Food Pyramid Changes for Seniors

BOSTON -- The food pyramid for people older than 70 looks a bit different from that of younger adults these days. Researchers at Tufts University in Boston recently revamped the food pyramid for older adults that they developed in 1999.

The revisions occurred after the U.S. government made changes to the general Food Guide pyramid. The look of the pyramid also has changed to include more graphics and point out the importance of certain nutrients.

Because older adults are less active than younger adults, their caloric intake needs to be reduced, which means that what food they eat needs to be higher in the right nutrients, the researchers say. The new pyramid guide explains that seniors should eat more fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and high-fiber whole grains. In addition, the guide says that frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables are good alternatives to fresh fruits and vegetables for older adults who may have a hard time preparing the fresh versions.

The new pyramid also shows the importance of physical activity and offers examples, such as walking, swimming and yard work.

To view an abstract of an article in Journal of Nutrition announcing the new guidelines, click here.

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