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Healthy Eating for Elderly

Healthy eating is essential regardless of age. But as we aged, healthy eating helps us in better managing our existing chronic illnesses, increases resistance to diseases and at the same time maintaining good emotional balanced and positive outlook.

Healthy Eating for Elderly

Why Do We Need to Eat Healthily?

Live Longer and Stronger

Well-balanced diet reduces the risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancers and many other chronic illnesses. Good disease control can also be easily achieved. Good nutrition will ensure you to have stronger bones, good eyesight and a good quality of life.

Sharpen the Mind

Dementia becoming a problem as a result of brain aging. Regular consumption of leafy vegetables and brightly colored fruits, which is rich in antioxidants vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids may decrease the risk of dementia/ Alzheimer’s disease.

Feels Good, Looks Better

Good nutrition will provide us with sufficient energy to maintain healthy lifestyle and prevention of anemia, obesity, and problems related with aging such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. We can continue enjoying our morning walk, vacation with loved ones, gardening and at the same time looks young and active.

What to Eat?

Eat Foods with High Dietary Fibers

Such as vegetables and fruits, take 1 to 1 ½ servings of different colors and types of fruits and vegetables every day or just fill up half of your plate with veggies and fruits. Whole grains, wheat cereals, barley, oatmeal, beans, and nuts are a good source of fiber too.

Simple switching your breakfast from your regular corn flakes to bran flakes or white bread to wholemeal bread is a way of adding more fibers to your diet and resolved your constipation problems. Or just ensure that at least half of your grains are whole grains.

Limit Fat Intake in The Diet

1. Trim off excess fat or skin from meat before cooking.

2. Choose bake, stir-fry, grill, boil, steam or roast instead of frying.

3. Use low-fat dairy products and salad dressings.

4. Limit the usage of oil during cooking. Choose unsaturated or mono saturated

5. Vegetable oil for cooking as healthier alternatives. Use non-stick pan/pots.

Pack in Protein

Sufficient intake of high-quality proteins can help to improve moods, boost resistance towards stress and prevent muscle loss. Avoid too much of low-quality proteins as it increases your risk towards heart disease, cancers, and other illnesses.

Drink Plenty of Fluid

As we aged, we lose the sense of being thirsty even though the body needs water. This is why elderly needs to drink regularly and aim of taking between 6 to 8 glass of water (around 1.2litres or more) to prevent from being dehydrated. Besides, plenty of water helps to prevent urinary tract infections. However, those with kidney or heart failure may need to adhere to the doctor’s advice regarding fluid restrictions.

Avoid excessive intake of caffeine (tea or coffee) as this may cause you to urinate more frequent particularly at night. It can also worsen your urinary incontinence problems too. Limit sugar intake in drink and also other beverages like jams, candies, and baked goods.

This article is written by Dr. Nor Hazlin binti Talib, published under MYHEALTH Kementrian Kesihatan Malaysia

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