DIETS FOR ELDERLY
Eating well is vital for everyone at all ages. Whatever your age, your daily food choices can make an important difference in your health and in how you look and feel. Eating a well-planned, balanced mix of foods every day has many health benefits. For instance, eating well may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, and anemia. If you already have one or more of these chronic diseases, eating well and being physically active may help you better manage them. Healthy eating may also help you reduce high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, and manage diabetes.
Eating well gives you the nutrients needed to keep your muscles, bones, organs, and other parts of your body healthy throughout your life. These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water.
Eating well helps keep up your energy level, is also -- a way to measure the energy you get from food -- you give your body the fuel it needs throughout the day. Consuming a nutritionally balanced diet helps you control your weight. Extra weight is a concern for older adults because it can increase the risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease and can increase joint problems.
If you become less physically active as you age, you will probably need fewer calories to stay at the same weight. Choosing mostly nutrient-dense foods -- foods which are high in nutrients but low in calories -- can give you the nutrients you need while keeping down calorie intake. Your food choices also affect your digestion. For instance, too little fiber or fluid may cause constipation. Eating more whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables or drinking more water may help with constipation.
Eating well isn't just a "Diet" or "Program" that's here today and gone tomorrow. It is part of a healthy lifestyle that you can adopt now and stay within the years to come. To eat healthier, you can begin by taking small steps, making one change at a time. For instance, you might buy whole-grain bread, leaner meats, or more fruits and vegetables when you shop. These changes may be easier than you think. They're possible even if you need help with shopping or cooking, or if you have a limited budget. If you have a specific medical condition, be sure to check with your doctor or dietitian about foods you should include or avoid.
Whatever your age, you can start making positive lifestyle changes today. Eating well can help you stay healthy and independent -- and look and feel good -- in the years to come.
HOW TO EAT WELL AS YOU GET OLDER
Eating well means choosing a mix of healthy foods that give your body the nutrients it needs. Eating well also means consuming the right number of calories for your age, gender, and level of physical activity. You also need to know what foods to limit. And of course, it's important to enjoy your meals.
CHOOSE NUTRIENT- RICH FOODS
To eat well, it's best to choose a mix of nutrient-dense foods every day. Nutrient-dense foods are foods that are high in nutrients but low in calories. Look for foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Plan your meals and snacks to include:
- Plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Plenty of grains, especially whole grains.
- Low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products.
- Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
- Limited amounts of fats (saturated and trans fats should be as low as possible), cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
Fruits, vegetables, and grains offer important vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy. Most of these foods have little fat. They also have no cholesterol. Fruits, vegetables and grains are also a source of fiber, and eating more fiber may help with digestion and constipation and may lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Fruits, vegetables, and grains and beans also give your body phytochemical. Phytochemicals are natural compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene. Like vitamins, minerals, and fiber, phytochemical may promote good health and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Eat a variety of fresh, dried fruits every day. To make sure you get the benefit of the natural fiber in fruits, you should eat most of your fruits whole rather than as juices. Fruits may be purchased fresh,. Also, eat a variety of colors and types of vegetables every day. Broccoli, spinach, turnip, and other dark leafy greens are good choices. You might also choose orange vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin
Foods made from grains are a major source of energy and fiber. Include grains in your diet every day. Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Grains fall into two main categories : whole and refined. In other words, at least half of the cereals, breads, crackers, and pastas you eat should be made from whole grains. Whole grains are better sources of fiber and nutrients than refined grains, such as white flour or white rice. Refined grains have had both the bran and germ removed and don't have as much fiber or as many nutrients as whole grains. Most refined grains are enriched, with some B vitamins and iron added back in after processing. However, fiber is not replaced.
Whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread, are made with the entire seed of a plant, including the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Together, they provide lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fat, carbohydrates, and fiber. Try whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta or use brown rice in a casserole in place of white rice. Look for "whole wheat" or "whole oats" rather than just "wheat" or "oats" on the ingredients list of packaged goods to make sure you're getting whole grains.
Low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products should be among the foods you choose every day. These products provide calcium and vitamin D to help maintain strong bones. They also provide protein, potassium, vitamin A, and magnesium. Low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt are good options. If you don't drink milk, be sure to have other products that contain the nutrients that milk provides. Some cereals and juices are fortified with extra calcium and vitamin D. Salmon, sardines are good sources of vitamin D.
Protein helps build and maintain muscle, bones, and skin, and you should include some protein in your diet every day. Meats and poultry are sources of protein, B vitamins, iron, and zinc These foods tend to be low or lower in saturated fats, and beans provide fiber., kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils are all healthy options. Look for ways to add nuts and seeds to your meals and snacks too, but keep amounts small since these foods can contain high amounts of fat.
Fats are a source of energy and help maintain healthy organs, skin and hair. Fats also help your body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. It's okay to include some oils and fats in the foods you eat, but be aware that fat contains more than twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrates. Try to choose foods that are low in fat or fat free. Some fats are better for you than others
Be sure to consume plenty of liquids, especially water. You need to replace the fluids you lose every day. You can increase your intake of water by eating fruits and vegetables, which have high moisture content. This may help prevent constipation and dehydration