It’s no myth that as we age, we may become susceptible to developing chronic health conditions and weakness. As the aging process continues, our metabolism gets slower and weaker, which makes it difficult for the body to extract energy from the food we consume.
This is why aging adults and senior citizens must make healthy eating choices to stay fit and protect themselves from sickness and illnesses. For this purpose, we present five healthy eating tips for the elderly to live well.
Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors
1. Increase Your Intake of Fruits and Vegetables
A study suggests that the consumption of fruits can increase your life expectancy by 1.4 years, whereas eating vegetables can add further 0.9 years to your life. Fruits and vegetables contain necessary nutrients and vitamins that provide energy to the body and protect us from chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and so on.
2. Eat on Time
Eating on time every day is just as important as eating healthy. Not eating regular meals is common among senior citizens. When you consume your meals on time, you keep your digestive system in shape. Irregular eating can weaken your digestive system by making it harder for your stomach to digest food, leading to indigestion and bloating. Therefore, eat healthy and on time so your body can digest food properly.
3. Minimize Sodium Consumption
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, consuming excessive sodium salt can be dangerous for the elderly because it can increase the chance of high blood pressure. Furthermore, it can even lead to heart attacks and strokes. Hence, minimize the use of sodium salt and try to keep it limited to below 2,300 mg/day.
4. Avoid Sugary Foods
When shopping for packed items, make sure to read the product labeling carefully and avoid buying anything that contains excessive sugar and added fat. Excessive sugar contributes to collagen-damaging AGEs, which can stimulate the aging process. Hence, according to the recommendations by American Heart Association, older men shouldn’t consume more than 9 teaspoons or 150 calories of sugar per day, whereas women should limit their consumption to 6 teaspoons or 100 calories per day.
5. Limit Unhealthy Fat
Harvard Medical School advises senior citizens to limit the consumption of unhealthy fat, such as fatty red meat and saturated trans fats. This will protect your body from diseases and support your mental well-being and mood. Instead of eliminating fats from your diet, opt for a healthy diet that contains concentrated calories, such as nuts and peanuts, canola oil, olive oil, avocado, and fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, and salmon. You can also add dietary fiber to your meal planning; however, elderly men shouldn’t take it more than 30 g/day while elderly women should limit it to 21 g/day.
Healthy eating promotes a healthy heart and a long lifespan. Make sure to enroll in Medicare in San Diego today!