Anti aging guide

A Balanced Diet



How can enjoy the food and get a balanced diet especially in time of illness?

Recommended ingredients for a balanced daily diet would include:

  • one pint (500 ml) milk, skimmed if obesity is a problem;
  • one item of fresh fruit daily;
  • one egg daily, or one portion of meat, fish, or cheese;
  • one portion of fresh vegetables.

These items can be used in any way; for example milk for drinking or cooking. Similarly the egg may be used in cooking or eaten on its own. Additional foods should also be taken and the above list is just a recommended minimum. It is useful to remember that some commonplace foods are fortified with vitamins, for example vitamin C in dehydrated potatoes, and vitamin D in margarine. Frozen foods have the same nutrient values as fresh, but overcooking always destroys the vitamins. Prepared foods tend to deteriorate with storing, except when frozen. Many of the items on the recommended list may be available on the doorstep from the milkman (he may also carry fresh fruit juice, a good source of vitamin C). It is important that a stock of emergency rations-for example, frozen, dried, and tinned foods-should be kept. These may be needed if bad weather conditions, transport failure, or illness make it impossible to get out to the shops.

People who enjoy good health usually enjoy their food. Failure of appetite may well be an indication that something is wrong and a doctor should be consulted.

Special dietary problems and needs are likely to arise in times of ill-health. During a brief illness, the first essential is the maintenance of a good fluid intake, as the normal thirst mechanism seems to be reduced in the elderly and dehydration is likely to occur. But so long as small and frequent drinks are taken, the complications of dehydration can be avoided. The drinks should preferably contain some calorific value, the addition of glucose being the simplest method. In a more prolonged illness it is necessary to add further nutrients to such a liquid diet. Commercially prepared compounds such as Complan are readily available, and a mixture of milk, eggs, and sugar also provide a nutritious liquid diet.

On these modified diets, attention must be paid to the patient’s bowels. When only fluids are taken there is a risk of constipation; and feeds thickened with dairy products and sugars can cause diarrhoea. The ill patient is likely to find the usual bulking foods unacceptable, and Fybogel, Celevac, or Isogel may provide easier alternatives.

Specific illnesses require special diets and advice from a dietitian is needed. Diabetics, for example, must have a controlled amount of carbohydrate and a limited fat intake. Patients with renal failure should have their protein intake restricted. In cases of pancreatic disease, a low-fat diet is desirable. In wasting, malignant disease and chronic infections, extra protein supplements are beneficial. In all cases, attractively presented food and the provision of favorite dishes is the most pleasant way of encouraging a flagging appetite.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - May 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm