The National Council on Aging has many useful tips throughout its website, including advice on how seniors can ensure they eat healthy as they age. Below are five helpful tips on what to eat and how to choose the food best for you.
Know what a healthy plate looks like.
You might remember the food pyramid, but the USDA recently unveiled a simpler way to help people see what they should eat each day. It is called MyPlate. The simple graphic shows exactly how the five food groups should stack up on your plate. These are the building blocks for a healthy diet.
Look for important nutrients.
Make sure you eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Your plate should like a rainbow – bright, colored natural foods are always the best choice! A healthy meal should include:
- Lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans, leafy greens)
- Fruits and vegetables (think orange, red, green and purple)
- Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
- Low-fat dairy (milk and its alternatives)
Remember to choose foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium or salt. Also, look for Vitamin D, which is an important mineral as we age.
Read the nutrition facts label.
The healthiest foods are whole foods. These are often found on the perimeter of the grocery store in the produce, meat and dairy sections. When you do eat packaged foods, be a smart shopper! Read the labels to find items that are lower in fat, added sugars, sodium and additives.
Use recommended servings.
To maintain your weight, you must eat the right amount of food for your age and body. The American Heart Association provides recommended daily servings for adults aged 60 and up.
Water is an important nutrient too! Do not let yourself get dehydrated – drink small amounts of fluids consistently throughout the day. Water, tea and coffee are your best choices. Keep fluids with sugar and salt at a minimum, unless your doctor has suggested otherwise.
Read more healthy eating tips here.