Which Diet for Seniors Is Better: Nutritional Supplements, or Natural Foods?

Which Diet for Seniors Is Better: Nutritional Supplements, or Natural Foods?
diet for seniors

Find the information you need to choose the best diet for seniors.

Determining the best diet for seniors can be challenging. With the many factors that impact an older adult’s ability to maintain a healthy diet, it’s important to know how to obtain the most nutritional punch for the foods your older loved ones are willing or able to consume.

Nutritional supplements, such as Boost and Ensure, are often recommended for the elderly, in order to ensure necessary vitamins and minerals are consumed each day, but many people wonder how these drinks stack up to real, natural foods. We decided to find out!

We first looked at two healthy food options that are easy, convenient, and low in cost for seniors to enjoy for breakfast or a snack: low-fat yogurt, and an orange. Together, these foods offer the following nutritional value:

  • 206 calories
  • 31g of carbohydrates
  • 12g of protein
  • 3.5g of fat
  • 467g of calcium
  • 3g of fiber
  • 71mg of vitamin C

We then looked at three common nutritional supplements: Boost, Ensure, and Carnation Instant Breakfast Essentials. Here’s how they stacked up:

Boost (8 oz.):

  • 240 calories
  • 41g of carbohydrates
  • 10g of protein
  • 4g of fat
  • 300g of calcium
  • 0g of fiber
  • 60mg of vitamin C

Ensure (8 oz.):

  • 250 calories
  • 40g of carbohydrates
  • 9g of protein
  • 6g of fat
  • 300g of calcium
  • <1g of fiber
  • 30g of vitamin C

Carnation Instant Breakfast Ready-to-Drink (10 oz.):

  • 200 calories
  • 37g of carbohydrates
  • 12g of protein
  • 3g of fat
  • 500g of calcium
  • 0g of fiber
  • 30mg of vitamin C

Not only are the orange and low-fat yogurt the winners in nutritional value, but they’re the most cost-effective option, and in a taste test, the top preference over all of the supplemental beverages.

Of course, nutritional supplement drinks certainly offer relatively well-balanced nutrition for older adults who struggle to maintain a recommended daily calorie intake, and recommendations from a senior loved one’s physician should absolutely be followed.

For assistance with ensuring the older adults you love are provided with healthy meal options, and for a friendly companion to make mealtime more pleasant and engaging, contact Hired Hands Homecare, the experts in home care in San Ramon & nearby areas.  We love nothing more than helping the seniors in our community achieve maximum health and happiness in their lives, and are here with as much or as little care support as needed. Call us at (866) 940-4343 to find out if our services are available in your area, and to request a free in-home consultation.

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