Food Awareness as You Age

News Note

By Darren Buford

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, December/January 2003.

With age comes loss of immune systems functioning and helpful bacteria-killing stomach acids. Therefore, as you near 60, it’s a good time to take stock of what fine, or not so fine, cuisine you consume, says Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. Foods recommended as off limits for this crowd include deli meats, patés and soft cheeses (such as feta and brie) because they may contain a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes, which, when not killed through cooking can cause flu-like symptoms and meningitis. Raw mollusks, including oysters, clams and mussels, should also be avoided because they may contain Vibrio bacteria, which can lead to stomach cramps and blood poisoning. Finally, items that include unpasteurized eggs, such as Caesar salad dressing, hollandaise sauce and eggnog, should also be avoided because they may contain Salmonella bacteria, which can cause GI upset like nausea and diarrhea and even severe dehydration.