As we age, healthy eating for seniors is even more important to ensure our bodies are getting all the nutrients they need. This can help you prevent things like diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions and improve your length and quality of life.However, what’s considered healthy eating doesn’t really change as you age, although your body may need more of certain nutrients. In fact, as you age, your metabolism slows down, and this means you need fewer calories than you did when you were younger. That’s why it’s so important to eat foods that give you and your body the most bang for your buck so to speak. In this article, we’ll go over some of our top tips for healthy eating for seniors!
●Know what a healthy plate is. We often plan our meals around the meat, or the protein of our meals, and it can be easy to eat too much because of that. In reality, you actually need more vegetables and more grains than you do protein. The USDA created something called MyPlate to help show you what a healthy plate and balance between the main food groups looks like. You want to make sure your plate contains lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, or beans), fruits and vegetables, whole grains (brown rice or whole wheat pasta), and low-fat dairy (milk, cheese, etc.).
●Look for important nutrients. You want your plate (with the food groups listed above) to be colorful. Bright colored foods usually mean fruits and veggies, and they are always a great choice. Different fruits and vegetables contain different vitamins and nutrients that are important for your body, so incorporating a wide variety is important. You especially want to eat foods with Vitamin D, as it becomes even more important as we age,and you want foods high in fiber and low in sodium (salt).
●Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. A healthy plate is made up of whole foods, not processed foods. Whole foods (like fresh produce, meats, dairy, eggs) are usually on the outside edges of the grocery store. Shopping this outer perimeter of the store can help you get foods that are really good for you.
●Read the nutrition label. When you do eat processed foods, do it carefully by reading the nutrition label. Use that to know the recommended serving of the food and find options that are lower in fat, added sugars, and sodium.
●Stay hydrated. When you’re thinking about what you should eat in a day, don’t just focus on food. Water is very important for our bodies, so make sure you drink lots of it throughout the day. Keep drinks with lots of sugar or salt (like sugary soft drinks) to a minimum.