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Should Aging Adults Avoid Milk?

By , 9:00 am on

With all the information floating around on the Internet, it can be difficult to tell if something is healthy or not. While plenty of doctors recommend milk as part of a healthy diet for seniors, there are also several diets that encourage seniors to avoid milk altogether. Here is the truth about whether milk is bad for seniors.

Milk Is an Excellent Protein Source

A single cup of milk provides almost one-fifth of the protein seniors need each day. Milk is an excellent source of proteins needed to build healthy skin, hair, and muscle cells throughout the body. Milk’s relatively high protein content is a good way for seniors to increase the amount of protein in the diet without having to eat more meat.

Dairy Provides Much-Needed Calcium

One of the main reasons dairy is often recommended for seniors is its high calcium content. A typical serving of dairy has 276 milligrams of calcium, and seniors need 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. Seniors need this much calcium because it’s important for keeping the bones healthy. Without proper calcium intake, seniors may develop osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become brittle and break easily.

Many seniors who already live with severe osteoporosis need a caregiver close by at all times because of the high risk of broken bones. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Winnipeg live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Saturated Fat Levels May Cause Some Concerns

Milk does contain helpful nutrients, but not everything in it is beneficial. Milk also has a high amount of saturated fat, a type of fat found in many animal-based products that leads to increased cholesterol levels. These heightened cholesterol levels may block arteries and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. 

If your loved one has a health condition such as high cholesterol or heart disease, a healthy diet is especially important, and a trained professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of nutritional information and dietary support. In Winnipeg, elder care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Some Seniors May Not Be Able to Digest Milk

Developing a lactose intolerance is a fairly common issue among seniors. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk, and people who aren’t able to digest it often experience bloating, diarrhea, stomach cramps, belching, and flatulence. Some people who have been drinking milk for years without an issue may not realize milk is the cause of their sudden gastrointestinal upset. Challenges with digesting milk can keep seniors from properly absorbing calcium and other nutrients.

It Depends on the Individual

As you can see, there are several benefits to drinking milk, but it can come with some downsides. Whether or not milk is healthy depends on each senior’s unique health needs. Even though many nutrients are found in milk, some seniors may not want to drink it because it makes them feel sick and bloated. Like any other food item, it’s important for seniors who want to drink milk to take a balanced approach. Seniors should avoid excessive consumption and limit it to a glass or two a day.

If you’re concerned about elements of your loved one’s diet such as the health risks of drinking milk, consider bringing in a trained caregiver who can choose healthy alternatives to dairy products and prepare nutritious meals that provide the calcium, protein, and other nutrients seniors need. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Winnipeg Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (204) 489 6000.