What are healthy nutrition guidelines for seniors? How do they differ from nutrition guidelines in younger years?

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Elaine Scott discusses geriatric health concerns. Click play to watch the video or read the video transcript.



As you age, nutrition makes an important difference in your health and how you feel.

Everyone – young or old – should eat to energize their bodies to function well throughout each day. But for seniors, it’s especially important to concentrate on eating nutrient-dense, colorful fruits and vegetables and low-fat, high-protein foods. This will help you get essential vitamins and nutrients without adding extra weight.

Nutrition Guidelines for Seniors

Here are some important nutrition tips to keep in mind as you age:

  • Eat nutrient-dense foods
  • Eat a variety of dairy products
  • Eat some protein foods daily
  • Vary protein choices among not only meats, but also beans and tofu
  • Eat healthful fats (for example canola oil, olive oil, avocado)
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water

Caloric Recommendations

Caloric intake recommendations change as people age, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Here are recommendations for adults older than 50 who are moderately active:

Women Age 50+ (moderately active)
1,800 calories/day

Men Age 50+ (moderately active)
2,200 to 2,400 calories a day


Older adults should limit sodium intake to about two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt a day.

This helps keep your blood pressure under control. Healthy blood pressure lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and kidney disease.

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