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4 Ways Your Nutritional Needs Change As You Age

4 Ways Your Nutritional Needs Change As You Age

With age comes changes to your nutritional requirements, and you should adapt your diet accordingly. By understanding your body’s evolving dietary needs, you can care for yourself better. 

Anastassios Manessis, MD, and the on-staff registered dieticians at neXendo Wellness provide clinical nutrition counseling to help you look and feel your best at any age. 

At our offices in Long Island City and Murray Hill, New York, you can receive a personalized nutrition plan that accounts for your age and personal needs. With initial metabolic testing, Dr. Manessis and our team can offer detailed advice for improving your nutrition and health. 

Of course, you may have a few additional specific nutritional needs based on your personal health and wellness. The following guidelines offer an excellent starting point for transforming your diet as you age. 

1. Lower calorie needs

As you age, your body doesn’t require as many calories to function. That is due to several coexisting factors, including less physical activity and age-related muscle mass loss. 

If you continue eating as much as you did when you were younger and more active, you risk gaining excessive weight, especially in your abdomen. Unfortunately, abdominal obesity in old age comes with an increased mortality risk

2. Higher micronutrient needs

While you can eat fewer calories as you age, your nutrient needs will remain unchanged. That’s why you must be mindful of the nutritional value of your meals. 

Consider upping your intake of foods that contain:

To meet these increased nutritional needs, include a variety of whole foods, including fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Your dietician might also recommend taking dietary supplements. 

3. Increased need for protein

Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays many critical roles. It helps:

Eating enough protein is important during all stages of life, but it’s especially crucial as you age. Your bones and muscles weaken with age, so including plenty of protein in your diet helps maintain bone and muscle mass. You’ll maintain even more muscle mass if you engage in resistance exercise alongside a protein-rich diet. 

If you’re worried about meeting your body’s protein needs because of dietary restrictions, consider the diverse sources of dietary protein. You can get protein from:

Talk to our neXendo Wellness team about appropriate amounts of protein based on your needs. 

4. Increased need for fiber

Your digestive system becomes less efficient with age, but fiber can help. 

Fiber is a carbohydrate that comes from plants. While your body can’t digest it, fiber bulks up your food, helps you feel full, and easily passes through your digestive tract. 

It reduces your risks of constipation and diverticular disease — two common digestive issues that arise with age. Up to half of people over 50 in Western countries experience diverticular disease, which causes cramping, stomach ulcers, and constipation. 

Want to learn more about nutrition and aging?

If you’re curious whether you’re currently meeting your nutritional needs, give us a call. You can also request an appointment online at neXendo Wellness for clinical nutrition services.

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