Eat what you want, sleep when you want, and live a free and carefree life alone. There are probably many people who are satisfied with a life where they can enjoy their own lifestyle without being disturbed by anyone. On the other hand, it is important to note that living alone can easily disrupt your eating habits.
Here, based on age and gender, we will introduce nutrients that tend to be deficient when living alone, and how to easily supplement those nutrients.
The number of people living alone is increasing every year
Speaking of “living alone” a long time ago, there were many cases where children left their parents’ homes and became independent at the turning point of entering university or getting a job. The following is a summary of household types and household totals for 2020 by age and gender.
Even now, there are many cases where young people leave their parents and become independent, and in particular, the percentage of men living alone in their 20s to early 30s, when there are many opportunities to become independent, tends to peak at the age of 25 to 34.
On the other hand, the number of women living alone will increase in their 20s and early 30s, but the number will be lower than that of men. Across all age groups, women are more likely to live alone than men at ages 65 and over, with a peak between ages 75 and 84. Because women live longer on average than men, women represent a higher proportion of the elderly population.
From this, it can be seen that the effects of the declining birthrate and aging population, the increasing number of nuclear families, and the increasing rate of unmarried people have been strongly reflected in single-person living in recent years, and there are various forms of living mainly among young men and elderly women. I understand.
Elderly people living alone are increasing for both men and women
For households including seniors aged 65 and over, the following applies.
In 1980, three-generation households accounted for about half of the household structure, but in 2019, households with only a couple accounted for about 30%, and when combined with single households, it reached about 60%. In particular, the number of people aged 65 and over living alone has increased significantly for both men and women.
Food problems for singles
According to a report that organizes food preferences by household type based on the results of a consumer trend survey conducted by the Japan Finance Corporation in 2014, health is the most common among single households and couple-only households. “Health-conscious”, which is oriented to food that takes care of people, outpaced “economical oriented”, which is oriented to food that saves food costs.
There are many elderly people who chose to be health-conscious, and it seems that it is becoming a general trend in Japan, where the proportion of elderly people is increasing. On the other hand, many young people chose “economy-oriented” and “simplification-oriented,” highlighting the difference in awareness with the younger generation.
From these results, even if people live alone, their preferences regarding food vary depending on their age group. Elderly people may have concerns about their health, and simple meals may pose health risks for young people. It can be seen that there is a
Let’s take a closer look at the food issues of people living alone.
Eating alone increases
Eating alone is called “Soshoku” and eating with others is called “Sokushoku”. People who eat together more often have better eating habits and have been shown to have lower stress reactions and feelings of loneliness.
This is because eating together functions not only as a place for multiple people to eat together, but also as an opportunity to communicate with those who share the dining table. Eating together has a positive effect on mental health by providing psychological and physical support from others, and on the other hand, by supporting others and receiving gratitude, increasing self-esteem. . It can be said that it is not good mentally to eat alone while living alone.
Irregular diet increases health risks
If you live alone, shopping and cooking for one person can be troublesome, and the timing and frequency of meals will become more irregular. Also, since you can choose only according to your own taste, the contents of the meal tend to be biased. If this condition continues, health risks will increase.
On the other hand, people who often eat together and people who rarely eat alone have the following trends when compared to those who do not, and are able to achieve healthy eating habits.
<Characteristics of people who often eat together and people who rarely eat alone>
・Eat healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits frequently
・Eat a well-balanced diet with staple foods, main dishes, and side dishes (for infants and elementary school students) (Research targeting junior high school students and the elderly)
Eating a variety of foods (Research targeting junior high school students and the elderly)
Concerned about weight and body shape
The aforementioned irregular eating habits can also lead to long-term weight and shape changes. People who have more irregular lifestyle habits, such as skipping breakfast, irregular meal times, and short sleep times, have a higher rate of weight change, so people who live alone and have less restrictions and advice from others need to be especially careful.
The Japan Obesity Society considers a person to be obese if their BMI (calculated by weight (kg) ÷ height (m)2) is 25 or higher. According to the National Health and Nutrition Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2019, the percentage of men with a BMI of 25 or higher was 33.0% and 22.3% of women. Looking at the changes from 2013 to 2019, the proportion of men has increased significantly, so men in particular need to be careful about their eating habits.
Meal content is uneven
If you live alone and are busy with work or study, you may not have the time to prepare nutritiously balanced meals, and your meals tend to be unbalanced.
Furthermore, as we get older, we eat less food, prefer lighter and easier-to-eat foods, and eat less meat and raw vegetables. This results in a lack of vitamins, minerals, protein, and energy, which increases health risks.
I tend to skip breakfast
Many people skip meals in the morning due to lack of time or lack of appetite. According to the 2019 National Health and Nutrition Survey, the rate of skipping breakfast is particularly high among men living alone.
Skipping breakfast can cause your brain to run out of energy. The only energy for the brain is glucose, which cannot be stored in the body. Therefore, in the morning, when it has been a while since you ate dinner, you are severely lacking in energy. As a result, you may feel irritated or have difficulty studying or working.
What are the nutrients that tend to be deficient when living alone?
What can be said when looking at the dietary habits of people living alone from the perspective of nutrient intake? Here are some nutrients that men, women, and the elderly tend to lack.
Nutrients that men tend to lack
For men, obesity increases from the age of 30 onwards, and approximately 30% of men between the ages of 30 and 60 are obese. It is important to have a well-balanced meal with a combination of staple foods, main dishes, and side dishes. Make sure to eat plenty of vegetables, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. We also recommend eating mushrooms, potatoes, beans, and seaweed.
