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When we are young and active we tend not to think much about our nutritional habits. Unfortunately, our nutritional habits become extremely important, as we grow older. Our bodies don’t breakdown proteins, carbohydrates, and fats like it once did when we were younger. If you have ever wondered why, here is some information from the book, “Nutrition Concepts and Controversies”.

“In our digestive tract, our intestines lose muscle strength resulting in sluggish motility that leads to constipation. Stomach inflammation, abnormal bacterial growth and greatly reduced acid output impair digestion and absorption. Pain and fear of choking may cause food avoidance or reduced intake.”

When an older adult decreases their energy output per day, but doesn’t change their calorie intake, they will inevitably put on weight. One must realize that they cannot eat the way they did when they were younger. Eating fast food, drinking soda everyday and consuming other junk foods has an increasingly negative effect on the body when you are older.

Although it’s not good for you at any age, some see it as part of being young and having fun in the American culture. I’m not saying you can’t have any of this stuff at all, just modify how much you consume of it. If you want fast food, order a kid’s meal instead. The meal and soda are a smaller size, but the craving is still satisfied.

Same concept applies for desserts, you may have them, just eat smaller portions. Eating fruits and vegetables and smaller portion proteins are always better than fast food, soda, and desserts so I definitely recommend eating them more often than the higher calorie and fatty foods.

Another important part to nutrition and aging is staying physically active to keep your bones and muscles healthy. Nowhere does it say we can’t be active and strong when we are older. However, the younger society seems to see older adults as those that retire and stop all activities, become overweight, have a heart attack and die by age 70. All ages should be aware and eating well-balanced meals everyday will help us in the later years.

Written by,  Keri Story, OTS

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