Aging is associated with a significant change in body composition, including a decrease in lean body mass and an increase in body fat. Lean body mass declines by an average of 2% to 3% per decade. The percentage of fat in men over 60 years increases from about 15% in adolescence to 25%. In women this increase is an increase from 18% to 23% in adolescence to 32% in old age. These changes in adipose tissue are attributed to decreased physical activity and changes in the secretion of testosterone and growth hormone, which affects anabolic processes. Ageing not only increases the fat content, but also changes the distribution of fat in the body. More and more adipose tissue is collected in the abdominal part of the body, and less and less evenly around the body. Which increases the risk associated with obesity.

People with adipose tissue are mainly centrally i.e. in the area of the abdominal cavity (apple shape) have a higher risk of morbidity and mortality than people with peripherally distributed adipose tissue i.e. on the hips and thighs (pear shape). People of type “apple” are more likely to become ill than type II diabetes mellitus. Ageing also reduces bone mass, and this loss is more pronounced in women than in men. The peak of bone mass is reached at 25 or 30 years, after which the bone mass decreases. Ageing reduces bone density, bones become thinner and more fragile, increasing the risk of bone fractures. And all of this leads to a decrease in the height of the elderly. Muscle mass loss is also occurring as a result of a decrease in muscle strength. As a result, changes in gait and balance are due to the reduction in body-supporting muscles and discos, which also lead to a decrease in the height of the elderly. Ageing also reduces the body’s fluid content. The total fluid in the body is reduced to about 60% of total body weight which increases the risk of dehydration. Normal body temperature does not change significantly by aging. However, temperature regulation is more difficult. Many older people feel they have to wear a larger layer of clothing to feel warm.

Changes in aging

exercise older people

Loss of the senses

The senses of taste, smell, vision, hearing and touch decrease individually. Loss of taste and smell is common in older people and the causes may be in addition to the normal aging process and various diseases, drug use, surgery, radioactive therapy. Some people feel these changes earlier and some later. The senses that make her feel sweet and salty by aging weaken before the sensation for sour and bitter. That’s why many types of foods taste bitter, so older people often resort to salt or sugar. The change in taste and smell begins around 60 years and they become much more serious in people over 70 years of age. Loss of taste and smell not only reduces the pleasure of consuming food, but can also be the cause of poisoning with various chemicals, which would otherwise be detected by taste and smell. But more importantly, loss of taste can cause loss of appetite in the elderly which can lead to a decrease in body mass, malnutrition, weakening of immunity, even death.

Ageing changes the whole structure of the eye. The pupil reacts less to darker or light lighting. The lenses become yellow, less flexible and a little hazy. The muscle of the eye becomes less able to rotate around completely.

Hearing loss

Hearing loss is the most common condition that affects the elderly. Aging leads to progressive hearing loss, initially with high-frequency sounds like speech. It has not been determined whether a specific cause like noise-incurred trauma leads to hearing loss, but there appears to be a genetic predisposition. Hearing loss is more pronounced in older men than in women.

Loss of teeth

Teeth become darker and brittle as they age, making it easier to shoot. This leads to loss of teeth and/or diseases of the oral cavity. This is a common occurrence in the elderly. So the highest number of people up to 65. Since 2010, they have lost all their teeth and mostly have bad replacement teeth. And then many problems arise such as naus gums, fistulas, etc. Older people who carry artificial teeth chew 75 to 85 percent less efficiently than people with their teeth, which can lead to reduced consumption of meat, fresh fruit and vegetables. And this results in inadequate intake of energy, iron, vitamins. This problem can be solved by quality replacement teeth, which adhere well to the gums and allow neat chewing of all food.

Untreated tooth decay and periodontos are also the cause of tooth loss in the elderly, leading to the wearing of artificial dentures.

Changing skin, hair & nails

Skin change is one of the most common visible signs of aging. Evidence of aging are both wrinkles and “hanging” skin. Gray hair is another obvious sign of aging. Skin change is associated with a number of factors, genetics, nutrition and other factors. The biggest factor, though, is sun exposure. The skin becomes thinner, more pale and translucent. Changes in connective tissues reduce skin firmness and elasticity. A number of pigment spots (called age spots or liver spots) can occur in parts of the sun exposed skin.

Grey hair usually begins on the temples and extends to the top of the head. Hair becomes progressively brighter, possibly becoming white. Many people have a grey head until they are 40 years old. Grey hair is genetically determined.

