This article will address a few simple to understand dietary tips that if implemented, will help seniors achieve and maintain good health as they age.
As boomers contemplate their own mortality, they become increasingly focused on ways to ensure they’ll be able to enjoy their golden years to the fullest. Granted, there is an ongoing debate about diet and the best way to eat. Like most complicated issues, there are many answers worthy of consideration.
Below are some widely accepted dietary tips that a majority of experts tout as healthy guidelines for aging gracefully.
8 Dietary Tips
1. Select nutritional foods without excessive calories.
One of the top dietary tips for maintaining good health is to select nutrient-rich foods that don’t pack on calories. MedlinePlus recommends eating brightly-colored fruits and vegetables as a strategy for adding a variety of antioxidants into your diet without bogging your body down with excessive calories. While cooking nature’s bounty can be easier on the digestive system, eating some raw versions is also recommended to fuel optimal health.
Less processed foods are always preferred as a way to steer clear of harmful chemicals, additives, and preservatives that can diminish health returns. Adding mother nature’s spices instead of heavy cream, sugar and cheese represent the best way to eat without adding unnecessary calories. Processed foods can also be higher in calories. When it’s time to grocery shop, think in terms of choosing foods as close to their natural state in nature as possible.
2. Pack in fiber-rich foods to promote healthy digestion.
Getting enough fiber is key for healthy digestion. Unfortunately, many seniors struggle with digestive problems as they age. By eating high-fiber foods at every meal, constipation can be a problem of the past. These foods are also believed to maintain optimal cholesterol levels.
Healthline recommends beans, lentils, nuts, oats, whole grains, seeds, vegetables, and fruits. Seniors who suffer from digestive distress when they eat too much fiber should consider a fiber supplement like Metamucil.
3. Choose foods with limited saturated fats and cholesterol.
Your heart health is significantly impacted by saturated fats and cholesterol. One of the best dietary tips for controlling cholesterol is to limit your saturated fat intake is to cut back on your meat consumption or choose lower-fat protein options.
Trans fats creep up in vegetable shortening and margarine. That’s why it is a good idea to try and eliminate baked goods and fast food as much as possible.
4. Take precautionary measures to lower the risk of food poisoning.
Seniors are more likely to experience illness from food-borne bacteria due to a weakened immune system. While any person can suffer from food poisoning, boomers are at a heightened risk. That’s why it makes sense for seniors to consider eliminating certain high-risk food options from their diet.
Sushi, raw eggs, and Caesar dressing are foods that can cause problems for seniors. Carefully sterilizing your kitchen is another important way to prevent the spread of germs.
5. Make a commitment to stay hydrated.
Since a person’s thirst often decreases with age, it is easier to become dehydrated. Since fruit juices can add a lot of unhealthy sugar into your system, experts recommend flavored water or adding a slice of lemon or lime as a strategy for improving the taste of bland water.
Hot weather and certain medications can dehydrate seniors. Keeping track of your fluid intake is always a good idea. Conscientious fluid consumption is as easy as counting the number of glasses of water you drink.
6. Be sure to eat a protein-rich diet.
Eating enough protein is essential for maintaining your vitality. Livestrong reports Harvard Health Publishing findings that people over 30 begin losing as much as 5% of their muscle mass each decade. Over time, this decline leads to compromised mobility and weakness for seniors. The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams for every 2.2 pounds of body weight.
Another reason boomers should focus on getting enough protein is due to the fact that the body’s ability to use protein diminishes with age. That means it can take even more protein to get the same benefits enjoyed in younger years.
7. Make magnesium intake a priority.
Magnesium is not always given its due as it relates to its importance for achieving optimal health. The facts support this mineral’s significant impact on healthy bodily functions such as bone health, muscle movement, and blood glucose regulation. The good news is that magnesium levels can be boosted by choosing the right foods.
One of the richest sources of magnesium is green leafy vegetables such as spinach. Other dietary sources of magnesium are nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Many kinds of cereal are also fortified with magnesium, offering a predictable source of this important necessity.
8. Limit or eliminate toxin intake.
Granted, this tip sounds like common sense. The problem is that it is far too easy to justify the vices we’ve grown to love. We’ve all heard that sugar is the devil. Since there is some truth to this adage, it is best to eliminate sugar as much as possible. It makes sense to remember that the sugar ingested in fruit differs dramatically from refined sugar found in cakes and cookies. Opt for fruit to quench your sweet tooth.
Alcohol should be limited to one drink a day for women and two drinks for men. Less is definitely more as it relates to imbibing. Consider red wine instead of liquor to gain some health advantages attributed to resveratrol.
Highly Processed Foods
The more ingredients that food has listed on a package, the more likely it is to be toxic. By purchasing fresh food in season, you can resist the urge to purchase foods in a box or can.