60 plus - (healthy) nutrition in the third age

For most, in the seventh decade of life the active professional life is over and the children are out of the house. This creates freedom to focus on enjoyment and joie de vivre. Health and agility are central to this.

Body and metabolism change

With increasing age, there are many changes in the body. Some changes you will not perceive conscious, others leave clear signs, z. As a decreasing elasticity of the skin and wrinkles due to the decreasing water content in the body. If this is around 60% at the age of 30, it drops to around 50-55% for 60-year-olds.

The muscle mass decreases

The muscle mass also shrinks, as a result, muscle strength and bone density are increasingly lost and the risk of falls and broken bones increases. The age-related decrease in muscle mass / strength and bone density is increased with muscle disuse and inactivity. Regular exercise contributes significantly to the maintenance of muscles and strong bones. Many sports such as walking, aqua gymnastics, cycling, hiking, dancing, etc. are suitable for the elderly. Avoid one-sided stress and abrupt movements.

In order to achieve a sufficient effect, you should train for at least three times a week for 30 minutes. Especially fun activities in the group. Just join a dance group or a hiking club. In good company, exercise is much more fun and mental fitness is also promoted.

The fat mass increases

The body fat percentage increases. This is approximately 29% for a woman of normal weight at the age of 40, and increases to about 35% over the years with constant weight. These changes in the body are quite normal when they move within certain limits. If the proportion is too high, z. However, the risk of chronic health disorders such as diabetes (diabetes mellitus), elevated blood lipid levels, arteriosclerosis and hypertension increases.

An elderly person may well have a few pounds more than a younger one. If a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 20-25 is considered normal for younger persons, then the normal range is set at 24-29 from the age of 65 years. If your BMI is above this range, you are overweight. You should then try to gradually reduce your weight by switching to a full mixed diet (see below) and more exercise. How to calculate your body mass index (BMI): BMI = body weight in kg / height in mx height in m Example: At a weight of 65 kg and a height of 1.62 m your BMI is 24.8 (BMI = 65 kg / 1.62 mx 1.62 m = 24.8).

The body needs less energy, but the need for essential nutrients remains unchanged. Due to the mentioned changes in the body of an elderly person, the energy requirement decreases. It is now an average of 1800 kcal for women and 2300 kcal for men. What many neglect is that the need for essential vitamins and minerals remains unchanged, and some micronutrients such as calcium and vitamin D are even expected to increase their demand. The older you get, the more important it is to make the right choice of foods that you consume on a daily basis.

Vitamin D and calcium for the stability of the bones

For older people, the supply of some important nutrients is critical. This is especially true for vitamin D and calcium. In addition to vitamin D, calcium is particularly important for long-term maintenance of bone health and slowing of bone resorption. Even at a high age, positive effects due to increased calcium intake are to be expected. Therefore, a higher calcium requirement of 1200 mg / day for bone health maintenance and osteoporosis prophylaxis is under discussion.

  • In addition to dairy products (at least 2 portions), calcium-rich mineral waters (> 400 mg Ca / l) or calcium-enriched fruit juices can be helpful to achieve adequate calcium intake. Maybe the administration of calcium supplements makes sense.
  • Two sea fish meals per week can increase the intake of vitamin D. In addition, by regular outdoor stay the self-synthesis of vitamin D is stimulated.

Vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid for the vessels

In recent years, an increased homocysteine ​​concentration in the body is given great importance as an independent risk factor for the development of arterial diseases such as arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke. One factor in increased homocysteine ​​levels is a lack of vitamins B 6, B 12 and folic acid. An optimal intake of folic acid, vitamin B 12 and B 6 in old age is therefore crucial to reduce degenerative changes in the vessels.

