As we age, our bodies needs change and demand vital nutrients in order to enable us to continue to feel our best. However, as our levels of activity decrease, so do our caloric needs. For this reason, a balanced, plant-based diet can be ideal for the elderly.
While a plant-based diet is nutritious at all times of life, a vegan diet can be essential in providing the vitamins and minerals that ageing bodies need such as vitamin C, folate, riboflavin, vitamin D, iron, potassium and fibre. Additionally, a well-balanced plant-based diet can prevent obesity and decrease the risk of disease.
What is a Plant-Based Diet?
There’s different levels of following a plant-based diet, and for the elderly, a variety of them could be ideal depending on pre-existing diet and medical conditions.
A flexitarian is a part-time vegetarian. This type of diet incorporates a reduced meat intake. Although animal products aren’t eliminated entirely, this type of diet could be ideal for elderly adults looking to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets without having to give up animals products all at once.
A lacto-ovo vegetarian is a non-meat eater who still enjoys eggs and all dairy products including cow’s milk, cheese and yoghurt. This diet could be appropriate for someone who is ready to eliminate meat consumption altogether, but still wants to enjoy some animal products – ideal for those with pre-existing conditions that require a high calcium intake.
A lacto vegetarian diet eliminates meat and eggs, but still allows for the consumption of dairy products such as cow’s milk, cheese and yoghurt.
A plant-based diet consists of abstaining from all animal products or by-products. This includes complete abstinence from meat, eggs and all dairy products. This type of diet is ideal for someone passionate about health and ready to make a serious change to their diet.
Veganism is most often seen as a lifestyle. This not only includes complete abstinence from all animal products and by-products like in a plant-based diet, but vegans often also refrain from using other non-edible animal products such as leather. Veganism is perfect for all animal lovers who are passionate about preventing animal cruelty and defending animal rights.
Whether you’ve been a meat eater all your life and are curious about a plant-based diet, or are a natural flexitarian looking to take the plunge into a healthier diet, Canwick House Residential Care Home is happy to help our clients in their journey towards a healthier, more nutritious lifestyle.