Nutritional Drinks for Seniors

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Seniors use nutritional drinks as a supplement to a healthy diet plan. Seniors frequently suffer from conditions that make eating foods more difficult. Taste in foods may also hold seniors back from proper eating habits. Nutritional drinks may fill this gap and provide some of the nutrients the seniors no longer get from food.

Facts

  • There are many nutritional drink supplements on the market today. Check the ingredients by reading the label to make sure the supplement is supplying needed nutrients. The label lists ingredients from the largest amount to the smallest amount so you can see at a glance the product's nutritional value. Also, check the daily-recommended allowance box to see how many vitamins and minerals there are in the drink and what percentage they make up on a daily diet. These are the most important factors in deciding which nutritional drink will benefit the senior most.

Significance

  • As people age they may begin to lose their taste for food. Eating often is a chore that they do to stay alive, not because they enjoy it. In addition, as the body ages, many foods that once gave pleasure to the person are now difficult to digest. This may result in heartburn or issues with constipation or diarrhea, causing the person not to want to eat many foods that are good for him such as fruits and vegetables. Drinking a nutritional supplement can help the senior reach his daily minimum requirements for fruit and vegetable intake without having to consume the foods that cause pain to him.

Misconceptions

  • The manufacturers tout nutritional drinks as meal replacements. However, since they do not contain all of the vitamins and minerals that healthy meals contain they should be considered supplements to meals. Seniors should follow a healthy guide to eating, which, according to the Diet Channel includes at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, 6-11 servings of grain products and two to three protein servings per day.

Benefits

  • Nutritional drinks are easy for the senior to consume. Since they are liquid, there is no chewing required. Chewing may be difficult, especially for seniors who have false teeth. According to the Diet Channel, which did a study on several nutritional drinks, the average calorie count is around 250 calories or less per serving. Even if the senior has two drinks per day he is not likely to exceed his maximum calorie count for the day as long as he follows a sensible diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, fish and lean meat. Nutritional drinks taste good so seniors are more likely to continue using this alternative because they like the taste.

Warning

  • One should not use nutritional drinks as a main source of food for seniors. Seniors should still try to eat a balanced diet so that they gets their main vitamin and mineral support from foods. However, adding one or two nutritional drinks to a senior's diet per day may help him get necessary vitamins and minerals he is no longer getting from his food supply. Just make sure to count the nutritional drink calories and add them into the diet plan for the day so the senior does not ingest too many calories per day.

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