Healthy eating as we age can make a difference in how we feel, and our over all well-being. You can no longer eat fast food and soft drinks, three times a day. Our daily eating habit change as we get older, the portions become smaller, and we may eat more times a day. Making small adjustments to the way we eat and drink, may help you enjoy meal-time more.
Start by obtaining the top nutrients the body needs, such as potassium, B-12, calcium, vitamin D, minerals, and fiber. Make sure you are meeting your individual calorie and nutritional needs. Losing or maintaining a healthy weight, can increase your energy levels, and help maintain your vim and vigor. Focus on maintaining a healthy body weight. Stay physically active, and do not become a couch potato. Stay strong and reduce the risk disease or disability.
Try adding seasoning and herbs to flavor your foods, and watch out for high sodium foods. Sometimes you make have to take things with a grain of salt, but not on your food. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables to meal-time, canned foods are great for foods out of season. The more wholesome and organic your meal is the more nutrients you are getting. To get your calcium try to drink 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk per day. Substitutions could be yogurt, buttermilk, or cheeses. Learn to replace sugary drinks with water or unsweetened juices. B-12 is harder to get, you need to eat foods fortified with B-12, such as cereals.
There are some great and not so great diets out there, so please talk with your Doctor, before starting any new food plans. The requirements for your diet change at fifty you need different amounts, than at sixty-five. Your meal planning should include:
- Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and nuts
- Trim away excess fat and skin from your meats
- Foods that contain fiber, fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains
- Choosing many different fruits and vegetables, colors and textures will give a wide variety of nutrients
- Portion sizing is important, especially at restaurants. Smaller portions equal fewer calories.
- Season your food with lemon juice, herbs, and spices, rather than using butter and salt.
- Choose foods that are baked, broiled, braised, grilled, steamed, sautéed, or boiled, rather than fried.
- When eating out, select a dish from the menu, rather than getting your money’s worth at the all-you-can-eat buffet.
- If choosing the buffet stick with heart healthy items, they are usually well-marked.
In general if you think you might be cheating on your diet, you are right. I have one cheat day, Sundays. On this day I have a rich gooey dessert, ice cream, or chocolate. Don’t expect to be perfect and everyday may be a challenge. Take it one day at a time. Good Luck, and Stay Active.