Current Nutritional Recommendations: Elderly Versus Earlier Stage of Life

Carol Wham, Michelle Miller

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    Abstract

    Older people are a diverse group of individuals. With advancing years physiological changes may contribute to the body's declining function. Knowledge about the energy and nutrient needs of older adults has grown considerably in recent years. Evidence suggests nutrition can play an important role in prevention of many of the changes once thought to be inevitable consequences of aging.Setting nutritional recommendations for older adults is fraught with difficulty as individual differences become more pronounced as people grow older. In general, energy needs decrease with age and older people need to select mostly nutrient-dense foods to make sure nutrient requirements are met. Protein needs are generally higher and food sources of high-quality protein help to prevent infections, muscle wasting, and to optimize bone mass. Sufficient carbohydrate is needed to protect protein from being used as an energy source. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruit, and vegetables are also rich in fiber. Consumption of high fiber foods and an adequate water intake can help alleviate constipation which is a common problem in older adults, especially those who are physically inactive and take multiple medications. Some micronutrients are required in larger amounts in older age but these amounts are easily achievable within a healthy well-balanced diet which contains a variety of foods from the major food groups.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMolecular Basis of Nutrition and Aging
    Subtitle of host publicationA Volume in the Molecular Nutrition Series
    PublisherElsevier Inc.
    Chapter51
    Pages723-733
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128018279
    ISBN (Print)9780128018163
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2016

    Keywords

    • Dietary fiber
    • Macronutrient distribution
    • Micronutrients
    • Nutrient recommendations
    • Older people
    • Protein
    • Water

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