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Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors

Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet in order to provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Good nutrition is crucial, no matter what your age. It gives you energy and can help you control your weight. It may also help prevent some diseases, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. 



The definition of healthy eating does change a little as you age. For example, your metabolism slows down as you age, so you need fewer calories than before. Your body also needs more of certain nutrients. That means choosing foods that give you the best nutritional value is essential.


Eat an assortment of foods

Aim to eat a mixture of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Incorporating a wide selection of foods will ensure you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

 

Get enough calcium and vitamin D

These nutrients are essential for maintaining strong bones. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods. When exposed to the sun, your skin can manufacture its own vitamin D. Vitamin D is also found in certain foods such as salmon and tuna, fortified milk, egg yolks, and supplements.

 

Stay hydrated

As you age, your sense of thirst diminishes, which can put seniors at risk of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated is vital to your health. Water is the best choice, but other hydrating options include tea, coffee, and soup.

 

Choose high-fiber foods

Fiber is beneficial for maintaining digestive health and can help prevent constipation, which is often a common problem for seniors. Foods that are high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

 

Limit processed and sugary foods

Processed and sugary foods can be high in calories and low in nutrients, which can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. Seniors should aim to limit their intake of these foods and opt for healthier options instead.

 

Choose foods that are low in cholesterol and fat

Try to limit fat (especially saturated fat) and cholesterol and avoid trans fats. They can lead to heart and blood pressure problems. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts and nut butter, soy milk, and tofu.

 

Eating well as you age is about more than just the quality and variety of food you choose to eat. It’s also about the pleasure of eating, which increases when a meal is shared. Eating with others can be as important as adding vitamins to your diet. A social atmosphere stimulates your mind, makes meals more enjoyable, and can help you stick to your healthy eating plan.

 

Maintaining a regular eating schedule is invaluable to healthy nutrition. Some older adults may need to make a focused effort to eat regularly. But having a specific mealtime to look forward to enjoying every day can be good for both your physical and mental well-being. Do not skip meals. If you need a reminder, consider adding mealtimes and snacks to your calendar or setting an alarm on your watch, computer, or phone app to remind you when to eat.



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