At seventy, your body composition changes and you tend to be less active.
The older you get, the fewer calories you need to eat.
You can control and hold off some of the changes with exercise but your body needs less fuel than before no matter what you do.
As you age your appetite may decline but your nutritional needs do not. Your nutrition needs remain same and in some cases increase. You are supposed to eat good food without gaining weight.
For people over seventy, Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) came up with a modified food guide pyramid foe people aged seventy and above.
Modified food guide pyramid:
Modified food guide pyramid consists of water, antioxidants, fiber and supplements.
Water: The food guide pyramid had eight ounce glasses of water at its base. As you age, you often lose some of thirst sensation. It occurs when you are at increased risk of developing constipation and dehydration.
Along with water, you have to drink more fluids regularly. You can get fluids from foods such as soups, vegetable juice, broths and fat free milk.
Fiber: Fiber is extremely important at this age and is included in food guide pyramid. Adhere to whole wheat and whole wheat products that are high in fiber and nutritionally dense. White potatoes are not included as they are filling but less nutritious than sweet potatoes.
You can get fiber from whole fruits and vegetables also. If you drink only fruit juices, you miss lot of fiber.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants are important for seniors and included in food guide pyramid. You should consume dark leafy greens like spinach and chard. You should eat orange and yellow vegetables. Eat colorful fruits like mangoes, strawberries, and blueberries that are high in vitamin A, C and folic acid.
Supplements: The new food guide pyramid has something that the regular pyramid does not have. Your body might not absorb enough vitamins through food intake. It means, you might not get all the vitamins you need out of your food. You need supplements.
Immediately don’t reach for pills because you need supplements. Talk to your doctor. He will examine and tell whether you need supplements or not. Some off the vitamins you might need are vitamin D, vitamin B12 and calcium.
At the top of the food guide pyramid are mentioned items which have to be used sparingly such as sugar, saturated fats, trans fats and salt. Sugar adds calories but not nutrients, so limit food and beverages with added sugar.
Saturated and trans fats raise levels of bad cholesterol. Meat and full fat dairy products contain saturated fat. You can also take Fat soluble vitamins. Trans fats are found in stick margarines and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Salt raises blood pressure in some people. Prepare foods with less salt.
This food guide pyramid is designed keeping in mind healthy mobile seventy plus person. If you have serious health problems or chronic diseases, consult your doctor and discuss how your condition affects your nutrition requirements.