Why Should Older Adults Include Dairy Products in Their Diets?

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Older adults need to eat nutritious foods to maintain good health. Dairy products should be included in daily diets. However, seniors need to avoid calories from unnecessary fat that lead to high cholesterol by choosing low-fat or fat-free cheese, milk, and yogurt. Here are a few reasons seniors should include dairy products in their diets.

Contain Calcium 

Approximately 10 million adults in the United States live with osteoporosis. Nearly twice as many more are at risk for developing the condition because they have poor bone density. Getting sufficient amounts of calcium daily helps bones remain strong. Seniors are advised to get at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day. One cup of milk or yogurt provides a third of the day’s requirement of calcium and fulfills 17 percent of an older adult’s protein needs.


Consuming plenty of calcium can keep older adults healthy and boost their quality of life. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Provide Vitamin D

Calcium needs vitamin D to keep bones healthy. When blood calcium levels drop below normal, vitamin D changes into an active form and prevents calcium from being eliminated by the intestines and the kidneys. During daylight hours, vitamin D is quickly made when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Seniors need 800 to 1,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per day. People living in northern regions where sunlight isn’t as strong must rely on dietary intake to maintain proper vitamin D levels. In this case, individuals may need up to 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day.

Offer Additional Nutrients

Along with calcium and vitamin D, dairy products provide vitamin B complex, vitamins A and E, and protein, folate, and magnesium. In addition to offering vital vitamins and minerals, dairy products have several other health benefits. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Opelika, AL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Contain Antihypertensive Properties

Scientists from Spain evaluated more than 5,000 older adults who consumed low-fat dairy products. The researchers found that more than half of the seniors had a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure. Although researchers don’t fully understand the correlation between low-fat dairy and cardiovascular health, they suspect the casein and whey proteins are the reason. It’s believed they act in a similar way to medications that lower blood pressure.

Prevent Metabolic Syndrome 

A group of Iranian scientists studied more than 800 men and women. They found that seniors who consumed the highest quantities of dairy products were less likely to have excess fat around the midsection of the body and metabolic syndrome, which can raise the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Help in Maintaining a Healthy Weight 

Researchers from the University of Alabama believe evidence exists that correlates calcium intake with body weight regulation. Dairy products contain protein and other nutrients that keep blood sugar levels normal. Seniors who make dairy foods a regular part of their daily diet are less likely to have snack cravings.

When seniors eat dairy products and other foods with important nutrients, they have a better chance of remaining healthy and independent for years to come. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Opelika seniors can depend on. To talk to one of our friendly Care Managers and create a customized senior care plan, call us at (334) 744-7100.


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