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  • Writer's pictureCAB

What Foods Should the Elderly Avoid? And Why?

As you age, your metabolism slows down, your senses weaken and you're more likely to develop chronic conditions. But the good news is: you can help ensure your overall well-being over time by making smart, healthy eating choices. Here are some suggestions on what foods the elderly should avoid, and simple changes that you can try to diversify your diet.

A vegetable salad with tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, and various herbs.

Foods the Elderly Should Avoid:

Fried Foods

Many fried foods are cooked in hydrogenated oils, which are very high in trans fats. This can worsen or lead to serious health issues like type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Try to go for grilled, broiled, or boiled options instead.

Soft Drinks

Most, if not all, soft drinks have an astonishing amount of sugar in them. One can of Pepsi contains 41 grams of sugar, which is roughly 4 grams over the daily recommended amount by the American Heart Association.

Decrease Salt Intake

As you age, your sense of taste declines which has you reaching for the salt shaker to season your dishes. Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can ultimately lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Make sure you're consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium every day.

Foods to Incorporate in Your Diet As You Age:

Foods High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3’s are important for people of all ages, they help prevent inflammation which can cause cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease.

Omega-3’s are found in:

  • Sardines

  • Tuna

  • Mackerel

  • Salmon

  • Flaxseed

  • Soybeans

  • Canola oil

  • Walnut

Nutritionists recommend a serving of omega-3’s twice a week.

Foods Rich in Calcium

Calcium allows our body to build and maintain healthy bone structure, it’s also been known to lower blood pressure. You can find calcium rich supplements in dairy products such as:

  • Milk

  • Yogurt

  • Cheese

Leafy greens and bran cereals are also a good alternative.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend that males above the age of 50 consume 1000mg of calcium daily and females above the age of 50 consume 1200mg of calcium daily. That’s roughly 4 cups of milk or fortified orange juice.


Foods rich in fiber allow for proper digestion and have been known to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Strawberries in cardboard cartons

Fiber rich foods include:

  • Nuts

  • Any wholegrain cereals

  • Wholegrain bread and pastas

  • Brown rice

  • Brown bread

  • Pears

  • Strawberries

  • Artichokes

  • Lentils

Foods Rich in Iron

Iron is key to feeling energetic and staying alert. It produces hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to various parts of your body.

Iron enriching foods include:

  • Clams

  • Mussels

  • Oysters

  • Beef

  • Chicken

  • Ham

  • Turkey

  • Halibut

  • Haddock

  • Perch

  • Salmon

  • Tuna


While eating whole foods is the best way to get nutrients that you need, sometimes you need an extra boost. Consider adding a supplement to boost your health.

The examples above are just a few things that you can do to improve your eating habits and reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease.


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