Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados and certain nuts.
In fact, the evidence shows that monounsaturated fats have a number of health benefits.
They can help with weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease inflammation.
This article will discuss monounsaturated fats and the scientific evidence behind their advantages.

What Are Monounsaturated Fats?

There are a number of different types of fat in your diet, which vary in their chemical structure.
Unsaturated fats are those that have double bonds in their chemical structure.
Monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, are a type of unsaturated fat. “Mono,” meaning one, signifies that monounsaturated fats have only one double bond.
There are many different types of MUFAs. Oleic acid is the most common type, comprising around 90% of those found in the diet (1).
Other MUFAs include palmitoleic acid and vaccenic acid.
Many foods are high in MUFAs, but most consist of a combination of different fats. There are very few foods that contain only one type of fat.
For example, olive oil is very high in MUFAs and other types of fat.
Foods that are high in unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, are usually liquid at room temperature, whereas foods that are high in saturated fats, such as butter and coconut oil, are usually solid at room temperature.
These different fats affect health and disease differently. Monounsaturated fats, in particular, have been shown to have a number of health benefits (2).
SUMMARY:Monounsaturated fats contain one double bond in their chemical structure and may have various health benefits.

Monounsaturated Fats May Help You Lose Weight

All fats provide the same amount of energy — 9 calories per gram — while carbs and protein provide 4 calories per gram.
Therefore, reducing the amount of fat in your diet can be an effective way to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight.
However, a diet with moderate-to-high amounts of monounsaturated fats can also help with weight loss, as long as you aren’t eating more calories than you’re burning (3).
A couple of studies have shown that when calorie intake remained the same, diets high in MUFAs led to weight loss similar to that of low-fat diets (45).
For example, one study of 124 people who were overweight or obese found that eating either a high-MUFA diet (20% of total calories) or a high-carb diet for one year led to comparable weight loss of around 8.8 pounds (4 kg) (6).
A larger study that combined the results of 24 other studies showed that high-MUFA diets are slightly more effective than high-carb diets for weight loss (7).
Therefore, high-MUFA diets can be an effective way to lose weight when replacing other calories, rather than adding extra calories to the diet.
SUMMARY:High-MUFA diets can help with weight loss and may be more effective than low-fat, high-carb diets.

They May Help Reduce Risk Factors for Heart Disease

There is a big debate in nutrition about whether excessive saturated fats increase the risk of heart disease.
However, there is good evidence that increasing MUFAs in your diet can reduce risk factors for heart disease, especially if you’re replacing saturated fat.
Too much cholesterol in the blood is a risk factor for heart disease, as it can clog arteries and lead to heart attacks or stroke. Various studies have shown that a high intake of monounsaturated fats can reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides (8910).
For example, one study of 162 healthy people compared three months of a high-MUFA diet with a high-saturated fat diet to see the effects on blood cholesterol.
This study found that the diet high in saturated fat increased unhealthy LDL cholesterol by 4%, while the high-MUFA diet reduced LDL cholesterol by 5% (11).
Other smaller studies have found similar results of MUFAs reducing LDL cholesterol and also increasing “good” HDL cholesterol (121314).
High-MUFA diets can help lower blood pressure, too. A large study of 164 people with high blood pressure found that a high-MUFA diet lowered blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, compared to a high-carb diet (15).
Similar beneficial results in blood pressure have also been found in people with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (1617).
However, it is important to note that the beneficial effects of high-MUFA diets only are seen when they replace saturated fat or carbs in the diet.
Furthermore, in each of these studies, the high-MUFA diets were part of calorie-controlled diets, meaning that adding extra calories to your diet through high-MUFA foods may not have the same benefits.
SUMMARY:High-MUFA diets may help reduce blood cholesterol, blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors, particularly if they replace some saturated fats in the diet.

