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Diet Tips to Meet Your Nutritional Needs Back
Now that the kids are out of the house, it’s okay to have ice cream for breakfast, right? It may seem tempting to just relax and go against all of those nutritional “rules” you enforced with your family for so many years just for fun, but there are many reasons why eating healthy is one of the smartest choices you can make now that the kids are long gone. For many seniors, it can be challenging to choose healthy foods simply because food may not taste the same anymore, or you they not be able to get to the grocery store. Some seniors struggle with loss of appetite, so they just snack on less healthy options throughout the day. Whatever the reasons for not eating healthy, there are more essential reasons to eat nutritionally so that you can receive the fuel your body needs at this stage in your life.
How Much Should I Eat Daily?
The National Institute on Aging provides a helpful answer on that:
How many calories do people over age 50 need each day?
A Woman: Who is physically active needs about 1,600 calories
Who is somewhat active needs about 1,800 calories
Who has an active lifestyle needs about 2,000-2,200 calories
A Man: Who is not physically active needs about 2,000 calories
Who is somewhat physically active needs about 2,200-2,400 calories
Who has an active lifestyle needs about 2,400-2,800 calories
What Should I Eat?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that a healthy diet is rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. So what does that look like throughout your day and on your plate? Try getting started with a few of these ideas:
Eat many different colors and types of fruits and vegetables
Make sure at least half of your grains are whole grains
Eat only small amounts of solid fats and foods with added sugars. Limit saturated fat (found mostly in foods that come from animals) and trans fats (found in store-baked goods)
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
Enjoy your food, but eat less if you’re overweight
Read the nutrition fact labels to find ones with lower fat, added sugar and sodium
Whenever possible, choose fresh foods rather than packaged
Stay hydrated by drinking water instead of soda
Keep food safe! Throw out food that is expired, and make sure foods such as eggs, fish and shellfish, meat, and poultry are all properly cooked.
Ask your doctor about which vitamins or supplements you should be taking
Many seniors have chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis. These conditions can be prevented or better managed by paying particular attention to a nutritional diet. Your doctor may recommend that you eat foods that are rich in nutrients, lower in calories, lower in sodium, or sugar. Discuss your dietary needs with your doctor if you have a health problem or take medication that requires special dietary consideration.
Let’s face it, the rewards of eating a well-balanced diet far outweigh the fun of eating ice cream for breakfast. In the long run, you will remain more energized, maintain a healthy weight, and lower your risk of developing chronic health problems by paying particular attention to your dietary choices and meeting your nutritional needs. If you feel like you can improve your food choices, pick one area from the list above and start today!