Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors

healthy eating tips for seniors

As you age, healthy eating becomes even more important as it enhances quality of life and helps you to maintain independence. A healthy diet can lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, prevent muscle and bone loss, and promote and protect health and wellbeing.

Making healthy food choices can, however, become more challenging with age. For starters, your metabolism slows down so you need fewer calories, but at the same time your body needs more of certain nutrients to maintain your health. Choosing wisely and including foods that pack a nutritional punch therefore becomes more important. You may also find that your appetite has decreased, that you are eating alone more often, that you are struggling to buy healthy foods on a dwindling budget, or that is simply a schlep to cook for one or two people. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy diet despite these challenges …

healthy eating tips for seniors

1. Choose nutrient-rich foods

This will help you to get all the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fats that you need without exceeding your caloric needs. Try to get most of your calories from nutrient-dense foods such as fruit and vegetables, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. Limit or avoid foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients, such as sweets, desserts, deep-fried foods and sugary drinks.

healthy eating tips for seniors

2. Fill up on fibre

Eating enough fibre is essential for a healthy digestive system and soluble fibre can help to control your cholesterol levels. Avoid problems like constipation by including good sources of fibre such as fruit and veggies, whole grains, beans and lentils, oats and oat bran, and nuts and seeds at every meal.

healthy eating tips for seniors

3. Stay well-hydrated

Your sense of thirst may decline as you age, but staying hydrated remains very important. Drinking enough water also aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Try sipping on water throughout the day and avoid sugary drinks as far as possible.

healthy eating tips for seniors

4. Plan ahead

Meal planning can take the guesswork out of eating and can help ensure you eat a variety of nutritious foods throughout the day.

healthy eating tips for seniors

5. Eat with others

Eating with others is not only good for your social life, but it also enhances your health by encouraging you to eat more of the foods you need to stay strong. And it turns eating into an enjoyable occasion rather than a chore. At Nazareth Care we encourage residents to eat in the dining room and we’ve noticed how both body and soul are fed at mealtimes.

6. Use your resources

If you are cooking for yourself, consider using a grocery or meal delivery service. If you are staying in an aged-care facility you probably have the option of enjoying prepared meals. At Nazareth Care we serve all meals buffet style to ensure that you still have a choice in how much and what is dished up – best of both worlds!

We hope you have found these tips useful. Remember to speak to a registered dietician if you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight or follow a well-balanced diet. Bon appétit!

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