The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating in Your Fifties and Sixties

The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating in Your Fifties and Sixties
Source – firstClasse

Healthy eating becomes even more vital as you get older. This is due to the fact that ageing is associated with a number of changes, including nutritional deficits, diminished quality of life, and poor health consequences.

The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating in Your Fifties and Sixties

Healthy eating becomes even more vital as you get older.

This is due to the fact that ageing is associated with a number of changes, including nutritional deficits, diminished quality of life, and poor health consequences.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help avoid deficits and other age-related changes. Eating nutrient-rich meals and taking the necessary supplements, for example, may help keep you healthy as you age.

This article discusses how your dietary demands vary as you get older, as well as how to meet them.

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What Effect Does Ageing Have on Your Nutritional Needs?

Ageing is associated with a number of physiological changes, including muscle loss, thinner skin, and decreased stomach acid.

Some of these changes may predispose you to nutritional shortages, while others may have an impact on your senses and quality of life.

According to research, 20% of the elderly have atrophic gastritis, a disease in which persistent inflammation has destroyed the cells that create stomach acid.

Low stomach acid may impair nutritional absorption, including vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Another disadvantage of ageing is a decreased requirement for calories. Unfortunately, this leads to a dietary quandary. Older folks must consume the same amount, if not more, of some nutrients despite consuming fewer calories.

Fortunately, eating a range of complete foods and taking a supplement may assist you in meeting your nutritional requirements.

Another difficulty that individuals may face as they age is a decrease in their body’s capacity to perceive key feelings such as hunger and thirst.

This may put you at risk of dehydration and unexpected weight loss. And the harder the repercussions may be as you grow older.

SUMMARY: Muscle loss, thinner skin, and less stomach acid are all associated with ageing. As you become older, your capacity to distinguish hunger and thirst may deteriorate.

Fewer Calories Required, But More Nutrients

A person’s daily calorie requirements are determined by height, weight, muscle mass, exercise level, and a variety of other variables.

Elderly people may need fewer calories to maintain their weight since they move and exercise less and have less muscle mass.

If you continue to consume the same amount of calories per day as you did when you were younger, you might easily accumulate additional fat, particularly around your stomach.

This is particularly true in postmenopausal women, since the drop in oestrogen levels found during this time period may encourage belly fat accumulation.

However, although older folks need fewer calories, they require the same or even greater quantities of certain nutrients as younger ones.

As a result, it is critical for older adults to consume a range of whole meals, such as fruits, vegetables, seafood, and lean meats. These nutritious basics may help you combat dietary shortages without adding to your waistline.

Protein, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12 are all nutrients that grow more vital as you get older.

SUMMARY: In general, older people need fewer calories. Their nutritional requirements, however, are as great as or higher than when they were younger. That is why eating nutrient-dense, whole foods are so vital.

More Protein Can Be Beneficial

It’s normal to lose muscle and strength as you become older.

In reality, beyond the age of 30, the normal adult loses 3–8 percent of their muscle mass every decade.

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and strength.

It is a primary cause of senior frailty, fractures, and poor health.

Eating extra protein may aid in muscle preservation and the prevention of sarcopenia.

Over the course of three years, one research tracked 2,066 elderly. It discovered that individuals who consumed the most protein per day lost 40% less muscle mass than those who consumed the least.

In addition, a review of 20 recent research in senior adults discovered that consuming extra protein or using protein supplements may delay the pace of muscle loss, enhance muscle mass, and aid in muscle building.

Furthermore, it seems that combining a protein-rich diet with resistance training is the most efficient strategy to combat sarcopenia.

Many easy techniques to enhance your protein consumption may be found here.


A protein-rich diet may aid in the prevention of sarcopenia, or the age-related loss of muscle and strength. According to research, combining a protein-rich diet with resistance training may provide the most advantages.

More Fibre Could Help You

Constipation is a prevalent medical issue among the elderly.

It is more frequent in adults over the age of 65, and it is two to three times more common in women.

This is due to the fact that individuals of this age tend to walk less and are more prone to take medications with constipation as a side effect.

Consuming fibre may aid with constipation relief. It travels through the colon undigested, assisting in the formation of stool and promoting regular bowel motions.

In a review of five trials, researchers discovered that dietary fibre helped induce bowel movements in those who were constipated.

A high-fibre diet may also help to avoid diverticular disease, a condition in which tiny pouches develop along the colon wall and become infected or inflamed. This disorder is very prevalent among the elderly.

Diverticular illness is often seen as a Western-dietary condition. It is quite widespread, affecting up to 50% of adults over the age of 50 in Western countries.

Diverticular disease, on the other hand, is essentially non-existent in cultures that consume more fibre. Diverticular disease, for example, affects fewer than 0.2 percent of people in Japan and Africa.

Here are a few suggestions for increasing your fibre consumption.


Bowel-related issues, including constipation and diverticular disease, can occur as you age. You can help protect yourself by increasing your fibre intake.

You Should Increase Your Calcium and Vitamin D Consumption

Two of the most critical minerals for bone health are calcium and vitamin D.

Calcium contributes to the formation and maintenance of healthy bones, whilst vitamin D aids in calcium absorption.

Unfortunately, older folks have a lower ability to absorb calcium from their meals.

According to human and animal research, the intestine absorbs less calcium as we become older.

The decrease in calcium absorption, on the other hand, is most likely due to a vitamin D deficit, since ageing may make the body less effective at making it.

When exposed to sunshine, your body may produce vitamin D from the cholesterol in your skin. However, as we age, our skin thins, reducing our capacity to produce vitamin D.

