Don’t Fall for These Senior Nutrition Myths

November 26th, 2015 by John Wilson

There are plenty of senior nutrition myths that abound.

Learn to overcome senior nutrition myths.

You’re probably well aware good nutrition and good health go hand in hand. However, the question that often requires some research is this: “What constitutes smart nutritional choices for seniors?” You might be surprised by the following common senior nutrition myths. If you were tricked by these fallacies, you’re certainly not alone. Once you know the facts, you can make educated choices for yourself or your loved ones.

Fallacy #1: If you’re not hungry, you don’t need to eat.

Caloric requirements decrease with age and lower activity levels, but skipping meals can be disastrous. People of all ages need to absorb vital nutrients to survive and stay healthy. Seniors who often take medications also need to eat to avoid nausea and side effects.

Fallacy #2: Seniors can eat whatever they want.

On the flip side of fallacy number one is the assumption seniors have earned the right to live it up and eat their favorites whenever the desire strikes. However, that depends on what their favorites are. The phrase “you are what you eat” is based on fact. Fruits, veggies, lean proteins and grains will enhance health. Fried foods, fatty foods, processed foods and sugary or salty foods have health consequences for people of all ages.

Fallacy #3: Vitamins and minerals via pills and supplements are healthy alternatives to eating.

A healthy, well-balanced meal is the best way for seniors to ingest the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. Supplements can have negative reactions with some medications and can even cause seniors to overdose on a vitamin or nutrient.

Fallacy #4: Senior living facilities serve unappetizing food.

This myth may be true of some facilities, but it is definitely not the norm. As with dining at a restaurant, some chefs are more talented and inspired than others. If you’re shopping around for senior living facilities for yourself or a loved one, stay for lunch or dinner. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by what you’re served.

Social eating is the norm at senior living communities.

Senior living communities encourage social eating.

Fallacy #5: All seniors lose their appetites as they age.

Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Loss of appetite is not necessarily a rite of passage for seniors. A senior who experiences appetite loss, especially if it comes on suddenly, should be evaluated by a physician.

Fallacy #6: It’s fine for seniors to eat their meals alone.

This is a particularly dangerous myth. One of the biggest challenges seniors face is depression resulting from loneliness. Communal mealtime, whether that involves eating at the kitchen table with family or sharing a meal at the community dining hall, is an opportunity for seniors to connect and socialize. The nutritional value of the food eaten alone or with company doesn’t change, but the experience of dining with others nourishes more than just the body.

If you’re exploring senior living communities serving Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas, we invite you to contact us at Village at Oakwood. We provide senior citizen assisted living in OKC. Our affordable, top-notch facility is the perfect place for you or an aging loved one to begin a new, exciting chapter surrounded by coziness, caring and compassion.

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