As the top-rated provider of nursing home care in and around Philadelphia, PA, we understand that as you age, your dietary requirements change, your metabolism slows down, and your senses can diminish. This makes seniors more susceptible to contracting and developing chronic conditions. Luckily, you can improve your overall well being by making intelligent, healthy eating choices over time. The following healthy eating tips can help to ensure good overall health as you age:
Use Less Salt
As you get older, your sense of taste can decline. This can create a desire to use more salt on your food to increase the flavor. An unfortunate side effect of too much salt consumption is an increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to strokes, kidney disease, and heart attacks. It’s recommended that you consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt each day.
Opt For Healthy Fats
Instead of cutting out all fats from your diet, eliminate trans fats and saturated fats. Consuming healthier polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats supports your mood and mental wellbeing. They can also help to protect the body from disease. Fish, nuts, avocados, and olive oil are just a few excellent sources of “good fats.”
Consume More Fluids
As we age, our sense of thirst decreases. However, consuming fluids is more important than ever before. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, you should aim to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Besides water, fat-free milk and 100% fruit juice are healthy alternatives to ensure efficient hydration.
Cut Down on Sugar
Refined sugars offer no nutritional value as they are loaded with empty calories. We recommend slowly reducing the number of sugary treats that are included in your current diet. Replace these with naturally sweet foods such as sweet peppers, yams, and of course, fruits.
Plan Meals Ahead
By thoroughly planning your meals ahead of schedule throughout the week, you will be less likely to snack on unhealthy items. You may want to consider preparing a week’s worth of dinners in advance. Try to fit lots of protein, fruits, and vegetables into your daily diet. For example, you can have a fruit bowl and some nuts for breakfast, a salad with protein for lunch, and grilled chicken breast with asparagus for dinner. These meals can be frozen, ready to defrost when you need them. If you qualify, you can also factor meals on wheels into your weekly meal schedule, which would ease the burden of meal-prepping.
Consider Taking Dietary Supplements
While eating vegetables and fruits is the optimal way to get all the nutrients your body needs, sometimes it’s not enough. Talk to your doctor and ask if they can recommend any supplemental vitamins and minerals that will complement your diet and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
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