The Key To Ageing Well? Eat Better Food
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Making simple dietary changes could be the key to ageing healthily, according to University of Sydney research.
The University’s Nutrition For Healthy Living Coordinator Dr Rosilene Waern, told ECU “Ageing is linked to a decline in appetite, which leads to lower dietary intake. This then places the individual at risk of not meeting nutritional requirements, particularly if food choices are poor.”
The University will begin a new trial in April to further develop this research, focusing on metabolic and gut health, physical performance and mobility, and immune system functions.
Government-sponsored health service, Healthdirect, advises it’s important to eat a healthy balanced diet filled with fruit and vegetables, carbohydrates, dairy, red and white meats, two portions of fish a week and small amounts of fat and sugar.
In WA, various cafes and food companies are working to provide healthier food options for customers, implementing the latest research.
Nikki Heyder, owner of Nood Café and a nutritional counsellor and wellness coach, told ECU Daily, “I feel elderly and younger generations are eating way too much-processed foods at the moment.
“This is linked to poor health, increased bodily inflammation, congestion and in some people, it can heighten existing auto-immune conditions, as well as affect the biodiversity of our microbiome.”
Header said she started her meal delivery program as a way of changing bad eating habits.
“It is important people receive a well-balanced diet full off all the essential nutrients for healthy body functioning. Meal planning is full of a healthy, whole foods approach to eating”.
Heyder is looking forward to seeing the trial discover the benefits of a meal plan.
Header said her business would be open to creating meal plans tailored to older customers. “We have a lady doing our home delivery program who is in her 80s and her feedback after four weeks has been that she felt ‘healthier and more energised’. If I could make more elderly people feel this way I would be pretty happy”.
Dr. Amanda Devine, Professor of Public Health Nutrition at Edith Cowan University, told ECU Daily it was of concern when elderly people, with diminished appetites only ate a portion of a standard meal, “as they might not get the right amount of nutrients.”
She said a delivery service with defined portions of healthy, well balanced meals “would be a great thing.”
One option “could be sending people into homes to cook for them and that way we are monitoring what they eat while also adding an interactive side to the process.”
The University of Sydney trial begins in April, however the program will be accepting participants for the next 12 months.
For more information on the Sydney research email [email protected] or phone 02 8627 0778.