7 Changes You Should Make to Your
Diet at 65

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April 7, 2016

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist









Sixty-five used to officially signal the start of old age. Many
years ago Germany, the first country to set a retirement
program, set the retirement age at 65 and it continues to be
the same in most developed regions.

But age is more than a number. Sixty-five isn’t the time for
slowing down, if you eat right and exercise. Everyone ages
differently but some things remain the same for all over-65s:
nutrition is vitally important, and your diet could probably do
with a few tweaks when you hit this golden age.

Is Nutrition Important at Age 65?

Nutrition is important at any age, but even more so as you
get older. Numerous studies show that nutritional status has
a massive effect on the risk of suffering a variety of
conditions affecting seniors over the age of 65 including
cancer, dementia, and heart disease – and on conditions
getting worse (Basran and Hogan 2002; Tessier 2002; Keller
et al 2003; Takashashi et al 2003; Coombs et al 2004; Van
Wymelbeke et al 2004).

A good diet can help prevent certain health conditions and
also contribute to better movement, more agility and
flexibility, and better mental health as you age. How you age
depends largely on your genetic makeup, but also on your
lifestyle – which includes your diet.

Which Body Changes Happen After 65?

You’ll see the changes in your skin – it becomes less elastic,
you see more lines and wrinkles. Your skin gets drier. Hair
thins. Hearing loss speeds up after the age of 55 and so does
vision loss. You continue to lose mineral content from your
bones, which is particularly problematic after 65 and can
lead to osteoporosis. You need less energy and your
metabolism slows down. You may be experiencing memory
loss but at age 65 there are things you can do to keep your
brain sharp. Your urinary system begins to change and you
may experience urinary incontinence.

Some of these changes can be managed or minimized by the
diet you choose.

Here are some of the changes you should make after the age
of 65 in order to feel healthier, more lively, and happier:





























1.
Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods at 65

As you get older you need fewer calories because you lose
lean body mass. But you still need the same level of
nutrients. The Institute of Medicine (2002) states that the
average 65-year-old male needs 2,000 calories if they are
inactive, while the average inactive woman needs 1,600.
Active men need 2,200 calories per day and women 2,000.
Get these calories from nutrient-dense foods like fruits and
vegetables, wholegrain cereals, low fat dairy, healthy fats
like olive oil, and lean meat, nuts, beans, and eggs, says the
University of Wisconsin.

2.
Eat More Protein When You Turn 65

Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass, is a normal part of
aging but you can lessen the loss and keep strength in your
muscles by eating the right amount of protein. According to
a 2012 study from the University of Nottingham in the UK,
the median rate of bone loss in people aged over 65 is
0.47% per year in men and 0.37% per year in women.

Now, here is the shocker.
Unless you do something,
sarcopenia is probably in your future.
A 1998 study from the
University
of New Mexico School of Medicine demonstrated
that 15 percent of men and an astounding
24 percent of
women aged over 65 were sarcopenic
.

Experts believe that protein helps prevent muscle loss, and a
2008 study from The University of Texas Medical Branch,
Galveston shows that moderately increasing daily protein
intake beyond 0.8 g
per kg of your body weight to 1 gram
per day
may provide a means of  "reducing the progressive
loss of muscle mass with age.”


High protein foods include lean meat and poultry, fish, nuts,
beans and lentils, tofu, hummus, milk and yogurt.

3.
Eat a Vegan, Gluten-Free Diet to Benefit Rheumatoid
Arthritis?

The National Institutes of Health says half of all people aged
65 and over suffer from arthritis.

There are different types of
arthritis, and if you suffer from
an inflammatory kind such as rheumatoid arthritis there is
evidence that a gluten-free, vegan diet can improve your
health.

A 2008 study from the Karolinska Institutet showed that this
special diet helped protect against the linked threat of
cardiovascular disease, which is common in rheumatoid
arthritis sufferers.

However, vegans tend to have lower blood levels of
Vitamin
B12 and Vitamin D, which are also essential for healthy aging
after 65.

If you switch to a vegan diet you should fill up on fruit,
vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains rather than
carbohydrates from white flour.

4.
Add Arugula to Help Prevent Osteoporosis after the Age of
65

Osteoporosis weakens bones and causes them to break more
easily. Your bones begin to weaken after the age of 40 but
at the age of 65 16.2% of adults have osteoporosis,
according to the National Institutes of Health using data
from the 2005–2010 National Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey (NHANES).

Low intake of vitamin K has been linked to a higher risk of
bone fracture, according to studies like a 2007 report from
the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Vitamin K has a crucial role in bone metabolism, has a
positive effect on bone mineral density and decreases
fracture risk.

What’s high in vitamin K? Arugula! Arugula also contains
crucial calcium so add it to your salads.

5.
Get Vitamin C to Prevent Cataracts at 65

A cataract is lens clouding in the eye that affects m
any older
people.


Over 24 percent of adults in the US aged 65 to 69 had
cataracts according to National Eye Institute research from
2010.


Studies suggest that a high intake of antioxidants like
Vitamin C, Vitamin E and carotenoids reduces the incidence
of cataracts.


A 2016 study from King's College London in the UK shows
that eating foods rich in vitamin C could cut the risk of the
disease by one third. The researchers looked at 1,000 pairs
of female twins and tracked their intake of vitamins plus
other nutrients.


After 10 years, a diet rich in vitamin C resulted in a 33
percent lower risk of cataracts.


6.
Increase Fluids but Cut Down on Coffee at 65

The National Institutes of Health says that incontinence can
happen at any age but at least one in 10 people over the age
of 65 have the problem, with women more likely than men to
suffer.


A 2013 study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham
shows that men who drink about two cups of coffee a day
are significantly more likely to have incontinence than those
who drank less.


But water intake was not linked to risk of incontinence, and
many people are advised to actually increase their water
intake if they are not drinking enough.


7.
At 65, Eat More Apples to Beat Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association expressed concern in
2016 that the prevalence of diabetes is highest in the over-
65 age group, and that many people as they age need long-
term care for diabetes.


Did you know that the humble apple could help lower your
diabetes risk?


A 2013 study from the Harvard School of Public Health
showed that people eating at least three servings of apples,
grapes, blueberries, raisins, or pears
 per day had a 7
percent lower risk of developing
Type II diabetes as they
got older. The study looked at over 187,000 people in total
from data in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS 1984-2008), the
Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II 1991-2009) and the Health
Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS 1986-2008).










































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Add more protein to your diet at age 65 to
ward off sarcopenia-related loss of muscle
mass.