Ageing Well: Diet & Nutrition for Elderly in Singapore

Posted on19 Nov 2021
Diet plays a huge part in our appearance, health and mood. Consuming the right diet and nutrition is an essential component of ageing gracefully and happily. Eating right is important regardless of our age, but ageing does change our bodies such that certain nutrients become especially important for senior citizens.
 

Calcium and Vitamin D

Adults older than 70 need more calcium and vitamin D to help maintain bone health. Calcium helps to build and maintain bones, while vitamin D helps ensure our bodies absorb the calcium effectively. It is very important for us to consume sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D together. Lacking in either nutrient will greatly reduce bone health. 
 

Examples of foods rich in Calcium:

  • Calcium-fortified Milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Tofu
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Canned Fish with Soft Bones
  • Fortified Plant-based Beverages

Examples of foods rich in Vitamin D: 

  • Fatty Fish (eg: Salmon)
  • Eggs
  • Fortified Foods & Beverages

Dietary Fibre

Research shows that dietary fibre helps lower the risk for heart disease, stroke and Type II diabetes. Women over 50 should aim to eat at least 21 grams of fiber per day, while men over 50 at least 30 grams a day.
 

Examples of foods rich in Fibre:

  • Multi-grain Breads and Rice
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Whole Fruits (Bulk of the fibre is found in the skin of the fruits!)
  • Vegetables

Good-Quality Protein

Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, skin, blood and cartilage in our body. Unlike carbohydrates and fat, our bodies do not store protein, so it has no reservoir to draw from when it is running low.

For seniors, it is important that their protein intake is derived from “real foods” rather than processed foods. Eating too much protein from processed meat products such as luncheon meat and sausage may increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.
 

Examples of foods rich in Good-Quality Protein:

  • Unprocessed Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Seeds

Good Fats

Rather than trying to cut out fat from your diet, focus on enjoying healthy fats. Omega-3 is great for protecting our bodies against diseases, and supporting our mood and brain functions. Good fats should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, which are helpful for reducing risks of heart diseases. 
 

Examples of foods rich in Good Fats:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Fish

Eating well can be challenging, especially among older adults due to poor appetite, chronic health issues and cost concerns. Fortunately for many of us, it is possible to acquire these necessary nutrients from foods and oral supplements.

There are, however, cases where patients with dysphagia are unable to consume the nutrients needed by the body due to a lack of food products catering to their conditions. If you are a senior with swallowing difficulties or caring for someone with dysphagia, check out GentleFoods Shop for our full menu of dysphagia-friendly diets!

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