Nutritional needs change with age

With age comes wisdom, and as a result, many older adults may feel that they know what's best for them when it comes to their nutritional needs during retirement. Data from a recent study conducted by Opinion Way revealed that 89 per cent of people over the age of 60 consider their diets to be healthy for their age; however, different nutrients are needed as people age, meaning your once-healthy diet may no longer be as healthy.

The growing need for protein
According to the survey, 56 per cent of older adults believe that their nutritional needs decrease as they age, but this belief is inaccurate. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Bruno Lesourd, professor at the University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, explained that as people grow older, their bodies become less energy efficient, meaning that it's necessary for older adults to increase their intake of protein each day to maintain a healthy body, Agence France-Presse reported. Protein is an essential nutrient needed to help the body build muscle mass, keep energy levels high and protect against infection – all important factors in an older adult's life.

How to maintain a healthy diet
Many adults—young and old—are unaware of their nutritional needs. As the survey revealed, 57 per cent of the seniors polled don't speak to their doctors about their changing dietary requirements—yet, knowledge is the best defense against an unhealthy diet. Talk to your doctor about which nutrients are most important for your age and health. You may also want to research healthy recipes online so you're equipped with unlimited resources for proper meal preparation.

Additionally, the research showed that as people age, they experience changes that alter their preferences in taste. Many revert back to their childhood preferences, so find recipes that coincide with your classic favorites. Proteins can be found in nuts, seeds, milk and meats like chicken and fish. For a tasty snack reminiscent of earlier years, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a large glass of milk can satisfy most palettes while also providing a portion of necessary protein.

Chartwell Retirement Residences provides delicious, healthy meals that satisfy residents' nutritional needs and preferences, including home-style favourites, themed meals and delectable desserts. To learn more about Chartwell's dining options, click here.