They May Help Reduce Cancer Risk

There is also some evidence that diets rich in MUFAs may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Prostate cancer, for example, is one of the most common types of cancer in men, especially older men.
Many studies have examined whether men who eat a good amount of MUFAs have reduced or increased rates of prostate cancer, but the evidence remains unclear.
Each of the studies examining the role of high-MUFA diets in prostate cancer has found different results. Some show a protective effect, some show no effect and others show a harmful effect (181920).
One of these studies suggested that other components of high-MUFA foods may cause the protective effect rather than the MUFAs themselves. Therefore, it is unclear how MUFAs affect prostate cancer.
High-MUFA diets have also been studied in relation to breast cancer risk (212223).
One large study of 642 women found that those with the highest amounts of oleic acid (a type of MUFA found in olive oil) in their fat tissue had the lowest rates of breast cancer (24).
However, this was only seen in women in Spain — where olive oil is widely consumed — and not in women from other countries. This suggests it may be another component of olive oil that has a protective effect.
In fact, a number of studies have examined olive oil specifically and found that people who eat more olive oil have lower rates of breast cancer (252627).
Moreover, all of these studies were observational, meaning they can’t prove cause and effect. Thus, other components of diet and lifestyle may be contributing to this beneficial effect.
SUMMARY:People with high MUFA intakes have lower rates of breast cancer. However, this may due to other components of MUFA-containing foods, rather than MUFAs themselves.

Monounsaturated Fats May Help Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin is a hormone that controls your blood sugar by moving it from the blood into your cells. The production of insulin is important for preventing high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that high-MUFA diets can improve insulin sensitivity in both those with and without high blood sugar.
One study of 162 healthy people found that eating a high-MUFA diet for three months improved insulin sensitivity by 9% (28).
A similar, separate study of 472 people with metabolic syndrome found that those who ate a high-MUFA diet for 12 weeks had significantly reduced insulin resistance (29).
Other studies have found similar beneficial effects of high-MUFA diets on insulin and blood sugar control (303132).
SUMMARY:High-MUFA diets may be beneficial for improving insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in those with and without high blood sugar.

They May Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a normal immune system process that helps your body fight infection.
But sometimes inflammation happens slowly over a long period of time, which can contribute to chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease.
Compared to other diets, such as high-saturated fat diets and Western diets, high-MUFA diets can reduce inflammation.
One study found that high-MUFA diets reduced inflammation in patients with metabolic syndrome, compared to high-saturated fat diets (33).
Other studies have shown that people who eat a Mediterranean diet high in MUFAs have significantly lower inflammatory chemicals in their blood, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) (343536).
High-MUFA diets can also reduce the expression of inflammatory genes in fat tissue compared to high-saturated fat diets. This may be one of the ways that MUFAs are helpful for weight loss (37).
By reducing inflammation, high-MUFA diets may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
SUMMARY:High-MUFA diets may help to reduce inflammation, a process that can contribute to chronic disease.

Which Foods Contain These Fats?

The best sources of MUFAs are plant-based foods, including nuts, seeds and olive oil. They can be found in meat and animal-based foods, as well.
In fact, some evidence suggests that plant-based sources of MUFAs, particularly olive oil, are more desirable than animal-based sources (38).
This may be due to the additional beneficial components in olive oil.
Here is a list of foods high in MUFAs, along with the amount found in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of the food:
  • Olive oil: 73.1 grams
  • Almonds: 33.6 grams
  • Cashews: 27.3 grams
  • Peanuts: 24.7 grams
  • Pistachios: 24.2 grams
  • Olives: 15 grams
  • Pumpkin seeds: 13.1 grams
  • Pork: 10.7 grams
  • Avocados: 9.8 grams
  • Sunflower seeds: 9.5 grams
  • Eggs: 4 grams
SUMMARY:MUFAs are found in animal- and plant-based foods. The best sources are olive oil, nuts and seeds.

The Bottom Line

Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats most commonly found in olive oil, nuts, seeds and some animal-based foods.
Diets high in monounsaturated fats can help with weight loss and may reduce risk factors for heart disease, as long as they don’t add extra calories to your diet.
Foods that contain MUFAs, especially olive oil, may also help reduce cancer risk, inflammation and insulin resistance.
Although it is also important to eat other types of fat, replacing unhealthy fats with MUFAs can provide a number of health benefits.
An evidence-based article from our experts at Authority Nutrition.

Want more stuff like this? Click here. 
Want to get more in depth on the shoulder and overhead lifting? Click here. 
Follow The Movement Fix on instagram @themovementfix

Basic Anatomy of Stretching the Pecs

This week I want to take a look at the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor aka pecs more in depth to help understand why tightness or stiffness in these muscles can create shoulder issues as well as why the stretches are they way they are.

Intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular nutrition programs around.
Unlike diets that tell you what to eat, intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat.
Limiting the hours you eat each day may help you consume fewer calories. It may also provide health benefits, including weight loss and improved heart health and blood sugar levels.
There are several forms of intermittent fasting, including a common form called time-restricted eating. This article tells you all you need to know about time-restricted eating.

What Is Time-Restricted Eating?

Intermittent fasting is a broad term that refers to multiple specific eating patterns.
Each type of intermittent fasting includes fasting periods that are longer than a normal overnight fast of 8–12 hours (1).
“Time-restricted eating,” or “time-restricted feeding,” refers to when eating is limited to a certain number of hours each day (2).
An example of time-restricted eating is if you choose to eat all your food for the day in an 8-hour period, such as from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The remaining 16 hours each day are the fasting period, during which no calories are consumed.
This same schedule would be repeated every day.
SUMMARY:Time-restricted eating is a type of intermittent fasting that limits your food intake to a certain number of hours each day.

It May Help You Eat Less

Many people eat from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed.
Switching from this style of eating to time-restricted eating may cause you to naturally eat less.
In fact, some research has shown that time-restricted eating can reduce the number of caloriesyou eat in a day (2).
One study found that when healthy adult men limited their eating to about a 10-hour window, it reduced the number of calories they ate each day by about 20% (3).
Another study reported that young men ate about 650 fewer calories per day when they limited their food intake to a 4-hour period (4).
However, other studies have shown that some people do not actually eat fewer calories during time-restricted eating (25).
If you choose high-calorie foods during your feeding period, you may end up eating a normal day’s worth of food even though you are eating for a shorter period of time.
What’s more, most studies on time-restricted eating have used diet records to measure calorie intake. Diet records rely on participants to write down what and how much they eat.
Unfortunately, diet records are not very accurate (6).
Because of this, researchers don’t know just how much time-restricted eating really changes calorie intake. Whether or not it actually decreases the amount of food eaten probably varies by individual.
SUMMARY:For some people, time-restricted eating will reduce the number of calories they eat in a day. However, if you eat higher-calorie foods, you may not end up eating less with time-restricted eating.

Health Effects of Time-Restricted Eating

Time-restricted eating may have several health benefits, including weight loss, better heart health and lower blood sugar levels.

Weight Loss

Several studies of both normal-weight and overweight people restricted eating to a window of 7–12 hours, reporting weight loss of up to 5% over 2–4 weeks (3578).
However, other studies in normal-weight people have reported no weight loss with eating windows of similar duration (29).
Whether or not you will experience weight loss with time-restricted eating probably depends on whether or not you manage to eat fewer calories within the eating period (10).
If this style of eating helps you eat fewer calories each day, it can produce weight loss over time.
If this is not the case for you, time-restricted eating may not be your best bet for weight loss.

Heart Health

Several substances in your blood can affect your risk of heart disease, and one of these important substances is cholesterol.
“Bad” LDL cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease, while “good” HDL cholesterol decreases your risk (11).
One study found that four weeks of time-restricted eating during an 8-hour window lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by over 10% in both men and women (8).
However, other research using a similar length of eating window did not show any benefits on cholesterol levels (9).
Both studies used normal-weight adults, so the inconsistent results may be due to differences in weight loss.
When participants lost weight with time-restricted eating, their cholesterol improved. When they did not lose weight, it did not improve (89).
Several studies have shown that slightly longer eating windows of 10–12 hours may also improve cholesterol.
In these studies, “bad” LDL cholesterol was reduced by up to 10–35% over four weeks in normal-weight people (1213).

Blood Sugar

The amount of glucose, or “sugar,” in your blood is important for your health. Having too much sugar in your blood can lead to diabetes and damage several parts of your body.
Overall, the effects of time-restricted eating on blood sugar are not entirely clear.
Several studies in normal-weight people have reported reductions in blood sugar of up to 30%, while a different study showed a 20% increase in blood sugar (81214).
More research is needed to decide if time-restricted eating can improve blood sugar.
SUMMARY:Some research shows that time-restricted eating may lead to weight loss, improve heart health and lower blood sugar. However, not all studies agree and more information is needed.

How to Do It

Time-restricted eating is very simple — simply choose a certain number of hours during which you will eat all your calories each day.
If you are using time-restricted eating to lose weight and improve your health, the number of hours you allow yourself to eat should be less than the number you typically allow.
For example, if you normally eat your first meal at 8 a.m. and keep eating until around 9 p.m., you eat all your food in a 13-hour window each day.
To use time-restricted eating, you would reduce this number. For example, you may want to choose to only eat during a window of 8–9 hours.
This essentially removes one or two of the meals or snacks you usually eat.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough research on time-restricted eating to know which duration of eating window is best.
However, most people use windows of 6–10 hours each day.
Because time-restricted eating focuses on when you eat rather than what you eat, it can also be combined with any type of diet, such as a low-carb diet or high-protein diet.
SUMMARY:Time-restricted eating is easy to do. You simply chose a period of time during which to eat all your calories each day. This period is usually 6–10 hours long.

