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Publication #FSHN11-13

Where's the Water?1

Wendy J. Dahl2

Many frail older adults are at risk for dehydration. Providing enough water to the frail older adult is a challenge, as decreased thirst may limit beverage intake. Water comes in many forms, in beverages, but also in foods. When food intake decreases, so does water intake. Encouraging food and beverage intake is important in preventing dehydration in the frail older adult.

Table 1. 

Which of the following foods is higher in water?

(Circle the Correct Answers)

Peanut butter

or

Ketchup

Cooked Carrots

or

Cranberry Juice

Cottage Cheese

or

Apple Sauce

Roasted Chicken

or

Pork Chops

Mashed Potatoes

or

Pasta

Chocolate Pudding

or

Chocolate Brownie

Foods vary widely in water content. You may be surprised to find out that many common foods that are not liquids are quite high in water! Continue to Table 2 to learn more.

Table 2. 

Which of the following is higher in percent water content?

(Answer Key: percent water content per single serving)

Peanut butter

2

94

Ketchup

Cooked Carrots

91

83

Cranberry Juice

Cottage Cheese

79

76

Apple Sauce

Roasted Chicken

71

53

Pork Chop

Mashed Potatoes

83

72

Pasta

Chocolate Pudding

69

10

Chocolate Brownie

Tips for readers:

  • Frail elderly are encouraged to drink milk and other nutrient-rich beverages between meals.

  • Encourage three servings of fruit and fruit juice each day.

Footnotes

1.

This document is FSHN11-13, one of a series of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Published May 2011. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/.

2.

Wendy J. Dahl, PhD, assistant professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.