As we age, good nutrition continues to be an important factor in overall wellness. Aging brings new challenges when it comes to eating and preparing meals. Below are some helpful tips and ideas to help make the most of your meals.
Always consult your physician or other health care professional to discuss your dietary intake and nutritional needs.
- Drink plenty of liquids. With age, you may lose some of your sense of thirst. Drink water often. Lowfat or fat-free milk or 100% juice also helps you stay hydrated. Limit beverages that have lots of added sugars or salt
- Make eating a social event. Meals are more enjoyable when you eat with others. Invite a friend to join you or take part in a potluck at least twice a week. A senior lunch program or place of worship may offer meals that are shared with others. There are many ways to make mealtimes pleasing
- Know how much to eat Learn to recognize how much to eat so you can control portion size. When eating out, pack part of your meal to eat later. One restaurant dish might be enough for two meals or more.
- Vary your vegetables Include a variety of different colored vegetables to brighten your plate. You may have heard the expression “Eat A Rainbow”. Most vegetables are a low-calorie source of nutrients. Vegetables are also a good source of fiber.
- Eat for your teeth and gums. Many people find that their teeth and gums change as they age. People with dental problems sometimes find it hard to chew fruits, vegetables, or meats. Don’t miss out on needed nutrients! Eating softer foods may help. Try cooked or canned foods like unsweetened fruit, low-sodium soups, or canned tuna.
- Use herbs and spices Foods may seem to lose their flavor as you age. If favorite dishes taste different, it may not be the cook! Your sense of smell, sense of taste, or both may have changed with age. Medicines may also change how foods taste. Add flavor to your meals with herbs and spices.
- Keep food safe. Don’t take a chance with your health. A food-related illness can be life threatening for an older person. Throw out food that might not be safe. Avoid certain foods that are always risky for an older person, such as unpasteurized dairy foods. Other foods can be harmful to you when they are raw or undercooked, such as eggs, sprouts, fish, shellfish, meat, or poultry.
- Read the Nutrition Facts label Make the right choices when buying food. Pay attention to important nutrients to know as well as calories, fats, sodium, and the rest of the Nutrition Facts label. Ask your doctor if there are ingredients and nutrients you might need to limit or to increase.
- Ask your doctor about vitamins or supplements Food is the best way to get nutrients you need. Should you take vitamins or other pills or powders with herbs and minerals? These are called dietary supplements. Your doctor will know if you need them. More may not be better. Some can interfere with your medicines or affect your medical conditions. Always check with your physician or medical professional before taking any supplements.
Plan Your Meals
Try to plan healthy, well balanced meals when preparing at home or eating out. So often, we eat without thinking or having a plan in mind. Making a plan for what your plate should look like, such as one based on the MyPlate recommendations from the USDA, is one way to stay on track with healthy eating. Find more information at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
MYPLATE trademark of U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Information contained in this document was prepared and / or used with authors permission by The Inspired Living Institute by Posada Life. All copywrite and protected content is reprinted with permission and intended for general educational purposes only. Content is not intended to diagnosis or treat any specific condition. Related content provided the National Eye Institute, National Institute for Health, National Institute for Senior Health and the National Institute on Aging. Healthhttps://nei.nih.gov/ National Institute on Aging · 31 Center Drive, MSC 2292 · Bethesda, MD · 20892 · 800-222-2225. http://nihseniorhealth.gov/