17 May 2012

Retirement: Nutrition

Four out of the ten leading causes of death are: coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes and cerebral vascular accidents are associated with unhealthy dietary patterns. Majority of people do not eat enough fruits or vegetables. It is true that poverty (especially in developing countries) is the main cause of unhealthy food habit. Those who can afford in place of required quantity of fruits or vegetables eat too much fatty foods.Elderly persons are at increased risk for poor nutrition due to the fact that they have multiple chronic illnesses. Some of them have tooth or mouth problems that interfere with their ability to eat. The elderly may be tacking multiple medications that can cause changes in their appetite. Economic hardship and social isolation (due to migration of children or death of spouse) may also affect their nutritional habit.

Weight gain or loss may signal nutritional problems. Get assessed for the risk for diet related illness.

Here are some suggestions regarding nutritional problems:
  • Stop alcohol or limit intake of alcohol
  • Limit fat and cholesterol
  • Maintain balanced caloric intake
  • Ensure adequate daily calcium, especially for women
  • Take vitamin B12 in crystalline form
  • Vitamin D is also helpful
  • Include adequate whole grains, fruits and vegetables
  • Drink adequate water

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