Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church

St. George, UT


Brown Bag Lunch - Senior Nutrition

On February 27, 2013, Christy Benton, a Registered Dietitian from Dixie Regional Hospital, presented Keys to Successful Aging.

She told us that the human body has a need for over 40 nutrients for life. Calorie needs change as we mature and slow down but we still need all of the nutrients. She explained the Pyramid food guide for older adults. Half of the calories we use are needed for energy. Her pyramid has a suggested base of eight or more servings of water or other liquids. Above this is six or more servings of whole enriched and fortified grains and cereals. She stated that whole grain doesn’t equal  fiber so that you have to look for it in fruit and vegetables, the next step in the pyramid, suggesting three servings of vegetables and two or more fruits. She likes to see seniors consume 4½ cups per day of fruits and veggies. You can also get your fruits and veggies in things like V-8 or juices. Above the fruits and vegetables is meat and dairy of which she likes to see three ounces of meat twice a day. She said that you can lose muscle if you consume less. She suggests three servings of dairy.

Proper nutrition should be combined with weight lifting and walking or other physical activities.

Supplements

Christy suggested a generic multivitamin for insurance if you think that you are not eating a balanced diet. She stated that multi-vitamins won’t prevent disease. If your MD feels that you are not absorbing B-12 as you age this is a possible supplement. She also recommends taking Vitamin D if you are not consuming dairy products or getting 10 minutes of sun per day without sun screen. She recommends calcium if you are not getting it through food. She suggests 500 mg three times a day. She prefers Calcium Citrate as it is the easiest to digest.

You can listen to an audio recording of Christy's presentation here.