How to Eat Well As You Age
Eating healthy is important for your overall well-being at any age, and especially as you get older.A healthy diet can help you live longer, be stronger, ward off illness and age-related diseases, and sharpen your mind.As you age, your dietary needs change and you may be confused about how to boost your health with what you eat. Regardless of your age, you can start making lifestyle changes so you can be in good health as you age. Make sure you are consuming a sensible diet, trying recipes that boost your health, and employing healthy preparation techniques.
Consuming a Sensible Diet
Have healthy, regular meals and snacks.What you eat can have a big impact on how you look and feel. Eating healthy and balanced meals and snacks is a good way to promote overall health and prevent weight gain, which can be a particular concern with older adults (usually defined as adults 65 and older) and can cause diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.Aiming to get between 2,000 – 2,600 nutrient-rich calories can help you eat well as you age.
- Calculate approximately how many calories you need based on your age, sex and activity level. You can find the caloric guidelines at
- Track your intake and calories through an app or website such as SuperTracker:
- If your activity level is decreasing as you age, you will not need to consume as many calories as you did when you were younger. Focus on foods that are dense with nutrients but low-calorie to keep you healthy, satisfied, and at a safe weight.
- Weight loss is generally not recommended for those older than 65 years. If weight loss is necessary, it should be done very slowly, at a rate of about 1/2 to 1 pound per week (reducing 250 – 500 calories per day) and done under medical supervision.
Talk to your doctor.Your medical professionals know your health history. If you are concerned about your diet and eating well as you get older, talk to your doctor or other medical professional. The doctor can recommend specific tips on selecting the best food options for you and ways to prepare your meals for health.It may also become necessary to supplement your diet with specific vitamins and minerals.
- Ask your doctor about any specific foods you should include or avoid in your diet. For example, many doctors suggest reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates as you age. This can minimize your risk of developing diabetes or heart disease.
- Ask your doctor if you have concerns about food-drug interactions. Let your doctor know about any over-the counter-medications or supplements you may be taking, or any medications prescribed to you by another doctor.
- Meet with a registered dietitian, who can make additional suggestions on how to eat well as you age.
- Talk to your doctor about possible vitamin deficiencies as well. It is often necessary for older adults to supplement vitamins B and D.
Monitor your water intake.Many times, people rely on their sense of thirst to inform them when it's time to drink some water. As a person ages, their sense of thirst may be reduced, putting them at risk for dehydration.
- Try carrying a water bottle with you, or keep a glass on your desk that holds about two cups of water. Tell yourself you must drink at least four of those glasses every day. This may help keep you hydrated.
Feast on fruit.This food group contains vital nutrients, such as fiber and vitamin C, that promote wellbeing. Incorporate a wide variety of fruits into your meals every day. This can reduce your risk for heart attacks and stroke.It may also satisfy a sweet tooth so you eat less refined sugar.
- Eat at least 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit daily. Mixing colorful choices for different nutrients helps maintain your health as you get older. For example, try combinations of fruits such as blueberries, papaya, raspberries, pineapple, strawberries, melons, and bananas.
- Stick to whole and fresh or frozen fruits if possible. These offer more fiber and nutrients than canned fruits or fruit juices. If you want fruit juice, make sure it is 100% juice and limited to a 4-oz serving size.
Eat a variety of vegetables.As we age, our risk for chronic diseases increases. Getting plenty of different vegetables can promote your overall health as you age. They fill you up, provide vital nutrients, and help maintain body functions such as bowel movements.
- Eat at least 2 to 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day. As with fruit, it’s important to choose different hued veggies at every meal to reap the benefits of their vitamins and nutrients.
- Incorporate foods from the vegetable subgroups: dark-green vegetables (spinach and kale); starchy vegetables (potatoes); red and orange vegetables (tomatoes and carrots); beans and peas (kidney beans and sugar-snap peas); and other vegetables (eggplant or okra).
Go for whole grains.Eating grains such as wheat and oatmeal provides a wide range of nutrients and vitamins. These can help oxygenate your blood, build muscles and bone, stabilize blood sugar, and maintain bowel function. Getting at least the recommended daily allowance of grains can help you eat well and stay healthy as you age.
- Have at least three to five servings of whole grains daily. At least half of your daily allowance should be whole grains such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
- Vary your choices every day. Have whole wheat bread and pasta one day. Then try ancient grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, quinoa, or spelt the next day.
- Digestion becomes less efficient as we age, so it is important you get enough fiber in your diet. Whole grains, wheat cereals, barley, and oatmeal can all help you reach your daily fiber intake (at least 21 grams for women over 50, 30 g for men over 50).
- Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates including white pasta and white rice, both of which contain sugar that may lead to fluctuations in blood sugar.
Prepare lean proteins.Proteins are any foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds.Foods from the protein group help vital bodily functions such as building bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.Getting a variety of proteins every day contributes to eating well as you age and promoting overall health.
- Aim for 5 – 6 ½ ounces of lean protein every day, depending on your activity level.For example, a small steak of 3 ½ – 4 ounces is the equivalent of one ounce of protein. Likewise, one can of drained tuna is about one ounce of protein as are three egg yolks.
- However, fatty meats can contribute to heart disease and obesity, which may be issues for people with diabetes.
- Choose lean or low-fat cuts of meat and poultry. This includes lean steaks such as eye of round, sirloin lip side steak, top sirloin steak; lean pork, like top loin pork chops or tenderloin; and poultry without skin.
