Over the last two centuries, the life expectancy in the United Kingdom has doubled. Today, about 16 percent of the population is above 65 years old. Even within the older age group of people above 85 years old, greater population growth has been noticed. The downside is that those additional years, for most people, aren’t particularly healthy and this tends to be quite detrimental in regards to their quality of life.
As we age, the physical changes that happen tend to affect the manner in which we think and feel about food. These alterations can prevent you from taking a healthy diet and even make you believe that you’re less hungry, leading to eating less.
Regular exercise and proper nutrition are essential and play an important role in preventing age-related conditions like cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease as well as protecting bone, joint and dental health later in life.
In this read, we are going to debunk some of the common myths relating to ageing and taking a healthy diet. This can also be important for carers or people who work for care companies in Reading or other areas, so read on.
Myth 1: Weight Loss is Healthy
We often believe that losing weight throughout our life is healthy, but this is usually not the case as you get older. It is advisable to avoid dieting and weight loss during your later years unless advised by your general practitioner or dietician.
Myth 2: The Stomach Reduces as You Age
One of the most common misconceptions is that the size of the stomach reduces as one gets older and so, you need to eat less. It is true that appetite as well as capacity to eat may decrease, but the size of your stomach does not decrease.
Myth 3: You Should Eat Less When You Get Older
Most people are often led to believe that body energy requirements reduce as we age and so, we need to consume less. However, this could not be further from the truth. Your metabolism may slow down as you age, but food is essential for optimal bodily functions as well as ageing in a healthy manner.
Myth 4: You Should Take a Low-Fat Diet
Contrary to popular belief, a low-fat diet isn’t always an ideal option, particularly for seniors. That’s because some fats act as a source of calories and some may need to consume more of them in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Myth 5: You Should Only Eat When You Feel Like It
Ageing can affect the triggers to tell you whether you are hungry or not and thus affect your appetite. Loss of appetite isn’t normal and is often a symptom of an underlying health issue.
Myth 6: You Should Only Drink Water When Thirsty
This is perhaps the most obvious myth. Almost all bodily functions require water to run optimally. Thirst is the body’s way of telling you that you’re not properly hydrated and some functions may suffer. It is important to avoid dehydration by drinking water on a regular basis, especially if you are old.
Myth 7: You Should Focus on Eating More Vegetables
Vegetables are an essential part of any diet, but they need to be consumed as part of a balanced diet, including carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fluids. Protein is, in fact, more important for ageing people as it protects the immune system, brain, muscles and other body organs.
Myth 8: Malnutrition is a Symptom of Ageing
This couldn’t be anything more than just a myth. Malnutrition can affect you at any age and isn’t tied to ageing. It can happen in bodies of any size, but older people tend to be more at risk. You should never overlook the warning signs of malnutrition regardless of your age.
Myth 9: You Should Always Eat 3 Meals Per Day
Ensuring that you eat healthy on a daily basis is essential but three satisfying meals a day tend to be a struggle for the older. If eating three times a day is a challenge for you, then consider five or six smaller meals throughout the day and well-proportioned snacks.