A healthy diet is fundamental to everyone, but it is even more important as you’re getting older. It helps to support your energy, fight diseases and infections and minimizes the chances to develop chronic health conditions.
As you age, your nutritional needs and eating habits change.
Starting with calories: you don’t need as much of them as you get older. So it’s important to watch your diet because it becomes easier to eat more calories than you burn, leading to weight gain. Not to mention you become less active as you age, burning less calories and slowing down your metabolism, which also lowers your caloric needs.
But becoming overweight shouldn’t be your only concern. A loss of appetite can also happen: is extremely common to lose some of your sense of smell and taste, causing you to eat less. Even though you’re probably burning less calories, it is still important to eat enough to maintain your organs healthy.
So how can you maintain a healthy diet? Let’s find out!
First of all, it’s important to eat foods from all groups. Your diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean meat, and should also be low in saturated and trans fat.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans says that a healthy eating pattern includes:
- A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
- Fruits, especially whole fruits
- Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy (look for those fortified with vitamin D for bone health!), including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
- A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
It’s also important to limit your alcohol consumption! You can eat extremely healthy, but alcohol and tobacco use can make all your efforts go down the drain.
Bonus tip: add physical activity!
Imagine this scenario: you’re eating a healthy diet, going easy on alcohol and steering clear of tobacco – add some exercises to your daily routine and you’re on track to age as best as you can! There’s no need to go over the top with the exercises: 30 minutes a day is enough. You can even break these 30 minutes into 10 minutes sessions. But don’t forget to consult a doctor before engaging in a new exercise program.
A healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to have a healthy life as you get older. Research shows that 1 in every 4 older Americans have poor nutrition. But you’re not going to be one of them! Here at Excellence Assisted Living Facility, we have a fully prepared team to cook what’s best for you! Schedule a tour today or call us if you have any questions. We’d love to hear from you!