It’s well established that eating a healthy diet is a great way to enjoy a good level of health and longevity, but not everyone realizes that a healthy diet means different things for different people. As we age, our bodies often require more of some nutrients in order to maintain health, meaning certain foods should be prioritized for older individuals.
Curious about what kinds of nutrients older people need more of? Here are a few examples that nutrition professionals know are particularly important.
1. Graduates of Nutrition and Health Programs Know Older Clients Need More B12
As people age, their bodies begin to have a more difficult time absorbing vitamin B12. This vitamin helps maintain regular brain function, and is also used to help produce the red blood cells the body needs to transport oxygen throughout its systems.
Because of its importance, it’s best to ensure that older clients increase their consumption of B12-rich foods, which include meat, fish, and some fortified cereal. By completing your diploma in nutrition, you can help older individuals deficient in B12 find the right dietary solution for their needs and preferences.
2. Vitamin D Deficiency Can Lead to Several Problems in Older Individuals
Vitamin D is rather unique, in that the body will ideally produce it itself when exposed to adequate levels of sunlight. It’s instrumental in helping the body deliver calcium to the bones, and ensuring an adequate level of vitamin D is a good way to help preserve bone strength into old age.
Unfortunately, many people do not get enough exposure to sunlight, and older people may experience a diminished ability to create enough vitamin D even under ideal circumstances. Nutrition experts often recommend consuming fish, eggs, milk, or a vitamin D supplement to help ensure older individuals have the levels they need for good bone health.
3. Pros With a Diploma in Nutrition Know Older Clients Often Need Extra Magnesium
Magnesium is another nutrient that is good for bone health, but is also an important element in keeping immune systems working well, and in maintaining proper organ function. Older individuals have more difficulty absorbing magnesium than younger people do, and as processing often lowers the levels present in common foods, it can be a challenge to get enough in a normal diet.
Students completing nutrition and health programs may know that unprocessed foods often contain many valuable nutrients, and they are particularly great for getting an adequate level of magnesium in a diet. In particular, increasing consumption of nuts, legumes, and vegetables can make a big difference for older clients looking to get more magnesium into their system.
4. Low Levels of Fibre Are Common in Older Individuals, Which Should Be Addressed
Low levels of fibre are common in older individuals, though the same can be said of the general population. However, fibre’s benefits, which include regulating bowel movements, protecting against heart disease, and staving off type 2 diabetes, are especially important for elderly people. For that reason, nutrition professionals will often encourage older clients to up their intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains, all of which can include a lot of fibre. After completing nutrition training, you can often reliably recommend higher fibre intake to clients of all ages as a way to improve health and wellbeing.
Want to learn more about the secrets of diet in a nutrition diploma program in Ontario?
Contact AAPS to learn more about our nutrition and health program!