Healthy eating when you are older

Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet so that the body gets the nutrients it requires. These nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

As you grow older, your body and life change, hence the need to stay healthy to avoid diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Making good food choices is one step toward healthy aging.

What to eat as you age

Choose foods that give you a lot of nutrients with fewer calories, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain, fat-free milk and cheese, seafood, beans, nuts, and seeds.

 Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should make up to half of your diet. Fruits and vegetables come in various colors, flavors, and textures. They contain vitamins and minerals, which are essential for healthy living. They have fiber which lowers cholesterol and prevents stomach and intestinal problems.

Some vegetables include acorn squash, carrots, pumpkin, and kale. Fruits include oranges and grapefruits; different kinds of berries; fruits that grow on trees, such as apricots, cherries, peaches, and mangoes; and others like figs, grapes, and pineapple snacks.

 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates mainly consist of Grains, including wheat, rye, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or other cereal. They are the primary source of energy for the body. They also provide iron and vitamin B as well as fiber. Maximize taking whole grains since refined grain lacks nutrients and fiber.

 Oils and fats are other essential foods. They are high in calories, but they are also a good source of nutrients like vitamin E for older adults. The daily allowance of oils ranges from 5 to 8 teaspoons, depending on activity level. Oils contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are healthy fats that give you energy and help in the absorption of specific vitamins.

Proteins

Protein foods such as pork, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds build and repair body tissues in addition to fighting infection. Extra proteins also provide the body with energy. Three ounces of pork contains a third of the daily requirement for thiamin, niacin, selenium, and vitamin B6.  It is also rich is vitamin B12, potassium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Dairy is another protein that is essential to the body. Consuming dairy helps older adults maintain strong bones and provides vital nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.

Things to limit

  • Limit the consumption of foods high in added sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, and fructose.
  • Minimize beverages such as soda and highly sugared tea and coffee since this increase’s calories in the diet.
  • Reduce sodium intake by seasoning foods with herbs and citrus such as lemon juice.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help stay hydrated and aid in the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.

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