Food Pyramid for elderly (Food Groups)
After the age of 2 years, the food groups are same, however with different emphasis on the nutrients for elderly. I have added two pseudo groups: Fluids and Supplements to the 2005 Food Pyramids to make a point about food intake requirements for the elderly.
Grains 6 ounce per day
Eat whole grain products. They are high in fiber, helps with digestive tract, and also contains Phytonutrients (anti oxidants).
Products made with refined flour (All Purpose flour, cake flour, pastry flour, Maida).
Whole grain Naan made with yeast
Whole grain slicing bread fortified with Calcium and vitamin D.
Vegetables: 2 to 3 cups per day
Eat dark green and other colorful vegetables. Vegetables have fiber for digestive tract and many of the anti-oxidants. Raw vegetables are good source of digestive enzymes for the elderly. Follow dark green vegetables with Red and yellow vegetables. Examples
Dark green: Spinach
Yellow: Butternut squash (Indian Kaddu)
Intake of white potatoes should be reduced.
Salad with raw spinach, tomatoes, and cauliflower. Spinach has Leutein for age related macular degeneration, and enzyme for digestive tract. Tomatoes have Lycopene to help with prostates, cauliflower has Choline for brains.
Red Ripe Tomatoes (Lycopene for prostates) Elderly should eat about 2 Tablespoons of Tomato sauce, or 2 slices of fresh tomatoes per day.
Fruits: 1½ to 2cups per day
Fruits are a good source of fiber, and many anti oxidants. Emphasize on blue or purple fruits such as Blueberries, Blackberries, Plums.
Avoid fruit juices as they have little or no fiber. Now a days, you can have orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D. This may be helpful for lactose sensitive persons.
Blueberries (for Brain cells)
Avocado. They have fats. Your fat intake allowance should be reduced by the amount of fat in the Avocado. Good for heart, digestive tract, and central nerves
Papaya (Enzyme for digestive tract)
Banana and Guava (Potassium for blood pressure)
Dairy: 3 cups per day
Consume low fat or no fat dairy products fortified with Vitamin D per day.
Whole milk or whole milk products
Dahi or Yogurt with live culture: 1 cup per day. The live culture helps with digestive tract. Most of the commercial Yogurt does not have Vitamin D, check the label. If you make Dahi at home, always use low fat milk milk fortified with vitamin D.
Low fat Vitamin D fortified milk
Meats and dried beans 5 ounce to 5½ ounce equivalent of meat
Red meats such as Lamb, Mutton, Beef, Pork
They also have fiber for digestive track and Calcium for bones. Examples are Chickpeas, Red Kidney beans, Moong beans, Black Matpe (Urad)
Nuts have fats. Your fat intake allowance should be reduced by the amount of fat in the nuts. Good for heart and brain cells, help with elastin and collagen in skin.
Almonds (Highest in Vitamin E, prevents infection, heart disease)
Walnuts (Highest in Omega 3 fatty acids)
Seeds have fats. Your fat intake allowance should be reduced by the amount of fat in the seeds. Good for heart and brain cells, help with elastin and collagen in skin.
Flax seeds top this list for their omega 3 and fiber. Flax seeds may be sprinkled over a bowl of cereal, added in Atta to Make Roti. Other are Pumpkin seeds
One hardboiled egg per day (Choline for brain foods, B Vitamins regeneration of liver tissues)
Flaxseeds: 1 Tablespoon per day
Fats and Oils About 2 Tablespoon per day
Saturated Ghee, Butter, Lard
Transfats: Vanaspati, Dalda, Hard margarine.
Eat products high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are good for eyesight, heart, brain, and digestive tract.
Canola oil followed by soybean oil. Canola oils has the best Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio, even better than the extra virgin olive oil.
Fluids: 8 Cups per day
Fluids are not stated as a separate group by USDA. Fluid intake should be about eight cups (8oz each) per day. It should include following.
Coffee or tea 2 to 3 cups per day. (Liver)
Milk (fortified with Vitamin D) or Yogurt: 2 to 3 cups per day (Bones)
Red wine: One 4oz glass per day is optional.
Vitamin D and Calcium Supplement
600 mg of Calcium and 600 IU of Vitamin D, twice a day
Omega 3 (DHA, EPA 240 mg each) or Fish Oil