As we age, our bodies change in many ways – one of which is diet. And though we may still crave certain foods, some are best avoided as we get older.
Princeton Health Care Center employs a qualified Dietitian and Dietary Manager to ensure our residents are well-educated about healthy eating, and which foods they should consider steering clear of.
Certain foods can affect how one of our resident’s medication works – and a prime example is grapefruit. This will come as a surprise to people whose morning meal would be incomplete without this juicy fruit, but medications for conditions like insomnia, anxiety, and high blood pressure can interact negatively with grapefruit juice. Since grapefruit, like most citrus fruits, is a good source of potassium and vitamin C, ask our Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietary Manager for suggestions on alternatives. Oranges and limes are two of the most popular substitutes.
For elderly people with sensitive, decayed, or missing teeth, raw vegetables should be high on the list of foods to avoid – for obvious reasons. However, vegetables’ nutritional benefit in terms of vitamins and fiber is undeniable, so we recommend cooking one’s veggies first to soften them up. Pureed vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, and beets are also a good option, as are soups or stews. Canned vegetables are promising too but check the label first to confirm they have no added salt.
For some people, aging leads to trouble digesting milk or dairy products. Thankfully, some dairy products are better tolerated than others – for example, low-fat cheeses, non-fat plain yogurt, and lactose-free dairy products, all of which offer vital amounts of protein and calcium. Before indulging, residents should speak with their physician regarding the right amount of dairy consumption, based on any present health conditions.
Unfortunately for aging carnivores and omnivores, some of the healthiest cuts of meat, such as lean steak, are also the hardest to chew. And hamburger, though much easier on the teeth, is often a less nutritious choice given its 20 percent – 30 percent fat content. Our local nutritionists recommend ground beef with 10% fat or less, and fish. It’s easy to chew and a very healthy protein source.
We Help Our Residents Stay Healthy
According to the World Health Organization, increasing one’s daily consumption of fruit and vegetables could reduce cardiovascular risk by as much as 30%. This statistic and many others are always top-of-mind for the Princeton Health Care Center dietary staff, whose sole focus is on ensuring our residents’ nutritional health.