Dietary needs as a person ages muscle mass tends to

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Dietary Needs As a person ages, muscle mass tends to decrease and fatty tissue begins to increase. Metabolism starts to slow down, so older people cannot process food as efficiently. Older people also require fewer calories. The Reader's Digest Association says that a person should consume about 10 percent fewer calories every decade after the age of 50. Older people that do not cut back on their calorie intake will gain weight and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related ailments. An increase in age means that the body does not absorb and use nutrients from food as efficiently. As a result, older people need extra amounts of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in their diet. Benefits of Minerals The risk of osteoporosis and a lowered immunity in old age increases the need for minerals such as calcium, zinc and potassium. The National Institute on Aging recommends that older-age people have at least two servings of dairy products each day. Dairy products include foods like low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt. For older people that have trouble digesting regular milk, choose lactose-reduce substitutes. Dairy products are an excellent source of bone strengthening calcium, which is essential to prevent bone loss that occurs with age. Zinc helps to boost the immune system and can be found in nuts and seeds as well as shellfish, lean beef, poultry and turkey. Benefits of Fiber In "The Food Bible," author Judith Wills says older people need fiber in their diet to prevent constipation.  Constipation is a common complaint in the elderly. This may be due to  -Decreased elasticity of the digestive tract that hampers normal peristalsis. Reduced  consumption of food. Improper food selection.Inadequate food intake.There should be a  conscious attempt to increase the consumption of fibre rich food but it shouldbe done 
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gradually otherwise it may result in bowel discomfort, distension and flatulence.Rough fibre  and bran may not be advisable for the aged but the fibre of tender vegetables andfruits will  make the food mass go down the intestinal tract.Fibre also helps in reducing cholesterol that  contributes to atherosclerosis.  Fiber builds bulk in the stool and aids in eliminating waste. Excellent sources of fiber includes fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, beans and legumes. The National Institute on Aging recommends that an older person get at least five servings of complex carbohydrates from whole grains, breads, cereals, brown rice, lentil and other dried beans. Fresh vegetables and fruits include dark leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, kale, carrots, berries, tomatoes and bananas. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily to help push fiber through the digestive system to prevent constipation.   PROTEIN  Due to decreased appetite and poor digestive capacity, old people are likely to  consume lessprotein. But the fact remains that despite a decrease in calorie requirement the 
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