About a quarter of men show signs of baldness by the age of 30, and about two-thirds have significant baldness at age 60. Men have a typical form of baldness associated with the male hormone testosterone. Hair is lost on the temples or on the top of the head. Women also have a typical form of hair loss at that age. Their hair becomes rare on the entire scalp and the scalp can become noticeable. Some women may notice hair loss all over their body, but they can discover that they have tighter facial hair, especially at the top of the chin and around the lips. Men can discover that their hairs on their eyebrows, ears and nose become longer and harder.

Nails also change as they age. They grow weaker and can become blunt and fragile. They can turn yellow and opaque. The toes, they become hard and strong. It’s a common occurrence of ingrown nails. However, some changes to the nails can cause infections, nutrient deficits, trauma or other problems.

Immune system

Ageing reduces the function of immunity, resulting in a decrease in the ability to fight infections and this leads to an increase in infections in the elderly. Reduced immunity may explain the increased occurrence of malignancies in this population.

Breathing

Older people tend to inhale and breathe air because ageing reduces the absorption surface and elasticity of the lungs. And all of this is reflected in other parts of the body. As a result, older people should exercise proper breathing as much as possible and stay in the fresh air.

Changes in the digestive system

colon cancer

Problems arise already when food intake. Dry mouth is a common problem in the elderly that not only makes swallowing difficult, but also speech. It affects more than 70% of people and can have a significant impact on food intake. People have a problem chewing and swallowing food and as a result they are avoiding certain foods. The motility of the esophagus decreases.

In people over 60 years of age, decreased excretion of stomach acid, atrophy of the stomach mucosa is common. As a result, vitamin B12, folate, calcium and iron are reduced. Bile also reacts less and less to the hormone cholecystoliniin, reducing the secretion of enzymes from the pancreas. All this affects the digestion of fats and proteins.

Aging also reduces liver activity, blood flow through it. This is also due to the increased effect of certain medicines. With age, the efficiency of the kidneys decreases. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure damage the kidneys.

Pyramid of Nutrition

budwig-diet

In this way it ensures a proper ratio of macronurients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and mineral substances).

He founded the United States Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services in 1992. Year. 1999. Since 2010, scientists at the USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston» have modified the existing pyramid of proper nutrition for people over 70 years of age because older people have specific nutritional needs and cannot be used in a generally accepted model. In this pyramid of proper nutrition for the elderly, the foods are divided into 5 groups into 3 levels.

Adequate fluid intake is of great importance for the elderly population, so the base of the pyramid for the elderly is made up of liquid. Eight glasses of water a day is recommended.

People of older age should enter six or more servings of bread, cereals, rice or pasta rich in food-fibre. Five or more meals of multicolored and varied fruits and vegetables are also recommended daily. Of the protein-rich foods, three or more meals per day should be from the milk and dairy groups, and two or more meals from the meat, fish, eggs, leguminosis, nuts group. At the top of the pyramid are fats, oils and simple sugars and older people should consume them to the smallest extent possible. At the top of the pyramid there is a flag that provides guidance on supplementation. The recommendation is to take supplements of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamins B6 and B12, folate and vitamin C which are of great importance for the health of the elderly. However, not all elderly people need these dietary supplements and therefore should consult a doctor before taking these supplements.

Fluid intake

Regular daily fluid intake is particularly important for the elderly. In the elderly, feelings of thirst are impaired and kidney function is reduced. Because of this, the base of the pyramid consists of eight glasses of water a day, to prevent constipation and dehydration, a common problem in the elderly. Dehydration is the most common cause of water loss in the elderly.

The quality of the drink is important when choosing a drink in addition to the amount of liquid entered, because the body loses many electrolytes and minerals along the water. For the elderly, the best choice is water from water supply, spring and mineral water, with or without carbon dioxide, and natural fruit juices, without sugar, diluted with plain or non-carbonated mineral water.

These drinks best achieve fluid balance in the body. Coffee and tea are not considered the best choice because they contain caffeine that stimulates the secretion of fluid from the body. It’s more of a drink to enjoy. Alcohol should be avoided by the elderly, especially spirits, as it causes a range of disorders. It is often a direct cause of malnutrition, reduces appetite and compromises normal digestion and absorption. People who consume alcohol for longer suffer from gastritis, gallstones, acute and chronic pancreatitis, arterial hypertension and other disorders. If an older person opts for an alcoholic drink the best choice is considered red wine in moderation. Red wine contains a lower alcohol content and is rich in polyphenols especially resveratrol, a group of organic compounds that by the way they are used as antioxidants. The consumption of this wine reduces the possibility of cancer, it has a beneficial effect on the increase of so-called cancers. positive cholesterol (HDL), while contributing to the reduction of dangerous (LDL) cholesterol, the cause of heart and blood vessel disease, lowers blood pressure, reduces the chance of limescale formation in small amounts, but in large quantities interferes with calcium absorption. The recommendation for women is 1 dl of wine a day and for men 2 dl of wine a day. If an elderly person suffers from some chronic disease before alcohol consumption, due to possible health problems, it is best to consult a doctor.

