Healthy Aging

Today’s Specialty Diets: Safe for Seniors?

Jackie Walker Gibson and Kelly Smith Killian
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Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan diets—many people swear by their benefits. But for older adults, the best diet plans are the ones that allow you to watch your weight while getting vital nutrients you need as you age. Here are four health trends to know about.

Your body is changing these days. Maybe you find yourself taking calcium supplements to slow bone loss. Your metabolism is decreasing so it no longer becomes necessary to eat large meals to fuel your body. Your body is having a harder time absorbing crucial nutrients like vitamin D and vitamin B-12.

As your body changes, so must your diet.

Today approximately 5 percent of Americans say they never eat meat, fish, seafood or poultry. Some eliminate certain foods for weight loss or health improvement, while others might cut meat from their diet to take a stand against cruelty to animals. The result can be positive: In a 2013 study of 70,000 participants, researchers found that vegetarians had a 12 percent lower risk of death compared with non-vegetarians. But cutting foods with essential nutrients may be risky.

View this infographic to learn the differences among today's top health trends: gluten-free, juicing, vegetarianism and veganism. Print the infographic and keep it handy so you can heed the warnings if you start a diet. 

This inforgraphic explains dietary changes as we get older
Publication Date: September 10, 2013