- Fish and seafood are a great source of protein. Some types are high in fat, like wild salmon, but these fats (omega-3s) are necessary and extremely beneficial to your health.
Consume dairy daily.Dairy products such as milk and yogurt provide the vital nutrients of calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein. Getting enough dairy is a part of eating well as you age, but also building and maintaining bones and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
- Eat or drink three servings of dairy every day. One serving of dairy is the equivalent of 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese.
- Remember that soy and nut milk products count as one serving of dairy.
- Choose low-fat dairy products including cheeses and yogurt. This limits the amount of saturated fat and calories that can contribute to age-related illnesses including diabetes and high blood pressure.
Limit sugar intake.As we age, our taste buds begin to decrease. The one taste that lingers the longest is sweet, which makes many people crave sugar as they age. Limiting how much sugar you consume can help you to continue eating well for life.
- Reduce the amount of starches, candy, and desserts in your diet.
- Recognize that foods labeled “low-fat” or “reduced-fat” often contain higher amounts of sugar than full-fat options.
- Look out for hidden sugar in your food choices. Make sure to read packaging and look for terms that indicate sugar such as high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, or maltose. Many seemingly healthy options such as canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, and frozen dinners have high amounts of sugar.
Remember oral health.Your teeth and gums will change as you age, and you may find it hard to eat certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Instead of giving up those foods and the essential nutrients they contain, try cooked or canned foods like unsweetened fruit, low-sodium soups, or canned tuna.
Preparing Your Meals with Healthy Techniques
Plan your meals.Eating well as you age takes a little effort. Planning each meal during the week can ensure you get vital nutrients to promote your health and well-being. It can also save you money if you’re on a budget.
- Have a healthy breakfast every day. Healthy breakfasts get you off on the right foot and may help you eat well throughout the day. Make yourself an egg white omelet with low-fat cheese and vegetables, have whole grain toast with avocado with some berries, or have fortified cereal with fruit.Follow this up with a healthy lunch, such as a salad with grilled chicken and some yogurt, and dinner.
- Plan for restaurant outings or spontaneous dinner invitations. Call ahead to the restaurant or check their menu online to see what healthy choices they offer. Remember that accepting an invitation for dinner and enjoying something a little unhealthy once in awhile won’t derail your efforts to eat well as you age.
Trim fat.Too much dietary fat can contribute to age-related health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. This is especially true if you are carrying a few extra pounds.Trimming fattier cuts of meat by removing the skin or roasting in a dripping pan can keep you eating well as you age without losing any real flavor.
- Remove skin from chicken and turkey before cooking it. This decreases the overall fat content.
- Roast meat on a rack to let the fat drip off. This reduces the overall fat content.
Season foods sensibly.Your sense of taste and smell decrease as you age. In fact, the number of taste buds you have also decreases. This may cause you to crave saltier foods, which can increase your blood pressure and contribute to heart disease. Finding alternative ways to season your foods helps you enjoy the taste of delicious dishes as you age without adding additional sodium.
- Drizzle fresh lemon or lime juice over foods such as steamed vegetables, broiled fish, pasta, and salads.
- Chop or mince garlic and onions to flavor meats and other dishes.
- Sprinkle fresh or salt-free dried herbs and spices for a blast of flavor on your food.
- Marinate and grill meats with salt-free spice rubs.
- Make your own salad dressings with olive oil and vinegar.
Use cooking spray or oil.Some fat when you’re cooking won’t hurt you. It may also boost the flavor of your meals; however, using too much or the wrong kind of cooking oils or sprays can add unwanted fat and calories to your otherwise healthy diet. Use a non-fat cooking spray or light oil in a spray bottle to reduce the calories and fat in your dish.
- Choose oils high in unsaturated fats such as olive, peanut, corn, vegetable, safflower, sunflower, or flaxseed oils. Use enough to just lightly coat your pan.
Grill, broil, bake and stir fry.How you cook meals can also affect how well you are eating as you age. Avoid fat-laden fried food by grilling, baking, broiling, baking, and stir frying your meals. These techniques provide healthy and delicious meals while reducing unwanted fat and stabilizing blood sugar.
- Avoid frying foods, which often requires butter or lard.
Steam your vegetables.Fried vegetables often taste heavenly and some people believe are a healthy choice to get their daily allowance. But fried vegetables contain loads of fat and calories and should be limited to no more than three to four times per week as you age. Instead, steam your fresh vegetables in a steamer or the microwave. Season with a non-salt herb or spice for a flavorful side dish.
- Add ¼ cup water or low sodium broth to steam vegetables in the microwave. Putting them in a steamer basket inside a pot with a bit of water or broth is another option.
Video: Healthy Eating: Vegetable patties
Inflammation From Rheumatoid Arthritis Tied to Heart Disease
How to Wear Men’s Jewelry
How to Keep Rats Away
How to Buy Nike Stock
Tackle Your Clutter Problems For Good
6 Winter Wardrobe Essentials to Get You Through the Upcoming Blizzard
How to List for Sale by Owner Using MLS Listing
Get The Golden Globe Hair Styles Of January Jones, Scarlett Johansson Anne Hathaway
Natural ways to whiten teeth
Color Blindness Test and Diagnosis
When Should I Collect Social Security
Tory Burch Sport Spring 2019 Looks
The Lunge With Twist Exercise
How to Put on a Horses or Ponys Rug
9 companies you didnt know use recycled water bottles in their products