A healthy diet is important as we age, but for a host of reasons many older people are missing out on vital nutrients.

Eating Well

Eating Well

Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and eating well might help older adults stay healthy for longer. To stay healthy while you get older, it is important to eat well. You may have a smaller appetite than when you were younger, which means you need to choose healthy food to get the best nutritional value. This pamphlet includes info on healthy food choices, how to maintain a healthy weight, the benefits of including physical activity in your day, and other aspects that will help you be a healthy older person.

Eating well gives you the nutrients required to keep your muscles, bones, organs, and other parts of your body healthy throughout your life. These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water. But healthy eating doesn’t need to be about dieting and sacrifice. Whatever your age, eating well ought to be all about fresh, colorful food, creativity within the kitchen, and eating with friends.

This article will address some of the most common eating problems that people face because they get older, and offer suggestions on how to eat well despite these challenges.

Eating Well Promotes Energy

Eating well helps keep up your energy level, too. By consuming enough calories — a way to appraise the energy you get from food –you give your body the fuel it requires throughout the day. The number of calories needed depends upon how old you are, whether you’re a man or woman, your height and weight, and just how active you are.

Food Choices Can Affect Weight

Consuming the right quantity of calories for your level of physical activity helps you control your weight, too. Extra weight is an issue for older adults because it can increase the risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease and may increase joint problems. Eating more calories than your body needs for your activity level can result in extra pounds.

Food Choices Affect Digestion

Your food choices also affect your digestion. For instance, not receiving enough fiber or fluids may cause constipation. Eating more whole-grain foods with fiber, fruits and vegetables or drinking more water might help with constipation.

Make Your Calories Count

The number of calories your body needs as you get older depends on both your age and your level of activity. A moderately active woman over age 50 should consume about 1,800 calories a day to stay at her current weight. To have an older man, that number is 2,200 to 2,400. Types of moderate activity include walking, dancing, and swimming.

Much like at younger ages, it’s important to get your calories by eating a variety of foods in the five food groups-including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein and dairy-and limit solid fats and added sugars.

Food Your Body Needs As You Age

Eating well is vital for everyone whatsoever ages. Whatever your age, your daily food choices can make an important improvement in your health and in how you look and feel.

Fruit

Concentrate on whole fruits rather than juices for additional fiber and vitamins and aim for 1½ to 2 servings or even more each day. Break the apple and banana rut and choose color-rich pickings like berries or melons.

Grains

Be smart with your carbs and choose whole grains over processed white flour for additional nutrients and more fiber. If you’re not sure, search for pasta, breads, and cereals that list “whole” within the ingredient list. Older adults need 6-7 ounces of grains each day (one ounce is all about 1 slice of wholegrain bread).

Veggies

Color is your credo within this category. Choose antioxidant-rich dark, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli as well as orange and yellow vegetables, such as carrots, squash, and yams. Apply for 2 to 2½ cups of veggies every day.

Calcium

Maintaining bone health while you age depends on adequate calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Older adults need 1,200 mg of calcium a day through areas of milk, yogurt, or cheese. Non-dairy sources include tofu, broccoli, almonds, and kale.

Eating Well As You Get Older

Eating Well As You Get Older

Protein

Adults over 50 without kidney disease or diabetes need about 1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram (2.2lbs) of bodyweight. This translates to 68 to 102g of high-quality protein per day for an individual weighing 150 lbs. (0.5 g of protein per lb. of body weight is close enough). Attempt to divide your protein intake equally among meals. It’s important to alter your sources of protein instead of relying on red meat, including more fish, beans, peas, eggs, nuts, seeds, and low-fat milk and cheese in your diet.