions that hamper your quality of life. Nutrition plays an important role in preventing diet-related diseases, so making making the right food choices is important. Here are five dietary tips geared specifically to seniors and those approaching their elder years.

    1. Make sure each meal has a moderate amount of protein such as meat, fish, eggs, beans, lentils or cheese. Eat fish twice per week, choosing an oily fish for one of these meals – this will provide you with omega-3 fats. Oily fish include canned sardines or salmon, fresh tuna (not canned), mackerel, herring, trout or salmon.
    2. Aim to have one or two portions of vegetables or fruit with each meal. You don't need to eat fresh veg – frozen or even canned sources, may be softer and easier to chew.
    3. Choose whole grain starchy foods such as granary or wholemeal bread, brown basmati rice, chapatti made with wholemeal flour, and low sugar whole grain breakfast cereals. These give you fibre, which can help prevent constipation.
    4. Make sure you drink enough fluid. Poor bladder control may mean you choose to drink less so you don't need to urinate so often, but being dehydrated can have consequences on your body cells, your mental agility, and your skin. Drinking more fluid also helps to reduce symptoms of constipation.
    5. Cut down on sugary, fatty and salty foods. This means eating fewer nasthas like chevda, puris, nankhatai, cakes and biscuits. Instead of butter or ghee – which are high in harmful saturated fat – cook with oils that are based on unsaturated fatty acids, such as rapeseed (canola), olive, corn or sunflower oil.

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