Nutrition services

Find out who supports nutrition services for healthier YOU.

(The dish of the day) Why do nutritional recommendations change with age? Aging is a complex process that alters the absorption and use of nutrients and therefore nutritional needs change.

This March, Davis County Senior Services joins the Administration for Community Living and senior nutrition service providers across the country in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Seniors Nutrition Program!

As people live longer, aging has evolved into more than disease management, but rather into healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. For many seniors, maintaining their independence and quality of life is important. Nutrition plays a role in ALL of this.

  • In order to maintain quality of life, it is important to maintain muscle mass.
    • Strong muscles need adequate protein and as we age protein needs to increase.
      • Retaining muscle mass helps maintain the ability to perform activities of daily living such as dressing, driving, shopping and cooking. Good muscle mass also helps reduce the risk of falling.
      • High protein foods are low fat meats like poultry and fish, eggs, legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds.
  • Calcium requirements also increase.
    • Strong bones need enough calcium.
      • Adequate calcium is linked to a reduced risk of osteoporosis; as well as other conditions such as colon cancer and hypertension.
      • Calcium-rich foods include low-fat dairy products, fortified plant-based milks such as soy, oats, and almond, and low-oxalate leafy greens (kale, collard greens, mustard greens and arugula), tofu and legumes.

People often ask if there is a vegetable milk to choose from. You’ll want to look for the calcium content and the highest in protein. Soy is most comparable in these nutrients to cow’s milk.

  • A strong gut microbiome is important for a healthy immune system, and fiber is essential.
    • Fiber also lowers the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
    • Motility can decline with age and fibers keep things moving
  • The needs do not increase, but most older people do not meet the daily requirement of 21 to 30 grams per day.
    • High-fiber foods include whole plant foods that are minimally processed. Fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread/cereals, legumes, peas, lentils.
    • Eating a variety is key to a strong gut microbiome.

For older adults, it is important to consume an adequate intake of calcium, healthy proteins and fiber-rich foods to maintain and strengthen muscles, bones and the gut microbiome.

For more information, you visit the Davis County Health Department or the U of U Health Nutrition Services.