  • Vitamin B 12 actually occurs only in animal foods. Good suppliers are meat and fish eggs and dairy products. An exception to the vegetable foods are those that are produced by bacterial fermentation such as sauerkraut. In many people, it can lead to changes in the gastric mucosa (atrophic gastritis) in old age. Since a factor is produced in the gastric mucosa, which is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B 12 in the intestine, especially these persons should pay attention to an adequate intake.
  • For a good supply of vitamin B 6, provide herbal foods such as whole grains, yeast, spinach, cabbage and potatoes. But also in animal foods, eg. As meat, fish, milk, egg yolks and offal is vitamin B 6 before.
  • Folic acid is found in large quantities in wheat bran, yeast, nuts and even green vegetables. The best supply of these vitamins is a full mixed diet (see below).

Chewing becomes more difficult

It is good to be able to keep your own teeth as long as possible through consistent and thorough oral care. Even with exemplary dental care, not all teeth can be preserved until old age. Dentures offer replacement. It is important that they sit well and are cleaned daily. A badly fitting dentition or poor oral hygiene can lead to inflammation in the oral cavity, which can often be very painful and lead to problems with chewing. Chewing problems are often associated with restricted food choices. Especially nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables and meat are avoided because they are very chewing-intensive.

Pay attention to a daily cleaning and care of the third teeth. The proper fit of the denture should also be checked regularly and adjusted if necessary. In the event of permanent chewing problems which can not be remedied by these measures, you should select and prepare the foods that cause you problems: finely grate raw food, peel fruit, prefer finely ground whole grain bread (eg Graham bread), possibly bread crust remove, soak cereal / wholegrain oat overnight.

The thirst sensation subsides

Most people know that drinking is important. Most people also know that you should drink about 1.5 to 2 liters of fluid per day. Nevertheless, one often hears the saying: "I drink too little!" This is especially often the case with older people, as the thirst sensation decreases in old age. What many do not know, a dehydration leads to fatigue, lack of concentration and dizziness. Fluid intake has a direct impact on the brain's performance, meaning that it is not always the age when something is forgotten or the simplest things fail. Maybe it's just because you do not drink enough.

Just try how much you actually drink. Do this with a drinking protocol and enter everything that you drank for at least three days. Shows the protocol that you drink at least 1.5 liters daily - perfect! They are well looked after. If the value is less than 1.5 liters per day, you should improve. Set up a drinking plan for it.

So you are well looked after!

  • Prefer high nutrient-dense products (skimmed milk and dairy products, lean meats, fish, wholegrain and cereal based cereal products, abundant fruits and vegetables as fresh food and fruit juices); the principle "low energy and nutrient rich" applies.
  • Take several smaller meals daily (5-6).
  • Fruits and vegetables: daily a portion of vegetables and a portion of salad / raw food, 1-2 pieces or portions of fruit; For chewing problems, grate raw food finely, peel fruit, if necessary, consume fruit as fruit puree, compote or freshly squeezed fruit juice.
  • Bread, cereal products: 5-6 slices of wholemeal bread (250-300 g), alternatively cereal or wholemeal oats as an alternative to breakfast; In the case of maceration problems, prefer finely ground whole grain bread (eg Graham bread), if necessary, remove bread crust, soak cereal / wholegrain oatmeal overnight.
  • Potatoes, rice, pasta: 1 portion of rice or pasta or potatoes.
  • Milk and milk products: at least 2 servings daily, eg. B. 250 ml of low-fat milk and 2 slices of lean cheese (60 g); in case of intolerance of drinking milk alternatively buttermilk, yoghurt, sour milk, quark and cheese.
  • Sea fish: 1-2 portions à 150 g per week.
  • Meat and sausage: 2-3 servings per week; do you prefer lean varieties.
  • Eggs: 2-3 pieces per week.
  • Fats and oils: max. 40 g of coating and cooking fat and 10 g of high-quality vegetable oil.
  • Choose nutrient-sparing preparation methods such as steaming in a little liquid, cooking in steam or cooking in a Roman saucepan or in foil in the oven.
  • Drink enough: 1.5 - 2 liters per day; you prefer still mineral water, herbal teas, juice spritzers.
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