Optimal nutrition to support each stage of life is essential, and healthy aging is no exception. As we grow older, there are some key nutrients that need special attention1. These include calcium, vitamin D, your B vitamins and iron (to name a few)1. More often than not, with decreasing food intake, these key nutrients are lacking in our diets2.

If your diet is low in vitamins or minerals, your immune system could be weakened making you more susceptible to the common cold or flu3. You may also be an increased risk of falling or sustaining a fracture from a fall3. You might also feel like your mood is lower, your memory not as sharp, and you just don’t have the energy for doing things like you used to3. The way you choose to nourish your body can either support or potentially hinder healthy aging3. Registered dietitians (RDs) are a key resource available to help ensure that what you eat is supporting optimal aging. Why should you consider seeing a dietitian? These are just a few notable reasons:

A trusted source for nutrition guidance

Registered dietitians have a Bachelor of Science degree in foods and nutrition from a university program that is accredited by Dietitians of Canada. After university, RDs must then complete a master’s degree and/or a supervised internship before taking a licensing exam to be able to call themselves a registered dietitian (RD)4. As regulated health professionals, RDs are withheld to the highest standards of care to ensure they provide safe, ethical and competent nutrition advice4.  When working with an RD, you can feel confident that they are providing you with sound advice that is backed by scientific evidence, rather than hype from media.

An understanding that one size does not fit all

We know that a “one size fits all” approach to nutrition doesn’t work because each person is unique. RDs will tailor a nutrition care plan that works for an individual’s specific health needs, lifestyle, and food preferences. They provide clients with support and motivation to help guide you through your nutrition journey at their own pace. Aging adults are a unique population – some things we would take into consideration would be decreasing appetite (with increasing need for certain nutrients), slower digestion, multiple medications, and taste changes2. RDs take these things, and other information, into consideration when working with clients to help them achieve your nutrition goals.

A thorough knowledge of food

Not only do RD’s love food but we know how it works in your body and how different components of food work synergistically to promote overall health and wellbeing. We also are aware that food can be overwhelming. We have the skills to translate the complicated nutrition science into an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide that empowers you to know how to make healthier food choices4. RDs don’t simply tell you what to eat. They educate and provide the tools needed to make healthy, delicious, and most importantly, nutritious meals.

If you are looking for help to support healthy bones, boost your energy, or simply optimize your overall nutrition, your Shopper’s Drug Mart and Wellwise registered dietitians are available for personalized nutrition advice tailored to your health needs. For more information, visit shoppersdrugmart.ca/dietitians or wellwise.ca/dietitians to book an appointment today.

 

Jemma Besson is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator who works for Shoppers Drug Mart®.

The information provided is for personal use, reference and education only and is not intended to be a substitute for a Physician’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific information on personal health matters. Please note: Dietitian services are currently only available in select Ontario stores. Please contact your store to learn more. ®/TM 911979 Alberta Ltd. ©2019 Shoppers Drug Mart Inc

References

(1) Unlock Food (2019). Older Adults Eating Well. Retrieved from http://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Seniors-nutrition/Older-Adults-Eating-Well.aspx

(2) Today’s Dietitian (2012). Optimize Whole-Body Nutrition for Healthful Aging — Experts Say a Nutrient-Dense Diet Plus Physical Activity Will Help Clients Stay Younger Longer. Retrieved from https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/030612p32.shtml

(3) British Journal of Community Nursing (2018). Nutritional Considerations in Older Adults. Retrieved from https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/pdf/10.12968/bjcn.2018.23.9.449

(4) Dietitians of Canada (2018). Is there a difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist? Retrieved from: https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Find-A-Dietitian/Difference-Between-Dietitian-and-Nutritionist.aspx?ref=ql