Time-Restricted Eating Plus Exercise

If you exercise regularly, you may wonder how time-restricted eating will affect your workouts.
One eight-week study examined time-restricted eating in young men who followed a weight-training program.
It found that the men performing time-restricted eating were able to increase their strength just as much as the control group that ate normally (15).
A similar study in adult men who weight trained compared time-restricted eating during an 8-hour eating window to a normal eating pattern.
It found that the men eating all of their calories in an 8-hour period each day lost about 15% of their body fat, while the control group did not lose any body fat (14).
What’s more, both groups had similar improvements in strength and endurance.
Based on these studies, it appears that you can exercise and make good progress while following a time-restricted eating program.
However, research is needed in women and those performing an aerobic exercise like running or swimming.
SUMMARY:Research shows that time-restricted eating does not negatively impact your ability to exercise and get stronger.

The Bottom Line

Time-restricted eating is a dietary strategy that focuses on when you eat, rather than what you eat.
By limiting all your daily food intake to a shorter period of time, it may be possible to eat less food and lose weight.
What’s more, some research has shown that time-restricted eating may benefit heart health and blood sugar, though not all studies agree.
Time-restricted eating isn’t for everyone, but it’s a popular dietary option that you may want to try for yourself.
An evidence-based article from our experts at Authority Nutrition.

Follow The Movement Fix on instagram @themovementfix

Basic Anatomy of Stretching the Lats | Ep. 99 | Movement Fix Monday

Understanding the basic anatomy of the lats is important because it has implications on how to actually stretch the lats versus just stretch your shoulder joint or jam your shoulder joint.

The biggest thing you want to make sure you are doing when you are stretching the lats is....stretching the lats. Obviously, right?
The lats literally attach your low back to your arm. It attaches all the way down into the low back and then travels up to your arm and attaches to the front of your arm bone aka humerus.

Implications of attachment

When you turn your arm into external rotation, it tightens the lats. When you go into internal rotation, it loosens the lats.
When you round your low back, it tightens the lats and when you arch your back (extend) it will slack the lats.
When you side bend, you will either be slacking or tightening the lats. It's too hard to write which way will tighten vs slack and have it make sense, so just watch the video for that part.

Predispose the stretch

What you want to do when stretching the lats, using whatever stretching technique you want, is use both attachment ends in a way that will put the lat under tension.
For the arm, that means externally rotation your shoulder joint.
For the low back it means rounding it and side bending.

How I use it

I don't do a ton of static stretching. Stretching will improve your range of motion, no doubt, but does it actually change the way you move?
I think after stretching you need to train your movements. Here is an example.
Do you enjoy this type of post? The basic anatomy of a stretch?
Let me know if you do and I will make more videos like this one.

Eating healthy becomes especially important as you age.
That’s because aging is linked to a variety of changes, including nutrient deficiencies, decreased quality of life and poor health outcomes.
Luckily, there are things you can do to help prevent deficiencies and other age-related changes. For example, eating nutrient-rich foods and taking the appropriate supplements can help keep you healthy as you age.
This article explains how your nutritional needs change as you age, including how to address them.

How Does Aging Affect Your Nutritional Needs?

Aging is linked to a variety of changes in the body, including muscle loss, thinner skin and less stomach acid.
Some of these changes can make you prone to nutrient deficiencies, while others can affect your senses and quality of life.
For example, studies have estimated that 20% of elderly people have atrophic gastritis, a condition in which chronic inflammation has damaged the cells that produce stomach acid (1).
Low stomach acid can affect the absorption of nutrients, such as vitamin B12, calcium, iron and magnesium (12).
Another challenge of aging is a reduced need for calories. Unfortunately, this creates a nutritional dilemma. Older adults need to get just as much, if not more, of some nutrients, all while eating fewer calories.
Fortunately, eating a variety of whole foods and taking a supplement can help you meet your nutrient needs.
Another issue people may experience as they age is a reduction in their body’s ability to recognize vital senses like hunger and thirst (34).
This could make you prone to dehydration and accidental weight loss. And the older you get, the harsher these consequences may be (34).
SUMMARY:Aging is linked to muscle loss, thinner skin and reduced stomach acid. Your ability to recognize hunger and thirst may also be reduced as you age.

