The shocking reality we can no longer ignore, is that a growing number of older adults are suffering from malnutrition. According to a study, out of millions of seniors admitted to the hospital every year, one in three is malnourished upon admission. While the risk factors of elderly malnutrition include certain medical and psychological conditions, the sad reality is that one of the main reasons why a majority of seniors are lacking nourishment is that they’re on a limited income or in a state of poverty.
No matter what age you are, it can be a challenge to eat healthfully when you’re on a very limited budget, but seniors can fight hunger and malnutrition by choosing the right foods to buy, being open to trying new dishes, and knowing what foods offer the highest nutrients at low cost.
What seniors need to stay well nourished
As we age, our daily dietary needs change, and health conditions and taking certain medications may cause us to lose our appetite. To improve elderly nutrition, seniors need to consume foods rich in Vitamin D, eat vitamin and mineral-rich fruits and vegetables, avoid too much salt, sugar, and fats, and drink more liquids as much as they can.
However, eating healthfully may be difficult for seniors on a fixed or limited income as a new research by the Harvard School of Public Health reveals that the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than unhealthy diets. As a result, more seniors are choosing to go for unhealthy food just to get by. But if you care about your health and having a better quality of life, know that there are simple things you can do to eat healthfully. Here are ways seniors can stay well-nourished on a very limited budget.
Buy the most nutritious foods that you can afford
It is a fact that healthy food is expensive, but not everything will put a dent in your wallet. Seniors should make it a habit to buy milk, eggs, beans, carrots, cabbage, rice, potatoes, and citrus juice as these items are inexpensive, nutritious, and versatile as these can be cooked in a number of ways.
Try cheaper cuts of meat
Boneless chicken breasts are expensive, but there are other cuts of meat that taste great and won’t ruin your budget. Older adults can look for cheaper cuts such as pork belly, shin of beef, and whole chickens to make stews or soups. Cook these meats in a Crock-pot, which can make them soft, tender, and juicy.
Ask for discounts
Don’t be shy about asking for senior discounts. Ask your grocery store if they accept a senior discount, and do the same when you’re eating out. On top of getting a lower price for your food, you may be able to get coupons as well for your next visit.
Use your coupons
Save all your coupons and spend a few hours separating the ones you’ll use from the ones that you don’t need. Bring your coupons with you the next time you’ll buy food at the grocery.
Sign up for food assistance programs
Find out if your community provides food assistance programs for the elderly and sign up. Some programs give seniors access to fresh produce and perishables weekly, while others deliver cooked food right to your doorstep.
These are just a few ways that seniors on a limited budget can cope with the costs of eating healthfully. By making the right food choices, being open to trying new food, and getting a little help, older adults can combat malnutrition and have a better quality of life.