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
need of proteinremains the same, hence the food should be a little richer in protein than the
other normal food.Rich sources of protein are- all pulses, legumes, sprouts, chicken, fish, and
egg.Normal adult protein requirement is 1 gm/kg body weight.Deficiency of protein is
common in the elderly and is one of the contributing factors to oedema,anaemia and
lowered resistance to infections.
CARBOHYDRATE AND FATS
Since calorie requirement is lesser in older people,
carbohydrate and fat content of food is also tobe reduced. Part of fat intake should be in
form of vegetable oils which are rich in essential fattyacids and part of it should be in form
of animal fats which are rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E,K.The total amount of fat from
direct, indirect sources should not exceed 40 gms.daily.
the need for calcium increases during old age especially for women after
menopause.There is increased demineralisation and osteoporosis if bones in the later years
of life. This cangive rise to spontaneous fractures and increased incidence of tooth decay. The
dailyrequirement of calcium in a woman around the age of 50 is about1000 mg/day. Food
alonemay not be capable of meeting the entire requirement, also calcium is available in
limited numberof foods; hence calcium supplements might be required. Good food sources of
calcium are-milk and milk products like cheese, paneer, and curd. Greenleafy vegetables are
also a good source.
-iron requirement in old age is the same as adults, which is about30 mg/day. If anaemia,
is there then about 10 mg/day extra iron can be given.Good sources of iron are- liver, green
leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, whole wheat bread,iron rich dry fruits, fruits such as
There is no evidence that aggressive sodium restriction will prevent or delay the
onset ofcardiovascular disease. Moderate amount of salt in diet helps to improve the
palatability andacceptability of the diet. Total salt free diet should not be followed except
under the advice of aphysician for the treatment of a specific disease. Salt is naturally
present in almost all fruits and vegetables.Foods that have a very high concentration of
sodium such as pickles, chutneys, and papadsshould be avoided as a part of daily diet.