We all know how important nutrition is. It doesn’t stop being important just because you’ve reached a certain age; your needs just change a little. For one thing, your caloric intake should be smaller than when you were younger. For another, your body needs more of certain nutrients as well. That’s why it’s so important that you make wise decisions about what you eat. Here are a few eating tips for seniors.
Check out MyPlate– Our ideas about nutrition have changed over the years as we better understand our bodies’ needs. The USDA has come out with an easier way to help us envision how our nutrition should play out at each meal. MyPlate has replaced the food pyramid as the example to follow. The site also has age-specific tips.
Make sure you get enough calcium, potassium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, dietary fiber, and minerals.
Spice up your food with herbs and spices instead of added salt.
Eat the rainbow – Variety is the spice of life, and when it comes to your plate, the brighter their color, the better! Your meal should combine things like:
Fruits and veggies in vivid colors.
Lean protein like lean meats, beans, seafood, and eggs
Whole foods are best – Eating an apple is going to be better for you than eating an apple pie (sorry). So, you should cruise the perimeter of your grocery store first to gather things like fresh produce, meat, and dairy.
Eat the right amount – Eating too much or too little can be equally damaging to your overall health. Make sure that you are eating enough for you to maintain a healthy weight.
Stay hydrated – To keep yourself hydrated, drink small amounts throughout the day. Water, tea, and coffee are your best bet. One trick is to fill a pitcher with water, place it in the refrigerator and refill your cup from it as the day goes by. The general rule of thumb is 8-8oz. cups/day. This number may be slightly more or slightly less than your individual needs.
Plan ahead – If you sit down and plan out your meals for the week ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to stick to a healthy plan. You might even want to prepare a few freezer-friendly meals in advance for those times when meal prep is just too much hassle.
Fats – Not all fats are created equal. Healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats help your body combat disease and can be vital in your mental well-being. So, choose things like avocado, olive oil, nuts, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids over things high in saturated and trans fats.
These eating tips for seniors are a good place to start when you’re looking at ways to improve and maintain your quality of life. And the caregivers from A Peaceful Way Home Care can assist Palos Verdes seniors in meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation. As always, be sure to follow the advice of your physician.