FOOD GUIDE FOR THOSE OVER
Three Tufts University researchers have adjusted the US Dept.
of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid to come up with a schematic that they say
more accurately represents the dietary needs of older consumers.
Seniors have some specific nutrient needs not addressed in the
"one size fits all" Food Guide Pyramid.
Seniors have reduced energy intake needs of 1200 to 1600
calories per day.
Each level of the pyramid emphasizes:
The pictures of the foods in the grains, fruits, and vegetable
tiers of the pyramid highlight the importance of fiber. Most Americans at
any age, eat less than the 20 grams of daily fiber recommended by the American
The "70+" pyramid is built on a base of water.
Adequate hydration is a chronic problem for many seniors. Decreased thirst
sensation is common with aging, and some medications affect a body's ability to
regulate fluid balance. Dehydration worsens symptoms of kidney dysfunction and
constipation. To combat this problem seniors are advised to drink at least 8
glasses of fluids a day.
The flag icon that represents the possible need for dietary
supplements. Both calcium and vitamin D absorption decrease with age which has
adverse effects on bone health and increases the risk of fractures. The ability
to absorb the vitamin B12 also decreases with age. The need for dietary
supplements an issue that should discuss with your doctor or dietitian.
The dietary recommendations of this pyramid are aimed at
healthy, mobile seniors with the resources needed to prepare adequate meals. It
is not designed to consider the special dietary needs of those with significant
health problems, nor does it address socioeconomic factors, such as decreased
income and mobility.
The pyramid's main messages:
people over age seventy have specific nutrient needs, and how well they meet
those needs can affect overall health status.
Remember nutrition and dental health greatly
affect each other.
Source: Tufts University
Center For Research and Education On Aging
and the Elderly-Resources
February 06, 2008
Patient Education Nutrition Topics Index