Nutritional needs

Knowledge of nutritional recommendations for the elderly is growing, but it is still under-researched and documented.

Recommended daily intake (RDA – The 1989 Recommended Dietery Allowances) did not provide separate recommendations for older people from the age of 51. due to insufficient data. Research has shown that older people have special needs for diverse nutrients due to the effect of aging on the absorption, utilization and excretion of nutrients. Dietary Reference Reference Intake Dri (Dietary Reference Intakes) replaces the previous RDA. Unlike in 1989, he was the first president of the U.S. House of The RDA divides the older population, older than 50 years, into 2 living periods i.e. groups: 51 to 70 years of age and over 70 years of age.

Physiological and functional changes that occur during the aging process result in nutritional changes in the elderly. Therefore, attention should be paid to certain nutrients so that the intake of certain foods is not problematic. Knowledge of nutritional recommendations for the elderly is growing, but it is still under-researched and documented.

Recommended daily intake (RDA – The 1989 Recommended Dietery Allowances) did not provide separate recommendations for older people from the age of 51. due to insufficient data. Research has shown that older people have special needs for diverse nutrients due to the effect of aging on the absorption, utilization and excretion of nutrients. Dietary Reference Reference Intake Dri (Dietary Reference Intakes) replaces the previous RDA. Unlike in 1989, he was the first president of the U.S. House of The RDA divides the older population, older than 50 years, into 2 living periods i.e. groups: 51 to 70 years of age and over 70 years of age.

Energy

Energy needs are reduced by ageing due to reduced basal metabolism and reduced energy consumption as people age less and less. For men over the age of 75, energy needs range from 1,800 kcal to 2300 kcal a day, and for women from 1,500 kcal to 2200 kcal a day.

Protein

In older people, protein intake should be higher than for people up to 50 years of age. Intake from 1 g to 1.25 g per kilogram of body weight is recommended. The reason for insufficient protein intake are changes in the functioning of the digestive system, lactose intolerance, infections, problems chewing and swallowing food, weakening appetite. Financial problems are also common, as meat is often more expensive than other foods, so older people can’t afford it. The consequences of insufficient protein intake are osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, weakened immunity and poor wound healing.

Fat

Fats are a great source of energy for the body, helping to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and other nutritional components. Fat absorption and digestion of fats are not changed by ageing. For the elderly, it is recommended that less than 30% of their daily energy intake comes from fat. The emphasis is on reduced intake of saturated fats and cholesterol and on the selection of sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated and trans fatty acids should be represented in a content of less than 10 % of daily energy intake and cholesterol in a content of less than 300 mg per day. Saturated fatty acids should be avoided by the elderly as they increase blood cholesterol levels while polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids lower blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids should be about 6-10% of daily energy intake, and the proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids 10-14% of daily energy intake.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates (sugars, starch) are a source of energy for all cells in the body. For the elderly, it is recommended that 50 to 60% of their daily energy intake comes from carbohydrates. The emphasis is on intake of complex carbohydrates, including dietary fiber and on the controlled intake of simple sugars. In the elderly, dietary fiber is important for the prevention of constipation and high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Reducing the risk of small and colon cancer, the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber should be 20-35 g/day. The proportion of simple sugars such as sugar in coffee, tea, drinks, cakes, sweets should not exceed 10% of all-day energy intake.

Recommended foods

Whole grains

Cereals and grains

For the elderly, it is recommended to include wholemeal bread, corn and oatmeal, cereals in grains, pasta, wholemeal flour, biscuits and wholemeal cakes in their daily diet. Baked goods made from raised and puff pastry such as doughnuts, croissants, strudels should be avoided. In addition to dietary fiber, cereals are rich in B-complex vitamins and vitamin E. They are a source of phytochemicals that have a beneficial effect on the body. Therefore, it is recommended that older people consume some of the grain products with each meal. The advantage of such a prepared meal is that the energy contained in such a meal is slowly released into the body and does not cause stress and sleepiness after consumption and the feeling of satiety is longer, and therefore especially recommended to the elderly who, for health reasons, have to reduce the diet.

Fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are a source of many important vitamins, mineral substances, dietary fiber. Fruits and vegetables have a positive impact on the health of the elderly. They contain not only antioxidants but also phytochemicals that reduce the risk of coronary diseases. They contain essential vitamins A, C, E folic acid and minerals such as zinc, calcium which are important in the prevention of many diseases. Fruits and vegetables also contain pigments that give them colour, but they are also important because they play a role in protecting against free radicals and thus premature aging and the onset of atherosclerosis. By technological processing processes or cooking these foods lose many of their ingredients, so it is best to consume them in a fresh state or steamed. However, as they age, these foods are less and less consumed in a fresh, raw state, as most elderly people have problems chewing. Therefore, they are therefore advised to consume these foods in the form of porridge.

Milk and dairy products

Milk and dairy products are rich in calcium, vitamins B2 and B12 and if they are enriched then they also contain vitamin D and A. Elderly are advised to avoid whole-fat cheeses and cheese spreads, whole milk, cream, ice creams and puddings based on whole milk. It is best to choose products with less saturated fats. In everyday nutrition should include probiotics and prebiotics. They contribute to better digestion, strengthen immunity and reduce the risk of developing some crustaceans.

Meat, eggs, fish, leguminosis, nuts

Foods in this group are rich in high-value protein, minerals and vitamins but also contain a high content of saturated fats and cholesterol. Therefore, it is recommended that older people reduce their consumption of these foods. Meat and meat products should be consumed 1 to 3 times a week. Health problems arise when meat is consumed in excessive quantities, fried and baked in oil and own fats. The best choices are turkey white meat, chicken white meat, veal, young beef and fish and it is stewed, cooked and baked in foil without added fat. The elderly are especially advised to consume fish, because the fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent cardiovascular disease. The recommendation is to consume fish two to three times a week. The egg is not recommended to consume more than three to four times a week because egg yolks are a concentrated source of cholesterol.

The advantage of leguminosis is that they are low in energy, are rich in dietary fiber and phytochemicals and do not contain cholesterol. Dietary fiber of alluminosis lowers the blood cholesterol content and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it is recommended that older people increase their share of their daily diet. Leguminosis peas, pods, beans, lentils and soy should be consumed at least once a week. Nuts should be consumed more often but in moderation because they contain a higher fat content.

Hydration

Proper hydration prevents constipation and dehydration, a common problem in the elderly. Dehydration is the most common cause of water loss in the elderly.

The quality of the drink is important when choosing a drink in addition to the amount of liquid entered, because the body loses many electrolytes and minerals along the water. For the elderly, the best choice is water from water supply, spring and mineral water, with or without carbon dioxide, and natural fruit juices, without sugar, diluted with plain or non-carbonated mineral water.

These drinks best achieve fluid balance in the body. Coffee and tea are not considered the best choice because they contain caffeine that stimulates the secretion of fluid from the body. It’s more of a drink to enjoy. Alcohol should be avoided by the elderly, especially spirits, as it causes a range of disorders. It is often a direct cause of malnutrition, reduces appetite and compromises normal digestion and absorption. People who consume alcohol for longer suffer from gastritis, gallstones, acute and chronic pancreatitis, arterial hypertension and other disorders. If an older person opts for an alcoholic drink the best choice is considered red wine in moderation. Red wine contains a lower alcohol content and is rich in polyphenols especially resveratrol, a group of organic compounds that by the way they are used as antioxidants. The consumption of this wine reduces the possibility of cancer, it has a beneficial effect on the increase of so-called cancers. positive cholesterol (HDL), while contributing to the reduction of dangerous (LDL) cholesterol, the cause of heart and blood vessel disease, lowers blood pressure, reduces the chance of limescale formation in small amounts, but in large quantities interferes with calcium absorption. The recommendation for women is 1 dl of wine a day and for men 2 dl of wine a day. If an elderly person suffers from some chronic disease before alcohol consumption, due to possible health problems, it is best to consult a doctor.

Physical activity

exercise during lemon diet

Physical activity helps to prevent chronic heart and blood vessel diseases, reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure, reduces the risk of developing diabetes, prevents the formation of increased fat concentrations in the blood, reduces the risk of stroke, reduces excess weight, is important for prevention of osteoporosis. It is recommended that the elderly person be physically active at least two to three times a week, 15 to 30 minutes. When choosing physical activity, preference should be given to exercises that improve heart rate and breathing that fit into their everyday life. There are a whole range of activities that can be recommended to older people such as gardening, gymnastics, cycling, bowling, tennis, water exercises, dancing, etc. The best choice and ideal activity in older age is walking. However, before choosing physical activity, elderly people should consult a personal physician for the specificity of their health and the functional ability of the elderly.

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