Nutrients that women tend to lack
In the case of women, although they look thin because they have less muscle and bones, they actually have a lot of fat. In order to increase muscle mass, you need protein. Protein can be obtained from meat, fish, eggs, soy products, etc.
In addition, according to the “National Health and Nutrition Survey” conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2019, it was found that 20.7% of women in their 20s were “thin” with a BMI of less than 18.5. The standard value for BMI is 18.5 to 24.9. Take a well-balanced diet to prevent health risks caused by weight loss.
Nutrients that the elderly tend to lack
Underweight (thin) older people with a BMI of less than 18.5 need more attention than obese older people. If you’re over 65 and feel like you’ve lost weight, talk to your doctor about adding protein-rich meats, fish, eggs, soy products, and dairy products to your diet to help maintain muscle mass.
It is recommended that older women take calcium, which is an important component of bones, and vitamin D and vitamin K, which are involved in calcium absorption.
In addition to dairy products, calcium is also found in Komatsuna, garland chrysanthemum, and tofu.
An easy way to supplement nutrients that tend to be lacking
Nutrients that tend to be deficient can be easily supplemented simply by adding convenient foods. We will introduce how to supplement the nutrients that tend to be deficient when living alone.
use dried vegetables
If you live alone, you may not be able to use all the vegetables even if you buy them whole. Even if you go to great lengths to buy vegetables, they tend to rot, or when you eat them, they are not fresh enough, so you tend to eat vegetables less often.
Dried vegetables can be easily eaten by simply adding them to miso soup or adding them to retort curry, making it easy to make up for the lack of vegetables.
Not only can you take out as much as you want when you want to use it and add it to your meal, but it is also a great point that the nutritional value of vegetables is increased by drying them.
use cut vegetables
I know it’s better to cook by myself, but when preparation and cooking are troublesome, cut vegetables that can be purchased at supermarkets and convenience stores are convenient.
There are various types of cut vegetables these days, such as shredded cabbage, shredded cabbage, lettuce mix, and vegetable mix that can be used as is for stir-fry. Some are sold ready-made for simmered dishes and kinpira.
Use frozen vegetable mix
Frozen vegetable mixes are also useful when you want to make up for a lack of vegetables. Cooking while frozen reduces damage to the ingredients, makes the food more delicious, and saves cooking time.
Most of the frozen vegetables are harvested when they are in season and quick-frozen to maintain their freshness, so you can always enjoy the deliciousness of the season. Freezing minimizes nutrient loss and maintains nutritional value during frozen storage. In addition to buying them at supermarkets and convenience stores, it is also recommended to prepare and freeze the vegetables yourself when you have time.
take dried fruits
Fruits, which contain vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, etc., are foods that you should actively take in for your health. However, just like vegetables, fruits are too large for a single person to consume. Even so, going shopping to buy a small amount of fruit is troublesome.
If you want to easily make up for the lack of fruits, use dried fruits that can be eaten without cutting for a long time. You can eat it as it is, but if you put it in yogurt, it will absorb moisture and become moist, making it even more delicious. Dairy products are recommended as they can compensate for the lack of calcium.
Replace Snacks and Treats with Peanuts and Almonds
Peanuts are rich in protein, dietary fiber, magnesium, niacin, folic acid and biotin. Almonds are also rich in protein, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and vitamin B2. Even changing your snacks and snacks to peanuts and almonds can help cover the nutrients that tend to be lacking. You can eat it deliciously even if you sprinkle it on a salad.
However, it is high in fat and calories, so be careful not to eat too much.
Frozen delivery lunches that can be cooked in the microwave are also recommended.
If you want to have a well-balanced diet even if you live alone, but it is difficult to cook for yourself every day, or if you want to have a simpler, tastier and more nutritious meal, simply take it out of the freezer and heat it in the microwave to achieve a well-balanced diet. We recommend the frozen home delivery bento that you can enjoy.
Nichirei Foods Direct’s “ Kikubari GozenⓇ ” is a frozen delivery bento box with a controlled calorie content of less than 300kcal and salt equivalent amount of less than 2.0g. Supervised by a registered dietitian, nutritional balance is guaranteed. With a rich lineup of main dishes and side dishes, more than 100g of vegetables are included. The seasoning is carefully selected, and it is healthy and satisfying to eat. If you are a first-time user, it is best to start with a trial set.
Review your eating habits to make your single life healthier
Living alone with eating habits easily disturbed. Keep your health in check by paying attention to the nutrients that you tend to exceed or lack based on your gender and age. By keeping frozen vegetables on hand that can save you the hassle of cooking and dried vegetables that can be eaten immediately, you can replenish the amount of vegetables that are often in short supply.
Also, on busy days and tired days, it is a smart way to take advantage of frozen home delivery lunch boxes. Don’t overdo it and enjoy a healthier single life in a way that suits you.
How to prevent malnutrition while living alone?Nutrients that tend to be deficient can be easily supplemented simply by adding convenient foods. We recommend using dried vegetables, cut vegetables, frozen mixed vegetables, etc. in cooking, and inoculating dried fruits and nuts.What are the eating habits that people who live alone tend to have?In the diet of living alone, the frequency of intake of healthy foods and the unbalanced nutritional balance are common problems.
Welcome to my blog. My name is Muhammad Hassaan. I am a blogger and have a knowledge of five years of blogging. I also belong to the field of health as a D pharmacy student. That’s why I am running this health blog. I am very much interested to read articles on health and love to share information with other people and also get information from them. If you have any questions you can ask me through the contact us page. Thanks for Visiting us and Have a great day.