Needing Fewer Calories, but More Nutrients

A person’s daily calorie needs depend on their height, weight, muscle mass, activity level and several other factors.
Older adults may need fewer calories to maintain their weight, since they tend to move and exercise less and carry less muscle (5).
If you continue to eat the same number of calories per day as you did when you were younger, you could easily gain extra fat, especially around the belly area (6).
This is especially true in postmenopausal women, as the decline in estrogen levels seen during this time may promote belly fat storage (7).
However, even though older adults need fewer calories, they need just as high or even higher levels of some nutrients, compared to younger people.
This makes it very important for older people to eat a variety of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, fish and lean meats. These healthy staples can help you fight nutrient deficiencies, without expanding your waistline.
Nutrients that become especially important as you age include protein, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin B12.
SUMMARY:Older adults generally need fewer calories. However, their nutrient needs are just as high or higher than when they were younger. That’s why eating nutrient-rich, whole foods becomes extremely important.

You Can Benefit From More Protein

It’s common to lose muscle and strength as you age.
In fact, the average adult loses 3–8% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30 (8).
This loss of muscle mass and strength is known as sarcopenia.
It’s a major cause of weakness, fractures and poor health among the elderly (9).
Eating more protein could help your body maintain muscle and fight sarcopenia (10).
One study followed 2,066 elderly people over three years. It found those who ate the most protein daily lost 40% less muscle mass than people who ate the least (11).
Also, a review of 20 recent studies in elderly people found that eating more protein or taking protein supplements may slow the rate of muscle loss, increase muscle mass and help build more muscle (12).
Furthermore, combining a protein-rich diet with resistance exercise seems to be the most effective way to fight sarcopenia (13).
You can find many simple ways to increase your protein intake here.
SUMMARY:Eating a protein-rich diet could help fight sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle and strength. Research shows you may get the most benefits if you combine a protein-rich diet with resistance exercise.

You May Benefit From More Fiber

Constipation is a common health problem among the elderly.
It’s especially common in people over 65, and it’s two to three times more common in women.
That’s because people at this age tend to move less and be more likely to take medications that have constipation as a side effect (14).
Eating fiber may help relieve constipation. It passes through the gut undigested, helping form stool and promote regular bowel movements (15).
In an analysis of five studies, scientists found that dietary fiber helped stimulate bowel movements in people with constipation (16).
Additionally, a high-fiber diet may prevent diverticular disease, a condition in which small pouches form along the colon wall and become infected or inflamed. This condition is especially common among the elderly (17).
Diverticular disease is often viewed as a disease of the Western diet. It’s incredibly common, affecting up to 50% of people over age 50 in Western countries.
Conversely, diverticular disease is almost absent in populations with higher fiber intakes. For example, in Japan and Africa, diverticular disease affects less than 0.2% of people (18).
You can find a few ways to increase your fiber intake here.
SUMMARY:Bowel-related issues, including constipation and diverticular disease, can occur as you age. You can help protect yourself by increasing your fiber intake.

You Need More Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important nutrients for bone health.
Calcium helps build and maintain healthy bones, while vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium (19).
Unfortunately, older adults tend to absorb less calcium from their diets.
Human and animal studies have found that the gut tends to absorb less calcium with age (20212223).
However, the reduction in calcium absorption is likely caused by a vitamin D deficiency, since aging can make the body less efficient at producing it (2425).
Your body can make vitamin D from the cholesterol in your skin when it is exposed to sunlight. However, aging can make the skin thinner, which reduces its ability to make vitamin D (2526).
Together, these changes could prevent you from getting enough calcium and vitamin D, promoting bone loss and increasing your risk of fractures (27).
To counter aging’s effects on your vitamin D and calcium levels, it’s necessary to consume more calcium and vitamin D through foods and supplements.
A variety of foods contain calcium, including dairy products and dark green, leafy vegetables. You can find other great sources of calcium here.
Meanwhile, vitamin D is found in a variety of fish, such as salmon and herring. You can find other great sources of vitamin D here.
Older people can also benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement like cod liver oil.
SUMMARY:Calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients for maintaining optimal bone health. Your body stands to benefit from getting more calcium and vitamin D as you age.

