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Eating As You Age: Four Foods You Need to Be Careful of in Your Riper Years

Mar 20 2019

By Lizzie Weakley

Often, many elderly people have difficulties when it comes to eating. They may not be able to enjoy all of the foods they once loved. It is important that older adults and their caretakers properly educate themselves about the issues they may face when it comes to their eating. The following information provides a closer look at four of the most common foods you need to be careful consuming in your older age.

Undercooked Foods

The elderly are at an increased risk of complications from eating undercooked foods, such as eggs, poultry and meat. Food poisoning is also common with other foods, such as vegetables and leafy greens that haven’t been cooked because they may contain Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli. Food poisoning can lead to sepsis, and while anyone can develop this condition, the elderly are more at risk of foodborne illness when consuming undercooked foods.

Raw Seafood

Raw seafood presents similar dangers to eating undercooked foods. It can contain harmful bacteria and viruses, as well as parasites. It can be difficult for the body of a older adult to recover from such conditions. Therefore, it may be best to avoid consuming raw seafood to ensure good health.


Many elderly people also take various medications, such as pills for high blood pressure. Often, these medications are not safe to take if you consume grapefruits, because they can intensify the effects. Therefore, it can be helpful to carefully read your medication labels, speak to your doctor and pharmacist or simply avoid grapefruits in order to err on the side of caution.


Many older adults have dentures. This can make it more difficult for them to properly chew their food, which can become a potential choking hazard. Certain foods, such as steak, chicken and other meats can be especially difficult to chew with dentures. This can lead to people accidentally swallowing large pieces that can get stuck in the throat. Since meat does not dissolve with water, a visit to the emergency room to have it taken care of if it becomes lodged in the esophagus may be necessary. This commonly occurs with steak and is known as “Steakhouse Syndrome.”

Overall, there are many things to take into consideration regarding food choices as you age. It can be easy to overlook eating habits and continue to consume the same foods as your younger self. However, it is important to try to make the best possible choices so that you can preserve your health and avoid potential risks.