These changes, when combined, may prevent you from obtaining enough calcium and vitamin D, encouraging bone loss and raising your risk of fractures.

To counteract the effects of ageing on your vitamin D and calcium levels, you must take extra calcium and vitamin D via meals and supplements.

Calcium may be found in a range of meals, including dairy products and dark green, leafy vegetables. Other good calcium sources may be found here.

In the meanwhile, vitamin D may be found in diverse seafood, including salmon and herring.

A vitamin D supplement, such as cod liver oil, may also help the elderly.


Calcium and vitamin D are essential elements for good bone health. As you become older, your body will benefit from having extra calcium and vitamin D.

You Will Need More B12 vitamin

Vitamin B12, commonly known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin.

It is required for the production of red blood cells as well as the maintenance of normal brain function.

Unfortunately, research shows that 10–30% of people over the age of 50 have a decreased capacity to absorb vitamin B12 from their food.

This might lead to a vitamin B12 deficit over time.

In the diet, vitamin B12 is bonded to proteins in the food you consume. Before it can be used by your body, stomach acid must help it break from these dietary proteins.

People over the age of 65 are more prone to have disorders that limit stomach acid production, resulting in reduced vitamin B12 absorption from diets. One disorder that might cause this is atrophic gastritis.

Furthermore, elderly individuals who adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet are less likely to get vitamin B12-rich foods, since it is found in animal foods such as eggs, fish, meat, and dairy.

As a result, elderly individuals may benefit from taking a vitamin B12 supplement or eating vitamin B12-fortified foods.

These fortified foods include crystalline vitamin B12, which is not bound to the proteins in the food. As a result, individuals who generate less stomach acid than usual may nevertheless absorb it.


The risk of vitamin B12 insufficiency rises with age. Taking a vitamin B12 supplement or eating foods enriched with vitamin B12 may be particularly beneficial to older adults.

Other Nutrients That Could Benefit You As You Age

Other nutrients that may be useful as you age include:

  • Potassium: A higher potassium consumption is linked to a decreased risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and heart disease, all of which are more frequent in the elderly.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: The primary cause of mortality among the elderly is heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids have been demonstrated in studies to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and triglycerides.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is an essential element in the human body. Unfortunately, due to low intake, medication usage, and age-related changes in gastrointestinal function, the elderly are at risk of insufficiency.
  • Iron: Iron deficiency is frequent among the elderly. This may result in anaemia, a disease in which the blood does not provide the body with adequate oxygen

The majority of these nutrients may be gained from a diet high in fruits, vegetables, seafood, and lean meats.

People who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, on the other hand, may gain benefits from taking an iron or omega-3 supplement.

Despite the fact that iron may be found in a number of vegetables, plant sources of iron are not as effectively absorbed as animal sources of iron. Fish has the greatest omega-3 lipids.


Other nutrients that might help you age include potassium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron.

You Are More Susceptible to Dehydration

Water accounts for around 60% of your body weight.

Staying hydrated is vital at any age because your body continually loses water, primarily through perspiration and urine.

Furthermore, as you become older, you become more prone to dehydration.

Thirst is detected by receptors present in the brain and throughout the body.

However, as you become older, these receptors may become less sensitive to changes in water, making it more difficult for them to sense thirst.

Furthermore, your kidneys assist your body in water conservation, but they usually lose efficiency as you age.

Unfortunately, dehydration has serious repercussions for the elderly.

Long-term dehydration may decrease the fluid in your cells, impairing your capacity to absorb drugs, exacerbating medical disorders, and increasing weariness.

That is why it is important to make a concerted effort to drink adequate water each day.

If you have trouble drinking water, consider consuming one to two glasses of water with each meal. Alternatively, consider bringing a water bottle with you as you go about your day.

SUMMARY: Drinking enough water is vital as you become older since your body may become less able to detect indications of dehydration.

You May Find It Difficult To Eat Enough Food

Another distressing issue for the elderly is a loss of appetite.

If this problem is not treated, it might result in unintentional weight loss and nutritional deficits. A decrease in appetite is also associated with poor health and an increased chance of mortality.

Changes in hormones, taste and smell, as well as changes in living circumstances, are all potential causes of reduced appetite in older adults.

According to studies, older adults have lower amounts of hunger hormones and greater levels of fullness hormones, which means they may be hungry less often and feel satisfied more quickly.

Researchers discovered that senior participants had considerably lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin before a meal in a short trial involving 11 elderly people and 11 young adults.

Furthermore, multiple studies have found that the fullness hormones cholecystokinin and leptin are increased in the elderly.

Age may also impair your sense of smell and taste, making meals seem less appetising.

Other reasons that may contribute to a lack of appetite include tooth loss, loneliness, underlying sickness, and appetite-suppressing drugs.

If you have trouble eating huge meals, consider breaking them into smaller amounts and eating them every few hours.

Otherwise, try to make a practice of eating nutritious snacks like almonds, yoghurt, and boiled eggs, which are high in nutrients and low in calories.


It is normal for older adults to have a loss of appetite. If this problem is not treated, it may result in weight loss, nutritional deficits, and bad health.

The Bottom Line

Ageing is associated with changes that might predispose you to shortages in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and a variety of other essential minerals.

It may also impair your capacity to perceive bodily feelings such as hunger and thirst.

Fortunately, you may take steps to avoid these shortcomings.

Make a serious effort to maintain healthy water and food consumption, consume a variety of nutrient-rich meals, and consider taking a supplement.

All of these steps may assist you in fighting deficiencies and staying healthy as you age.


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