Diet & Nutrition

Recently Answered

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    AHayden M. Pasco, MD, Family Medicine, answered on behalf of Chippenham Hospital - HCA Virginia
    We eat a lot of processed foods because they are convenient, and often simple modifications can not only improve your family's diet, but prevent more serious diseases later in life. A strategy for healthier grocery shopping is to focus on the outer sections of the store, where the fresh produce and foods are usually based. Stay away from the inner aisles, which feature processed foods. Make cooking healthy meals part of the family routine. There are many online resources for recipes that feature fresh, whole foods and ways to eat well without breaking the budget.
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    ALucette Talamas, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    It’s important to eat fruits and vegetables every day. If unable to buy fresh, other options to keep in your pantry include:
    • Fruits packaged in juice, instead of syrups. The important thing is to eat the fruit, not necessarily drink the juice.
    • Dried fruit Check ingredient list to make sure it contains no added sugar. Follow serving size listed on package to keep calories in check.
    • Canned vegetables Choose “no salt added”, “Reduced sodium, or “low sodium”
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    AKaryn Purvis, PhD, Psychology, answered
    How can my child overcome deficits resulting from malnutrition?
    Malnutrition when a child is in utero, an infant or a toddler can cause lifelong health problems, says Karyn Purvis, Phd, founder and director of the TCU Institute of Child Development. Watch her tips on how to overcome it.
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    ALionel Bissoon, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
    Oysters are rich in zinc. This mineral blocks the aromatase enzyme, which keeps estrogen levels low and testosterone high. While alcohol can stimulate the production of the enzyme in the liver and induce lipogenesis (fat production), zinc will counteract belly fat.
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    AElissa Epel, PhD, MS, Integrative Medicine, answered
    How can mindfulness make us eat healthier?

    Mindfulness allows you to focus on what and how you're eating instead of on other things like stress, says Elissa Epel, PhD, a stress and obesity expert at the University of California, San Francisco. In this video, she explains.

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    AUCLA Health answered
    There are a number of questions that can help you to determine your dietary needs as you grow older:
    • What is your ideal body weight, and what steps will help achieve it?
    • Are there medical conditions that could benefit from more attention to nutrition?
    • Are medications, drug or alcohol use affecting nutrition?
    • Would additional testing be useful to diagnose nutritional deficiencies?
    You might want to go to a dietitian or nutritionist to get more detailed advice on your dietary needs.
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    AUCLA Health answered
    Dietary changes are critical to successfully manage many common medical conditions, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. That’s true whether you are young or old. In the elderly, however, social isolation, alcoholism and dementia are common causes of malnutrition and require nutritional intervention as part of treatment.
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    AUCLA Health answered
    We need to eat less to maintain a healthy body weight as we age. With the drop comes a reduction in micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining good health. That’s why weight loss and certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common in the elderly.
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    AUCLA Health answered
    Aging is often accompanied by a decrease in physical activity and a loss of muscle mass, leading to a drop in calorie requirements. We need to eat less to maintain a healthy body weight.
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    AUCLA Health answered
    Maintaining good nutrition in later life can be challenging because aging leads to loss of organ function and impaired internal balance -- what is called “homeostasis.” Some diseases and environmental factors also can increase nutritional risks for older adults.

    While most general advice on diet and nutrition holds true as we age, specific recommendations geared to older adults’ particular needs become increasingly important. Advice on diet and nutrition must also take their personal preferences into account.

    Age-related changes in taste and smell can influence food choices as well. And, of course, ease of preparation affects what older people may choose to eat. Consequently, more attention to food choices is vitally important to ensure a healthy diet containing all of the necessary nutrients.