If your goal for 2018 is to eat healthier, you’re not alone. By knowing some important facts, you can do it. Just to make sure you have the information you need to help you achieve your goals, here are some healthy eating tips seniors can use in 2018 to get started.
Healthy Eating Tips Seniors can Use in 2018
In addition to feeling better mentally, eating healthier helps seniors ward off or control conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. It also gives seniors what they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as by strengthening bones and improving muscle strength.
- Here’s a healthy eating tip that will make you feel lighter and maybe even save you a little money! As you age, your body needs more nutrients but fewer calories. Your metabolism slows over time, so you need to consume fewer calories in order to maintain a consistent weight. Therefore, choosing foods that are nutritious yet not overly filling will help you live better and feel more comfortable.
- It’s important for seniors to eat foods that are high in lean proteins. Protein builds and repairs tissue and is vital to healthy bones, muscles, skin, and blood. If you’re sick of the same old foods, however, here’s where you can experiment. Protein can be found in plenty of sources other than meats. Add items like chia seeds, quinoa, guava, and soybeans to your recipes to create a protein-filled, tasty, and fun dish.
- According to the American Bone Health organization, men and women 70 and older should eat three to four servings of foods that are rich in calcium per day. They also should consider taking a vitamin D supplement. If you must choose dairy-free sources of calcium, you have plenty of options, including edamame, sauteed greens, black-eyed peas, sesame seeds, butternut squash, almonds, and sweet potatoes.
- Using certain herbs and spices in your dishes can have a variety of health benefits for seniors as well as add a flavorful kick to meals. Studies have linked the use of rosemary to improved memory, and ginger can reduce blood-sugar levels in the elderly. Turmeric is known to have health benefits for people of all ages, including reducing pain caused by arthritis, and cinnamon helps fight bacteria, reduces inflammation, lowers blood-sugar levels, and may even lower cholesterol for improved heart health. As an added bonus for people who love to cook, experimenting with spices should be just as fun as it is beneficial to your health.
- To control or lower the risk of high blood pressure, seniors should maintain an ideal weight; include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products in their diets; cut down on salt; and drink less alcohol, according to the National Institute on Aging.
- Seniors who have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes should avoid foods that are high in sugar or saturated fats. Foods, sauces, and spices that have been known to control diabetes include garlic, apple cider vinegar, nuts, broccoli, fatty fish, cinnamon, and Greek yogurt.
- Because our appetites change as we age, some seniors may actually need to add on weight rather than lose it. Healthy eating tips seniors can use to gain weight include eating small portions of high-calorie foods. If you feel that you need to gain weight, however, you should consult with a physician for the healthiest ways to do so in your specific case.
Watching what you Eat
As you cook or purchase meals, be cognizant about what is in them. Read the labels, taking your own health factors into consideration.
If you live in a superior senior living community like one of our Waltonwood locations, meals will be prepared with seniors’ dietary needs in mind. (If you want more information about how Waltonwood prepares its foods to meet residents’ needs, feel free to contact us.)
Jessica Bartol, director of Waltonwood Culinary Services, notes that focusing on clean eating has many benefits.
“Staying away from additives and artificial ingredients will provide excellent nutrition automatically,” she said. “Eating shouldn’t feel like so much of an effort and won’t if we focused on eating what we like that is all natural as well as eating a variety in fats, grains, protein, vegetables, and fruit.”
Whatever your goals are for the new year, stick with it! You can accomplish them, and it will be well worth the effort when you see how much better you will feel.
(Consult with your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.)