The Tips of Healthy Eating for Seniors
According to the World Health Organization, most diseases that primarily affect the elderly root from improper diet. When we are aging, our metabolism is slowing down; then, our senses become weaker, and we are more vulnerable to developing chronic conditions. Therefore, as seniors, healthy eating is crucial for us to ensure our overall well-being during the aging process. The following discusses some important tips for healthy eating for seniors.
As we are growing older, our body needs fewer and fewer calories. It stands to reason that we should choose foods with high nutritional value but with no extra calories. The following are a list of the foods with high nutritional value but without adding a lot of calories:
- Whole grains
- Fruits & vegetables
- Non-fat or low-fat milk, and almond or soy milk
- Nuts, seeds, and beans
- Lean meat, chicken, and seafood
When we are aging, as the metabolism is slowing down, the sense of getting thirsty becomes weakened; then, we tend to feel less thirsty than we usually did before, which puts us more vulnerable to dehydration. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as seniors, we should drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated no matter if we feel thirsty or not. The studies recommend that seniors should drink eight glasses of 8 oz water each day. Non-fat milk and 100% fruit juice could be the alternatives to consider besides water. However, as seniors, we should avoid using sugary drinks, caffeine, or alcohol to keep us from being dehydrated.
Nobody likes to eat the same things again and again. As seniors, we should eat a variety of foods for all the nutrients that our bodies need. The National Council on Aging suggests that a healthy meal should consist of the following:
- Lean protein, such as lean meats, seafood, beans, and eggs
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairies, such as milk and its alternatives
Preparing foods with different textures and colors could be a good idea for eating a variety of foods. Also, providing two or more options to choose what we could eat for each meal could prevent us from eating the same meals.
As a whole, vegetable oils, margarine, and fried foods contain high saturated and trans fats, which is not healthy. As seniors, we should avoid eating these unhealthy fats. Instead, we should choose healthy ones, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. By scientific studies, healthy fats could help us as seniors protect our bodies against diseases and support our mood and mental health. In general, olive oil, nuts, avocado, and fish are excellent choices because these foods could provide high omega-3 fatty acids. Also, eat baked or grilled foods instead of deep-fried foods to avoid the high saturated and trans fats. It is also a good idea to use herbs and seasonings to replace the high-fat dressings, which contain high saturated and trans fats.
It has proved that refined sugar provides empty calories with no nutritional value. As seniors, we should slowly cut down the sugary treats in our diet, and instead, we should eat whole foods that are sweet naturally, such as fruits, carrots, onions, beets, sweet corn, yams, and other more.
All in all, healthy eating is crucial for seniors, and if we follow these tips for healthy eating, we will be in the right direction for better overall well-being.