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Tips For Choosing Healthier Foods As You Age

1 year, 5 months ago

9483  0
Posted on Jan 27, 2023, 2 p.m.

Food provides the nutrients and energy you need as you age. Keep these tips in mind when you are grocery shopping, eating, or preparing a meal, they could help you to maintain a healthy weight, ensure that you are getting the nutrients that you need, and help you to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and chronic illnesses.

Eat the rainbow, this phrase means to eat a variety of foods each day which includes fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. The phrase was designed to encourage people to include fruits and vegetables in their meals, plants contain different pigments and different colored plants are linked to higher levels of specific nutrients and health benefits. Simply eating a variety of colors will increase your intake of different nutrients that will be of benefit to various areas of health. Almost all studies demonstrate ample benefits from consuming colourful fruits and vegetables on a regular basis with virtually no downsides. 

Consider keeping a food diary to track what you are eating. This can help you to identify any deficiencies that you may be having or what you may be overindulging in as well. If you are noting the time you are eating as well it can help you to spot patterns that may not be healthy so you can work on correcting them with a more healthful pattern. A food diary can even help you to identify certain foods that you may not be reacting to very well, or help you to remember when the last time you ate was when you were very busy. Additionally, food diaries can help you to create a shopping list, meal planning, and stick to a budget.

When you are shopping, read the ingredient labels to learn what is in your food. If it does not have a label it might be a good idea not to get that item containing unknowns. Making more healthful dietary choices can help you to feel your best and stay active while helping you to lower the risk of developing certain health conditions. Check the serving size as it is common for packaged foods or beverages to contain more than one serving. Look at the % daily values listed, this can help you to look for foods that may be a good/bad choice for you. Take a good look at what is listed, if you are not sure what something is look it up to know what you are putting into your body.  

Try to choose foods that don’t have a lot of sugar, saturated fats, and sodium to help prevent the development of certain chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. You can still eat those naughty foods that you enjoy, but do it in moderation and align them with a healthy eating pattern with more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Small changes in your diet can make a difference over time that really pay off. The changes can start small and slowly increase, such as starting with drinking water rather than one sugary drink or cooking several freshly made-at-home meals a week rather than take out. 

Keep in mind how many calories you need to take in per day, it can be easy to take in too much. For example, a woman aged 60+ who is not physically active needs about 1,600 calories per day, a 60+ woman who is moderately active needs about 1,800 calories, and a 60+ woman who is very active needs about 2,000-2,200 calories per day. While for men, a man aged 60+ who is not physically active needs about 2,000-2,200 calories per day, a 60+ man who is moderately active needs about 2,200-2.400 calories,  and a 60+ man who is very active needs about 2,400-2,600 calories per day according to the NIH. It is important to note that the number of calories people need can vary by the individual, always talk with your healthcare provider before making any changes. 

When you are eating out, or at home, remember that you do not have to clean the plate, be aware of portion size as most places serve super-sized portions, this can help you to manage weight. While you are eating, try practicing some mindfulness by chewing your food slowly for longer to really enjoy what you are eating more and help the digestion process. 

Maintaining good nutrition is very important to your health and well-being, most people can lead a more healthful lifestyle by making simple little changes to their diet. While it is true that good nutrition is essential to health, it is just one of the key aspects of health that will provide even more benefits when paired with managing stress, getting enough sleep, having a positive attitude, exercising, and daily physical activity. 

This article was written by Tamsyn Webber at www.worldhealth.net. 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

Content may be edited for style and length.

References/Sources/Materials provided by:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/infographics/choosing-healthier-foods

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31267783/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5974099/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6539799/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4354933/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770874/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29846082/

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/topics/healthy-eating-nutrition-and-diet

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/healthy-meal-planning-tips-older-adults

https://www.fda.gov/food/new-nutrition-facts-label/using-nutrition-facts-label-older-adults

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/news/2016/new-dietary-guidelines-urge-americans-eat-less-added-sugars-saturated-fat-and-sodium

https://www.worldhealth.net/news/eat-rainbow/

https://www.worldhealth.net/news/nutrition-tips-health-and-longevity/



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