What role does diet play in senior health?

A good and healthy diet has numerous
potential benefits in the health of seniors.
Heart disease, vascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes,
memory problems, osteoporosis, certain cancers, skin, hair and nail diseases,
and visual problems are examples of conditions which can be impacted by diet. 
Proteins, carbohydrates, fats,
vitamins, minerals, and water are all essential nutrients that make up most
cells and tissues in human body. Thus, these essential components need to be
provided in moderation through the diet for maintenance of good health. 
A balanced diet consisting of fruits
and vegetables, whole grains, and fiber is generally
recommended to provide these necessary nutrients. Avoidance of saturated fats
(animal fat), supplementation with minerals and vitamins, and consumption of
plenty of fluids are considered an important component of a healthy diet. 
Although the quality of food is
important, its quantity should not be overlooked. A large portion of a very
healthy diet can still lead to a high caloric intake. Moderate portion sizes to
achieve daily caloric goals of 1500 to 2000 are generally advised. Avoiding
empty calories are also important. These are foods which lack good nutritional
value but are high in calories. Examples include sodas, chips, cookies, donuts,
and alcohol.
Special dietary restrictions for
certain conditions are also important to follow. Restricted salt and fluid
intake for people with heart failure
or kidney disease, or carbohydrate controlled diet for people with diabetes are
general examples of such guidelines.

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