Macronutrient requirements in older adults

  • Carbohydrates: Older adults are advised to eat one portion of starchy foods such as pasta, rice, bread and cereals at each meal. Older adults should opt for whole grain starchy foods.
  • In addition, they are recommended to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day to get adequate dietary fibre intake. Adequate dietary fibre intake (30g/d) can help relieve constipation and reduce the risk of other chronic diseases.
  • Protein: Due to changes in body function, older adults may have higher protein requirements to maintain or minimise muscle mass loss. Older adults are recommended to have a portion of lean meat such as poultry, fish, eggs, dairy or legumes with each meal. It is also recommended to have at least 2 portions of fish per week of which one portion of oily fish and no more than four portions of oily fish per week.
  • Fat: Older adults are advised to reduce foods high in saturated fat such as butter, high-fat and processed meat, high-fat dairy and pastries. In cooking and salads, it is recommended to swap butter with plant-based and vegetables oils.