Myths about nutrition abound. You might have heard about a variety of juice cleanse diets, where participants consume nothing but juice, leading to side effects such as fatigue, dizziness and dehydration. Some nutrition “facts” can be dangerous, so it’s important to know what’s true and what isn’t. Here are 6 myths about senior nutrition that you don’t have to listen to.
You Can Skip Meals if You Don’t Feel Like Eating
When you skip regular, healthy meals, you create cravings, which often result in overeating later on. Skipping meals constantly can also lead to a decrease in appetite, which can hurt you in the long run. Those with diabetes can also find it difficult to control their blood glucose level if their intake of recommended food is infrequent and unpredictable.
You Can Eat Anything You Want
The flipside of the myth above is the myth that you can eat anything you want at your age. It’s true that you require fewer calories than younger people, but you still need your nutrients. It’s important to keep a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. If you or your loved one has a condition such as Alzheimer’s disease or diabetes, it’s also important to refrain from consuming too much sugar.
Vitamins and Supplements Can Substitute Food
While supplements can help fill any dietary gaps you might be facing, food is still the best source of nutrients. Taking too many vitamins and supplements can actually cause harm if you consume too much of a particular nutrient. For those who have chronic health conditions and those who are taking medication, it’s especially important to consult with your doctor before taking a vitamin or supplement. You want to make sure there are no side effects from combining your medication with vitamins and supplements, or that taking one doesn’t render the other inefficient.
You Should Focus on Foods Labeled Healthy, Reduced-Calorie and Low-Fat
Just because a food has this label doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. Some yogurts, for instance, are labeled as low-fat but have as high sugar content as desserts.
You Should Avoid Eating Fats Completely
More important is to focus on what kind of fat you are consuming. Trans fats have zero health benefits and no safe baseline for consumption. They can be found everywhere from baked goods to frozen pizza, fried foods to shortening. Avoid these fats and focus on healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats instead. These fats are good for you and provide you with a much-needed source of energy while helping you absorb vitamins and minerals. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, flaxseeds and walnuts.
Retirement Communities Have Bad Food
This couldn’t be further from the truth! Retirement communities today are well-attuned to the dietary desires and needs of their residents. Most feature a variety of dishes crafted from fresh, healthy ingredients and served in elegant amenities. At Spring Mill, the Sensations Dining program offers local favorites and international cuisines with restaurant-style dining, freshly prepared by executive chefs. You can look forward to meals that are both healthy and guilt-free.
Here at Spring Mill, we offer senior living options such as Personal Care and SHINE® Memory Care. Feel free to talk to us to find out more!