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How Many Calories do Seniors Really Need?

By Lee Nyberg, 10:24 pm on

Eating healthy on a daily basis can be a challenge to everyone, no matter their age. However, as your loved one gets older, it is highly essential that they get all of the nutrients they need to stay in the best of health. This brief guide from the culinary-trained senior caregivers in Lincoln should make maintaining proper balance of nutrition a little easier.

Senior Nutrition Guide

How many calories do seniors need?

As with any age, the amount of calories that seniors need depends on both their gender and activity level. According to the National Institute of Aging, women over 50 need approximately 1,600 calories if they’re inactive and 2,000 calories if they’re highly active. Meanwhile, a sedentary senior man needs about 2,000 calories daily and a highly active one can require between 2,400 and 2,800 calories per day.

How many macronutrients do seniors need?

“Macronutrients” refers to protein, fat, carbohydrates and fiber. Eating enough food isn’t the only challenge as a senior, it’s also important to eat the right amount of the rightthings. For example, we shouldn’t be getting the majority of our daily calories from fat alone; there should be a healthy balance. According to HelpGuide, getting enough protein is essential to healthy aging. Each meal should contain a minimum of 25 grams of protein and the totally daily amount should be between 68 and 102 grams of protein. This helps ensure excellent bone and muscle health.

Carbs, however, should be limited to avoid excessive weight gain and unhealthy levels of glucose. When eating carbs, be sure they’re healthy choices. We recommend oatmeal, sweet potatoes, oat bran and whole grains. Seniors should aim to intake between six to seven ounces of whole grains a day.

What about supplements?

In terms of vitamins and minerals, calcium and vitamin D are both extremely important to maintain bone health as osteoporosis can become a major concern with age.

With these tips, keeping up great nutrition for excellent health as you age will be a little easier. However, if you or your aging loved one is having a hard time with in-home meal preparation or grocery shopping, click here to see how an hourly Lincoln caregiver can help!

You can also call Home Care Assistance of Lincoln at (402) 261-5158 to schedule a free in-home consultation.