Fry food in hot oil
Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
May 11, 2024 ·  4 min read

9 Foods You May Have To Stop Eating As You Get Older

There’s no perfect diet that would suit every individual. Everybody is unique and requires different lifestyles for their optimal well-being. For instance, people with heart conditions may need to avoid red meat, but people with anemia may need to eat more. This is why working one-on-one with doctors and dieticians is important, especially when it comes to aging. Healthy living often becomes more complicated with age, and foods that used to be beneficial in the past may no longer be recommended. Here are foods you may have to stop eating (or reduce) as you get older. Speak to your health care provider about whether you should avoid them entirely.

Foods high in salt

The American Heart Association recommends anyone over the age of 51 to watch their sodium intake and not exceed 2,300 mg per day. Too much salt can raise blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. People considered high risk should stop eating more than 1,500 mg of sodium in food a day. Unsurprisingly, processed and fast food are often high in salt, so look for “low sodium” or “salt-free” variations. 

Read More: 10 fat-burning plant foods that have more protein than an egg


Grapefruits are packed with nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. But they can also interact with different kinds of medication and cause negative side effects like drowsiness, muscle pain, and heart rhythm changes. This includes medication for cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rhythm, and blood thinners, so speak to your doctor and/or pharmacist to ensure you can continue eating this fruit. Look out for grapefruit juice in other juice blends.

Raw vegetables

You may be surprised to see vegetables on this list, but this specifically pertains to their raw forms, which can be difficult to eat with missing or decayed teeth. Additionally, raw veggies like cabbage, carrots, and broccoli can be difficult to digest and cause painful gassing. If this occurs, try cooking the vegetables until they are soft, or enjoy them in pureed soups.


Alcohol can affect people differently as they age. They may be used to enjoy an occasional glass of wine or beer, but now these drinks disrupt their sleep and raise their blood pressure. It may also interact with medications, so it’s important to consult a doctor or pharmacist about alcohol consumption.

Read More: 25 So-Called ‘Junk Foods’ That Are Actually Good For You


Like alcohol, people can react differently to caffeine as the years go by. Coffee, cola, energy drinks, and the like can make some people feel jittery and on edge. But don’t quit cold turkey. This can cause withdrawal symptoms like headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Instead, taper off slowly and replace the cup of joe with herbal tea or decaf. You may also need to stop eating foods like chocolate and coffee-flavored products.

Unpasteurized milk products

Immune systems become less effective at fighting illnesses over time. So it’s important to avoid foodborne diseases, especially Listeria, which is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the United States. And 50% of Listera affects people aged 65 and up. Therefore, people in that category should avoid eating unpasterurized milk products.

Canned fruit in syrups

People with trouble chewing raw vegetables may have similar issues eating raw fruits. So canned varieties may seem like a good alternative, but this is often not the case because they are packed with sugar or syrup. Look for cans in 100% juice or water, or enjoy fruits in a fresh smoothie instead.

Read More: 17 Foods High in Magnesium You NEED in Your Diet (see list)

Choking hazards

Some older folks have difficulties chewing and swallowing because of dry mouth, which can occur as a side effect of nerve damage, certain medications, diabetes, and of course, dehydration. Therefore, some types of foods become choking hazards, including hot dogs, chicken with bones, hard candy, popcorn, rice cakes, large pieces of fruit, and steak.

Fried foods

Fried foods are delicious, but they are also full of unhealthy fats and oils that have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. They are also full of calories with little nutritional benefit, which can lead to weight gain and obesity. Instead, look for sources of healthy fats like avocados and olive oil, and eat donuts and French fries sparingly. 

Read More: Brittle Nails? Poor Sleep? Start Eating More Of These Foods Immediately


  1. “Grapefruit Warning: It Can Interact with Common Medications.” Healthline. Matthew Thorpe, MD, PhD. March 15, 2023
  2. “Slideshow: Avoiding Problem Foods as You Age.WebMD. Zilpah Sheikh, MD. October 9, 2023
  3. “25 Foods You May Want to Avoid, According to Registered Dietitians.Prevention. Brielle Gregory. December 22, 2021
  4. 8 Ways to Make Better Food Choices for Older Adults.NCO. April 11, 2024

    Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.