You May Need More Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin also known as cobalamin.
It’s essential for making red blood cells and maintaining healthy brain function.
Unfortunately, studies estimate that 10–30% of people over age 50 have a reduced ability to absorb vitamin B12 from their diet.
Over time, this could cause a vitamin B12 deficiency (28).
Vitamin B12 in the diet is bound to proteins in the food you eat. Before your body can use it, stomach acid must help it separate from these food proteins.
Older people are more likely to have conditions that reduce stomach acid production, leading to less vitamin B12 absorption from foods. Atrophic gastritis is one condition that can cause this (29).
Additionally, older people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet are less likely to eat rich sources of vitamin B12, since it’s more abundant in animal foods such as eggs, fish, meat and dairy (2830).
For this reason, older people can benefit from taking a vitamin B12 supplement or consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12.
These fortified foods contain crystalline vitamin B12, which is not bound to food proteins. So people who produce less than the normal amount of stomach acid can still absorb it (31).
SUMMARY:Aging increases the risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Older adults can especially benefit from taking a vitamin B12 supplement or consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12.

Other Nutrients That May Help You as You Age

Several other nutrients may benefit you as you age, including:
  • Potassium: A higher potassium intake is associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis and heart disease, all of which are more common among the elderly (323334).
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Heart disease is the leading cause of death among the elderly. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can lower heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and triglycerides (3536).
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is an important mineral in the body. Unfortunately, elderly people are at risk of deficiency because of poor intake, medication use and age-related changes in gut function (3738).
  • Iron: Deficiency is common in elderly people. This may cause anemia, a condition in which the blood does not supply enough oxygen to the body (39).
Most of these nutrients can be obtained from a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and lean meats.
However, people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet could benefit from taking an iron or omega-3 supplement.
Although iron is found in a variety of vegetables, plant sources of iron are not absorbed as well as meat sources of iron. Omega-3 fats are mostly found in fish.
SUMMARY:Potassium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and iron are other nutrients you can benefit from as you get older.

You Are More Prone to Dehydration

Water makes up about 60% of your body (40).
It’s important to stay hydrated at any age, since your body constantly loses water, mainly through sweat and urine.
Additionally, aging can make you prone to dehydration.
Your body detects thirst through receptors found in the brain and throughout the body.
However, as you age, these receptors may become less sensitive to water changes, making it harder for them to detect thirst (441).
Additionally, your kidneys help your body conserve water, but they tend to lose function as you age (4).
Unfortunately, dehydration comes with harsh consequences for older people.
Long-term dehydration can reduce the fluid in your cells, reducing your ability to absorb medicine, worsening medical conditions and increasing fatigue (4).
That’s why it’s important to make a conscious effort to drink enough water daily.
If you find drinking water a challenge, try having one to two glasses of water with each meal. Otherwise, try carrying a water bottle as you go about your day.
SUMMARY:Drinking an adequate amount of water is important as you age, as your body may become less able to recognize the signs of dehydration.

You May Struggle to Eat Enough Food

Another troubling concern for elderly people is decreased appetite.
If this issue isn’t addressed, it can lead to unintended weight loss and nutritional deficiencies. A loss of appetite is also linked to poor health and a higher risk of death (3).
Factors that could cause older adults to have a poor appetite include changes in hormones, taste and smell, as well as changes in life circumstances.
Studies have found that older people tend to have lower levels of hunger hormones and higher levels of fullness hormones, which means they could get hungry less often and feel fuller more quickly (42434445).
In a small study with 11 elderly people and 11 young adults, researchers found that elderly participants had significantly lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelinbefore a meal (42).
Additionally, several studies have found that elderly people have higher levels of the fullness hormones cholecystokinin and leptin (434445).
Aging can also affect your sense of smell and taste, making foods seem less appealing (46).
Other factors that may cause poor appetite include tooth loss, loneliness, underlying illness and medications that can decrease appetite (3).
If you find it difficult to eat large meals, try dividing your meals into smaller portions and have them every few hours.
Otherwise, try to establish a habit of eating healthy snacks like almonds, yogurt and boiled eggs, which provide lots of nutrients and a good number of calories.
SUMMARY:It’s common for elderly people to experience reduced appetite. If this issue isn’t addressed, it can lead to weight loss, nutritional deficiencies and poor health.

The Bottom Line

Aging is linked to changes that can make you prone to deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium and several other important nutrients.
It may also reduce your ability to recognize sensations like hunger and thirst.
Luckily, you can take actions to prevent these deficiencies.
Make a conscious effort to stay on top of your water and food intake, eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods and consider taking a supplement.
All these actions can help you fight deficiencies and stay healthy as you get older.
An evidence-based article from our experts at Authority Nutrition.