Nutrition > Balanced Diet Chart Plan for Elderly People
18th Mar 2021

Balanced Diet Chart Plan for Elderly People

Chart Plan for Elderly People  is one that is rich in all the essential nutrients, including proteins, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in adequate amounts. While carbohydrates, fat, and proteins help to energize the body, vitamins and minerals play a role in regulating its several metabolic processes.

Chart Plan for Elderly People becomes particularly crucial in old age. As the body becomes weak and vulnerable to various diseases and illnesses, one needs to ensure proper intake of food to meet the nutrition requirements and stay healthy. This eventually leads to a state of complete physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, especially in the elderly.

Why is a Healthy Diet Important for the Elderly?

The definition of healthy eating evolves with age, as the body’s metabolism slows down. The new diet plan emphasizes the need to reduce calorie intake and increase consumption of essential nutrients, a crucial aspect for those suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes or heart issues.

These conditions are more prevalent in seniors, thereby amplifying the importance of adhering to a well-structured chart plan for elderly people. This diet should focus on providing more calcium, vitamin A, zinc, iron, and antioxidants, which are key for healthy aging and preventing degenerative diseases.

Incorporating these elements into daily meals helps older individuals maintain a healthy weight and stay energized.

However, this doesn’t imply that seniors must rigidly follow a set diet plan unless it’s specifically recommended by their consulting doctor. A balanced approach, combining healthy and palatable foods, allows elders to enjoy their meals with fewer restrictions, while still aligning with the guidelines of a chart plan for elderly people.

What Does a Healthy Plate Look Like?

Planning a well-balanced diet for seniors, can seem to be challenging at first. To help simplify the same, here is a list of healthy food choices for older people.

Please note that the list given below is a generic one. You must consult with your doctor or nutritionist to get a daily diet plan for the elderly based on your body’s requirements to maintain good health.

1. Foods Rich in Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the risk of cancer, arthritis, health issues, and rheumatoid arthritis in old age. It also prevents other age-related problems like poor vision, depression, anxiety, and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s which is common in old age. All these qualities make Omega-3 rich foods a crucial part of a balanced diet chart for people in older age. It is mainly found in the following foods:

●    Fish: Rawas (Indian Salmon), Mackerel and Tuna
●    Dairy: Eggs, Milk, SoyMilk, and Yoghurt (Dahi)
●    Grains and Nuts: Flax Seed (Alsi), SoyBean, Kidney Bean (Rajma), Oatmeal (Dalia)
●    Vegetables: Spinach, Cauliflower, and Broccoli

2. Foods Rich in Fibre

With age, the walls of our gastrointestinal tract thicken which can lead to fewer contractions and a slow digestive system. If ignored, this can result in severe constipation. Having fibre-rich foods in old age promotes proper digestion and normalizes bowel movements. Additionally, it helps to lower cholesterol, maintain blood sugar levels, and prevent heart problems. Fibre-rich food to include in a diet chart for a person in older age, include:

●    Fruits: Pear, Apple, Banana, Strawberry
●    Vegetables: Beetroot, Spinach, Carrots, Cauliflower
●    Whole grains: Wheat flour, Cornmeal flour, Gram flour, and Oats (Dalia).
●    Other foods: Masoor Daal, Moong Daal, Almonds, Walnut, Nuts & Seeds

3. Foods Rich in Calcium

Bones become weak with age and having calcium-rich foods helps to meet the body’s calcium requirements. If the requirement of calcium in the body is not met through diet, it starts to absorb calcium from the bones. This makes them fragile and brittle, resulting in osteoporosis which is common in old age. Here are some calcium-rich foods to include in an ideal diet plan for people in older age.

●    Dairy products: Milk, Curd (Dahi), Cheese, Paneer, Buttermilk (Chach)
●    Seeds: Sesame (til), Poppy (khus-khuss), Chia Seeds
●    Sprouts: Moong, Masoor, and Chana
●  Leafy greens and beans: Spinach (Palak), Coriander (Dhania), French Beans, Fenugreek (Methi), Broccoli

4. Foods Rich in Iron

Iron plays a vital role in the body by maintaining the count of haemoglobin that regulates the flow of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. The deficiency of iron is known as anaemia which can result in a limited supply of oxygen, making you feel tired and lethargic. Ensure an adequate amount of iron intake by including the following in an ideal diet chart for senior citizens.

●    Vegetables: Beans, Spinach, Peas, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Beetroots
●    Fruits: Banana, Apple, Pomegranate
●    Nuts: Almond (Badam), Cashews (Kaju)

5. Foods Rich in Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals are vital for preventing health issues like heart disease, cholesterol, and diabetes in seniors. Key vitamins and their sources are:

● Vitamin C: Promotes collagen and prevents cancer. Found in potatoes, oranges, lemons, broccoli, strawberries, spinach, cabbage, and tomatoes.

● Vitamin D: Enhances calcium absorption, maintains bone density, and prevents osteoporosis. Sources include sunlight, mushrooms, milk, dalia, oranges, eggs, and fish.

● Vitamin B12: Essential for red blood cells and nervous system health. Present in lean meat, eggs, fish, and vegetarian options like soya, curd (dahi), low-fat milk, and cheese.

6. Water to Stay Hydrated

Elderly people face a higher risk of dehydration due to decreased fluid storage and a reduced sense of thirst. Nonetheless, water remains crucial for bodily functions, aiding digestion and bowel movements. It’s essential for seniors’ diet plans. Experts advise consuming 1.7 liters of water daily to maintain hydration.

Traditional Indian Diet Plan

There are multiple sources of a well-balanced diet chart for old age in traditional Indian foods. They are known to be packed with nutrients that aid in the overall well-being of a person. Further combined with Ayurvedic knowledge, such a diet plan can do wonders for elderly people in promoting good health without compromising on taste.

Include the food items mentioned below in your daily diet plan for the elderly people: 

●   Grains: Wheat flour (Gehu ka atta), Cornmeal flour (Makki ka atta), Gram flour (Besan), and other grains like Bajra, Ragi, Sabudaana.

●   Nuts: Almonds, Cashew, Walnuts, Pista, Peanuts, and all sorts of dry fruits.

●   Fruits and Vegetables: Prefer having seasonal vegetables like spinach, methi, bathua, soya, and fruits like banana, apple, pineapple, mango, papaya, pomegranate, etc. depending on the season.

●   Herbs and Spices: Basil, Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, Ajwain, Hing, Methi, Daalchini, Sonth, Jaggery, etc.

Older people, much like children, often find it challenging to adhere to a strict diet plan. Nonetheless, having a diet plan doesn’t necessarily preclude them from enjoying their favorite foods. Indeed, the secret to maintaining a healthy diet for the elderly lies in incorporating all seasonal produce while simultaneously monitoring the quantity.

If you have any questions about a healthy diet for elderly, or are looking for an anorexia care plan, you can get in touch with Emoha Elder Care where it is all about #EldersFirst.