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Senior Health: Improving Nutrition As You Age

As you age, eating a well-planned, balanced diet everyday has many health benefits.  For instance, eating a wholesome variety of foods may help reduce the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, anemia, and certain forms of cancer.

In addition, eating well contributes to keeping your muscles, bones and organs healthy and functioning properly as the year’s progress; making it more important than ever to select foods that provide the best nutritional value.

7 Ways To Improve Nutritional Health With Older Age

  1. Increase daily liquid intake- with age, your sense of thirst tends to lessen, so drinking an adequate amount of water each day to stay hydrated is important even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you aren’t a big fan of water other good options to consider are fat-free milk and 100-percent juice.
  2. Meal plan- planning your meals for an entire week at a time can help keep you committed to your healthy eating habits. Consider choosing a set day each week where you prepare dinners for 3-4 days at a time, and then keep them frozen until you are ready to dive in.
  3. Minimize sodium- sense of tastes also declines with age, causing more people to feel the need to add more season food with salt to help boost taste.  The problem with excess salt is the tendency to contribute to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
  4. Incorporate variety- having variety and more color in your meals helps to ensure you’re getting necessary nutrients. Meals with variety may consist of a lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
  5. Know your fats- Foods that are low in saturated fats and trans fat help reduce your risk of heart disease. Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
  6. Increase calcium and vitamin D- Older adults require more calcium and vitamin D to help maintain bone health. Having 2-4 servings of vitamin D-fortified low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt each day is important. Other calcium-rich foods include certain cereals, fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables.
  7. Eat foods rich in fiber- incorporating plenty of fiber-rich foods helps to stay regular. Fiber can also help lower your risk for heart disease, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent Type 2 diabetes. Whole-grain breads, beans, fruits and vegetables can help fiber intake. 
MedicAlert Team Member