• Nutrition

The issue of nutrition has been identified by SIHA as one of the aspects that most affect the health of seniors.

For this reason, on November 22, 2014 during the European Day for Health Rights promoted by SIHA, the International Advisory Board on Nutrition was held which saw physicians and experts gathred to address the issue and develop proposals.

As a result of the Advisory Board, several recommendations for a healthy lifestyle in favour of active aging came out. In addition to the recommendations addressed directly to seniors, there are some specific recommendations to caregivers and policy makers.

Lifestyle for Active Aging

Recommendations

  • Drink 1.5 litres of water or drinks (preferably low sodium intake and high content of calcium) per day. With 1-2 daily servings of milk / yogurt that helps to ensure an adequate intake of calcium.
  • Consider the Mediterranean Diet as a reference model for nutrition even in elderly: each main meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner), must then provide for cereals (bread, pasta, rice … 4-5 servings per day), vegetables and fruits (again 4-5 servings daily, choosing seasonal products).
  • Introduce two daily servings of foods with high protein intake of higher biological value:
    • meat (twice a week red meat and four times white meat)
    • fish (3-4 times a week)
    • eggs (2-3 times a week)
    • fresh cheeses (2-3 times a week).

Alternatively it is possible to eat legumes two / three times a week combining them with cereals in the first course (for example: pasta with beans, rice with green peas, pasta with lentils, pasta with chickpeas).

  • Among the dressings it is preferable to use extra virgin olive oil, every day in the two main meals (lunch and dinner). Its use must be limited in overweight persons.
  • Simple sugars (table sugar, jam, honey, sugary candy, sweets …) and salt (foods even without added salt contain a quantity of Na -sodium- sufficient to cover the daily requirements while preserved foods – meats, cheeses, canned foods, precooked foods – contain an excess of it) should be consumed sparingly.
  • Depending on the cardio-respiratory and osteo-articular conditions, walk at least twenty minutes a day. Dancing and other recreational activities, such as hobbies in general, may be important for the conservation of a good physical condition and a high mood.