How Do Nutrition Needs Change Over Time?

May 12, 2022

As we age, our nutritional needs change. This can be due to many factors such as decreased activity levels, changes in hormone production, and an increase in risk for chronic diseases. 

It’s critical that we are aware of how our nutrition needs change so that we can adapt our diets to maintain a healthy lifestyle as we get older. 

In this blog post, we will discuss how our nutritional needs change over time and what steps we can take to ensure that we’re getting the nutrients our bodies need.


Why Do Nutrition Needs Change with Age?

There are a few reasons why our nutrition needs change as we age. One reason is that our activity levels tend to decrease as we get older. This means that we need fewer calories than we did when we were younger and more active.

Another reason is that our bodies produce less of certain hormones as we age, particularly testosterone and estrogen. These hormones play a role in how our bodies process food and use nutrients.

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Finally, as we age we are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. These diseases can impact how our bodies absorb and utilize nutrients.


What Are Some of the Potential Areas of Malnutrition with Older Adults?

As we age, we tend to need fewer calories but more nutrients. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy Eating Index found that although older adults have the highest quality diets compared to younger age groups, they fall short in getting enough of the following nutrients:



People lose lean muscle mass with age. That’s why eating enough protein is important, especially for older adults. 

Quality sources of protein include meats, poultry, and eggs. Other great sources of protein include:

  • Seafood
  • Dairy
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Lentils


Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 keeps the body’s blood and nerve cells healthy.

The body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases with age. On top of that, older adults often take medications that disrupt proper vitamin B12 absorption.

Eating fortified cereals for breakfast is one way to get more of this necessary vitamin in your diet.


What Do You Need to Eat More of As You Grow Old to Avoid Weight Gain?

For many, a general recommendation would be to have a diet that is high in protein and low in saturated and trans fats. Protein is the building block for maintaining and building lean muscle, which helps keep you strong and mobile.  

Cutting back on excess sugar can also help you avoid weight gain as you age while reducing your risk of developing certain types of chronic diseases.


What Are Some of the Factors That Lead to Reduced Food Intake with the Elderly?

Some of the most common reasons the senior population eats less food include:

  • Appetite decrease
  • Poor dental health
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Depression
  • Inability to shop and cook
  • Medication side effects


How Should Someone Who is, Let’s Say in Their Thirties or Forties, be Eating Compared to Someone Who’s in Their Sixties or Seventies?

Adults in their thirties are typically more active and have higher metabolisms than adults above the age of 40. As a result, they tend to be more resilient to weight while taking in more calories.  

Adults in their forties can benefit from eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat proteins, and healthy fats.

For adults in their sixties and seventies, it’s important to focus on nutrient-rich foods that are easy to digest. This includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.


Contact Lifelong Metabolic Center for More Nutrition Information

To learn more about your personal nutrition needs, contact Lifelong Metabolic Center today.


Results May Vary: Causes for being overweight or obese vary from person to person. Whether genetic or environmental, it should be noted that food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary from person to person. This means weight loss results will also vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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