Why Should Seniors Eat Dairy Products?

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Why Should Older Adults Include Dairy Products in Their Diets?

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Older adults need to eat nutritious foods to maintain good health. Dairy products should be included in daily diets. However, seniors need to avoid calories from unnecessary fat that lead to high cholesterol by choosing low-fat or fat-free cheese, milk, and yogurt. Here are a few reasons seniors should include dairy products in their diets.

Contain Calcium

Approximately 10 million adults in the United States live with osteoporosis. Nearly twice as many more are at risk of developing the condition because they have poor bone density. Getting sufficient amounts of calcium daily helps bones remain strong. Seniors are advised to get at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day. One cup of milk or yogurt provides one-third of the day’s requirement of calcium and fulfills 17 percent of an older adult’s protein needs. 

Families do not always have the time to meet their senior loved ones’ nutritional needs. If you need help making sure your loved one follows a nutritious diet, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In El Dorado County, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Provide Vitamin D

Calcium needs vitamin D to keep bones healthy. When blood calcium levels drop below normal, vitamin D changes into an active form and prevents calcium from being eliminated by the intestines and the kidneys. During daylight hours, vitamin D is quickly made when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Seniors need 800 to 1,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per day. People living in northern regions where sunlight is not as strong must rely on dietary intake to maintain proper vitamin D levels. In this case, individuals may need up to 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day. 

Offer Additional Nutrients

Along with calcium and vitamin D, dairy products provide vitamin B complex, vitamins A and E, along with protein, folate, and magnesium. In addition to offering vital vitamins and minerals, dairy products have several other health benefits. 

As a family caregiver, you may not always have the time to create a nutritious diet plan for your loved one. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. El Dorado County, California, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Contain Antihypertensive Properties

Scientists from Spain evaluated more than 5,000 older adults who consumed low-fat dairy products. The researchers found that more than half of the seniors had a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure. Although researchers do not fully understand the correlation between low-fat dairy and cardiovascular health, they suspect the casein and whey proteins are the reason. It’s believed they act in a similar way to blood pressure-lowering medications.

Prevent Metabolic Syndrome

A group of Iranian scientists studied more than 800 men and women. They found that seniors who consumed the highest quantities of dairy products were less likely to have excess fat around the midsection of the body and metabolic syndrome, which can raise the risk of developing cardiovascular  disease and diabetes.

Help in Maintaining Healthy Weight

Researchers from the University of Alabama believe evidence exists that correlates calcium intake with body weight regulation. Dairy products contain protein and other nutrients that keep blood sugar levels normal. Seniors who make dairy foods a regular part of their daily diet are less likely to have snack cravings.

Make sure your loved one eats healthy foods each day by hiring a professional caregiver to cook nutritious meals. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, El Dorado County Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans, give us a call at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 today.