5 Types of diet related chronic diseases in elderly


1. Chronic diseases in elderly

As we grow old, our bodies become vulnerable to developing several chronic diseases. Conditions like diabetes, hypertension and even cancer have become so common that almost all of us know someone or the other who is suffering from one of these diseases. Interestingly, most chronic diseases are a result of poor or imbalanced diet. While maintaining a nutritious dietary habit is a challenge in today’s life, coping with diet related chronic ailments can get even more challenging in the later years. Hence, it is better to know more about these conditions and work on the diet.

2. Hypertension

It is a condition in which the force of the blood rises too high against the arterial walls and body experiences a shooting blood pressure. People who consume excessive salt and sodium in food are at a higher risk of developing hypertension, which may lead to conditions like heart failure and strokes. Excess sugar, especially in sugar-sweetened drinks can also add to the condition. Including fruits, vegetables and fibers in your daily diet can reduce the risk of developing hypertension.

3. Diabetes

When the sugar in blood does not get utilized to form energy from the food, the condition is called Diabetes. Diabetes is of two types: Type 1 and Type 2, of which, elderly are most prone to develop Type 2, which happens due to resistance of insulin in their bodies. Consuming food items rich in sugar like sweetened drinks, biscuits, jelly, jam and direct sugar have straight impact on sugar levels. Also eating excessive carbohydrate rich diet like rice, ghee, breads, fried food, etc. can also add to the condition. It is best to replace high sugar and carbohydrate diet with salad, fruits and green vegetables. A balanced diet can help elderly to maintain their sugar levels in normal ranges.

4. Heart Failure

When the heart stops functioning properly, i.e. stops pumping the blood normally, the oxygen that refreshes the heart gets cut off and the heart muscles feel lifeless, the condition is called a heart failure. People aged above 65 years are prone to develop heart diseases if their dietary habits are not healthy. Excess sugar, coffee, fried food, alcohol is said to increase the risk of developing a heart disease, while including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low fat dairy products, nuts and fish in food can reduce the chances of heart ailments.

5. Cancer

Imbalanced diet has been recognized as a risk factor for cancer as weight increasing diet can cause obesity, which has been termed as the second biggest preventable cause after smoking for cancer. Unhealthy diet can cause stomach, lung, mouth, throat, larynx and bowel cancer. Excessive consumption of sugar, wheat, sweetened juices, hydrogenated or vegetable oils, canned food, fried food and alcohol can result in impacting weight and subsequently cause malignancies. However, balanced intake of any food is not harmful. Green vegetables, fruits and non-starchy food can reduce the risk of cancers.

6. Osteoporosis

It is a condition where bones become weak, brittle and porous due to poor bone tissue renewal process. Calcium intake can make bone strong and educe the risk of osteoporosis. People who do not consume calcium in the form of milk, cheese, dairy products, leafy vegetables, soya beans, nuts and fish can develop this condition. Adequate intake of these food items can help reduce the risk.

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