Nutrition For Seniors
As you get older, nutrition becomes more important than ever before. Eating well can lengthen the active years of person’s life making them far more enjoyable. Diabetes, hypertension, pre-hypertension, and osteoporosis are all issues that seniors can face. How can you eat and stay healthy later in life?
Seniors Staying Healthy
Staying healthy means eating healthy. Start by learning how to read a nutrition label. Know how much of the thing you’re eating is a serving. Your caloric needs have dropped in the decades since your birth, so you should consult with your doctor as to how much you should be eating. But here are some good guidelines to keep yourself healthy.
- Look for extra sugar and sodium hidden in your food. Look back at that nutrition label and see how much extra is hidden in foods that you wouldn’t normally expect like salad dressings or juices.
- At least half of your plate should be fruits and/ or vegetables. This is generally healthy behavior anyway, but it becomes more important here. When looking at fruits and vegetables, look for fresh or frozen versions over canned. Canned vegetables can add sodium.
- Eat more whole grains and lean proteins. Fish, boneless skinless chicken breasts, beans, and lentils are all good protein sources that don’t include a lot of the “bad” fats.
- Drink plenty of water! It’s not just for athletes. Everyone, regardless of age, should be drinking plenty of fluids. Just be sure to look for extra sugar on the nutrition label.
Eating To Combat Health Impacts
Dietary changes can go a long way in the management of health issues that seniors can face. Some people need more calcium and vitamin D to combat osteoporosis. Others may need to watch carbohydrates or sugars to combat their diabetes.
For those with osteoporosis, vitamin D and calcium are the nutrients you need most. They can be found in most fish and many cereals and dairy products have both vitamin D and calcium. Consult with your doctor with what they think you need.
If you have diabetes, you’re not alone. Over 12% of everyone over the age of 20 and over a quarter of everyone over 65 has diabetes. How to manage it is a discussion for you and your doctor or registered dietitian, but here are some helpful tips on generally what to eat to regulate your diabetes.
- Lean meats, chicken, and turkey
- Whole grains, but be sure to check how much carbs it has if you’re using Carb Counting
- Fruits and vegetables. Many people think they need to avoid “sweet” fruits due to the amount of sugar, but that’s not always the case. Just be mindful of the amount that you’re eating and keep track of your portion sizes.
- Nonfat or low-fat dairy. Cheeses, milk, and yogurt have calcium and vitamin D you need as you get older so keep them in your diet.
How To Eat Healthy Affordably Later In Life
As one gets older, it can get more difficult to get out and go to the store and get the fresh food you need to keep yourself healthy. Many programs help seniors with affording healthy food or finding farmers’ markets near them. If you are in a dining facility run by Taher, you can rest easy knowing that we provide the best food with fresh ingredients. All of our menus are designed by a team of dietitians and chefs to provide the highest level of taste and nutritional needs for everyone that enjoys them. Enjoy!