Healthy Diet and Nutrition Tips for Aging Adults

a senior shopping for food at the supermarketA healthy diet and nutrition plan is not something that one comes across accidentally, but is achieved through planning and discipline.  It is great to have the desire to eat well, but it is a whole other matter to put it into practice and be successful.  Experts have identified key tips that when implemented can yield excellent results which can make eating healthy a reality.

  • Drink more water!  Experts say that a normal adult should be consuming at least 8, 8 ounce glasses of water each day.  This simple practice has been shown to have some significant results including:  Prevention of dehydration, maintaining a sharp memory, flushing out of excess salt from the body, and in many cases reduction of constipation. 
  • Don’t skip meals!   The logic of this statement seems counter-intuitive upon first glance, but after further examination it holds true.  Much like a machine that uses fuel, the body also needs fuel to function properly.  Skipping meals causes the body’s metabolism to slow down, handicapping it from burning calories efficiently.  Another harmful result of skipping meals is the mental and physical sluggishness that ensues.  By the time the meal skipper realizes their increased hunger it often leads to poor food decisions which can be even more detrimental. 
  • Eat less salt!  Elevated levels of salt intake in one’s diet causes the body to retain water, and often results in high blood pressure.  This tip is especially important to seniors, as they are more prone to suffer from high blood pressure and related heart issues.  A great way to avoid eating more salt is the usage of substitutes like herbs and spices for the flavoring of food.
  • Eat smart!  Sometimes people focus so much on the food that they need to stay away from, that they forget about the foods that they need to eat!
    • Fiber:  One of the cornerstones of a senior’s diet should be fiber.  This is most often found in the form of raw fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, and whole grains.  A diet rich in fiber reduces constipation and helps to maintain that ‘full feeling’.
    • “Good Fats”:  Surprisingly, not all fats are bad!  “Good Fat” is found in foods like olive oil, avocados and salmon.   It keeps the heart healthy by helping in the control of bad cholesterol (LDL), and assisting in the raising of good cholesterol levels (HDL).
    • Complex Carbs:  Carbohydrates are categorized into complex carbs and simple carbs.  Simple carbs are most often found in unhealthy processed foods, but complex carbs include things like sweet potatoes, brown rice and quinoa.  Complex carbs assist the body in avoiding spikes in blood sugar, which in turn helps to stabilize insulin levels.
    • Calcium:   Another very important food staple for seniors is calcium.  Calcium is the key ingredient in foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, salmon, tofu, almonds and collard greens.  Calcium allows the body to maintain bones that are dense and strong, and subsequently helps to prevent osteoporosis.

The tips mentioned above may seem simple and obvious, but they are not the easiest things to put into practice.  In reality, people are most often driven by convenience, and a healthy lifestyle is not the path of least resistance.  The added challenge for seniors is lack of mobility and resources.  Here To Help Home Care is dedicated to assisting our clients achieve a healthy lifestyle by creating healthy meal plans, maintaining daily schedules, and stocking their homes with the foods that will keep them healthy!

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