As we age, having a well balanced diet is important to staying healthy. It can be overwhelming to many individuals because creating new habits in eating can be a tedious task. On top of that, certain factors can limit creating new eating habits such as, cognitive impairments, financial limits, current diagnosis’ etc. Moreover, as we age, the nutritional needs change and we have to adapt to what our bodies need and don’t need.
These are some benefits that eating healthy can promote:
– Maintaining healthy weight
– Increase in energy levels
– Improve cognition
– Reduce risk of developing heart chronic health conditions
– Getting all the vitamins and nutrients needed
Here are some starting tips to creating a healthy diet:
1) Choose nutrient rich foods:
– Fruits and vegetables
– Nuts and seeds
– Whole grains
– Low fat or nonfat dairy
– Lean protein (Can be either chicken turkey, ground beef, fish tofu or other.)
2) Stay away from convenient and fast foods!
Even at a young age, convenient and fast foods were never the healthiest choice. However, they are called fast foods for a reason! It eliminates the tedious task of cooking and cleaning up. However, these foods may not always have the best nutritional value for our bodies especially as we age.
Here are some alternatives:
-Pre-cooked meats (turkey, chicken)
-Low sodium canned foods
-Pre made salads
-Oatmeal and Cereals
3) Eating alone as a senior can be a mundane task and many times discouraging. Find time to eat with friends or family to make eating more enjoyable as an activity!
Eating healthy can be a huge task to any individual, especially to those who are aging! It is important that individuals receive the right education in order to implement these strategies.