Welcome to our Ask the Expert series, in which our panel of health experts answers your wellness questions. Here, registered dietitian Matt Priven tackles nutrition for older adults. Got a question of your own? Email email@example.com.
I’m getting older. How should I eat to ensure good nutrition? —M.C., Boston
The foundations of good nutrition stay fairly consistent throughout our lives—but some nutrients and foods are especially important for older adults, Priven says. They include:
Specific nutrients aside, Priven says many people see a drop in appetite as they age. “This can lead to malnutrition,” he says, “which has its own negative health effects” including damage to muscles and bones, a depressed immune system, and a higher risk of infection. If low appetite makes regular meals unappealing, try smoothies, supplemental drinks, or multiple hearty snacks, Priven suggests.
Multivitamins and supplements may also be helpful for those low in a specific nutrient. “You should try to do everything you can to get your nutrients from food first,” Priven explains. “That being said, if you do your best to get enough calcium [for example] throughout the day but still you’re only meeting half of the daily amount, then filling in that gap with supplements should be recommended.” Since supplements are not well regulated, consult your doctor or a dietitian about the dosage and type right for you.
About the Expert: Matt Priven is a registered dietitian nutritionist and the founder of Oceanside Nutrition. As an RDN, Matt is an expert in the areas of food and nutrition. He holds a M.S. in nutrition and health promotion. Passionate about research, he is a published author in multiple scientific journals, including the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Having trained and worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Matt helped thousands of individuals before opening a private practice. At Oceanside Nutrition, Matt provides individual nutrition counseling in Boston and Newburyport for a variety of health concerns.
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Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/2017/07/05/nutrition-for-older-adults/
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