Older people need to eat a lot of protein to stay fit and healthy, so there is no need to worry about eating too much. When you don’t eat enough protein, your body will start to break down your muscles for energy. If you have concerns about your weight, an Accredited Practising Dietitian can help you to understand what is a healthy weight for you.
Eating alone can be a challenge, especially when you have been used to sharing meals with a special person for many years. Try to organise meals you can enjoy with friends, family or neighbours. If it’s possible, you could also look into local seniors clubs or community centres for social gatherings that are enjoyed over meals.
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You could try softer meats like minced meat, slow cooked shredded meat or rissoles.
Eggs, seafood, legumes (like beans, chickpeas and lentils) and dairy foods (like milk, yoghurt and cheese) also contain protein and are much easier to eat.
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Your sense of smell and taste can change as you get older. Certain medications can also affect smell and taste. Fresh herbs, spices, chilli, garlic and/or lemon juice can add flavour and stimulate your taste buds. You should speak to your doctor if your sense of smell or taste has changed recently.
You may not need to eat as much food as you used to, but you do need more nutrients – so the quality of your food is more important than ever. Make sure you eat a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables and grains. Include a protein food at all of your meals.
As you get older, losing weight usually means you lose muscle mass, which can reduce strength and mobility. A slightly higher weight is healthy as you get older, so focussing on the quality of your diet is more important than focussing on the scales. If you’re worried about your weight, speak to your doctor or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
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