Selecting Your Healthy Seniors Diet Plan

seniors diet

 

As the years go by, a human body naturally loses its internal strength. Wear and tear of the hectic life schedule maintained during the early day’s shows itself when an individual gradually crosses his 50s. But that does not imply that you must sit back at home and become weaker both mentally and physically. It is for this reason, nutrition and a balanced diet plan is necessary for seniors. However, eating healthy is not synonymous to deprivation of whatever you like. Only a balance has to be maintained between the needs of your body and mind and what you relish.

Healthy food plan for seniors should be designed in such a way that it maintains internal and external health. Seniors must be strong enough to fight against diseases and not fall sick easily, be alert, have energy and emotional stability. If a person is healthy, he/she has confidence and a positive attitude towards life. More so if he/she does not have to depend on others at every step.

 Healthy food chart to take care of body, mind and soul

A suggested healthy diet plan for seniors includes-

  • Eating fresh and healthy foods
  • Trying various foods that are nourishing.
  • Eating together with family and friends.

Foods that should be included in the seniors diet

  1. Fresh whole fruits and not juices is an important part of a senior’s diet regimen. Fruits contain a lot of fiber and also vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium like berries, apples, guavas, melons, etc. that offer various nutrients to the body.
  2. Green vegetables must be included in the diet. Leafy veggies are a source of anti-oxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. So consuming spinach, kale, broccoli, kale, carrots and other colorful veggies are important as you age.
  3. To maintain bone health which naturally deteriorates with age, you must take 1200 servings of calcium regularly. Foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu, almonds must be consumed in the required amounts.
  4. Whole grains are important for the body. These are available from whole-wheat, oats, brown breads and others as a source of your daily carbohydrates.
  5. Proteins are known as body-building foods. Having lean meat, fat-free dairy products, fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, nuts, peas, etc. that are full of Omega3 fatty acids are good for the aged. But diabetics need to consult their physicians for their diet charts.

Light exercises are extremely good for maintaining physical and mental health of seniors. Exercises improve digestion, help to keep the bones and muscles active and when you feel strong within yourself you can conquer the world even if you have grown old.

Nutrition Myths

We are consistently fed with information to perceive the world around us in certain ways.  From soaps to medicines, foods and drinks to almost every essential item we buy, our choices are driven by the campaigns that are meticulously planned by apparent experts in fear psychology.

One of these perennial misinformation campaigns is a plethora of nutrition myths. We have been convinced to believe certain nutrition myths that must be debunked.

Nutrition Myths

  • Let us start with something that almost everyone has heard or has been told. Carbs or carbohydrates are bad for your health. Any food item or dish that is apparently rich in carbohydrates is not considered as healthy food for seniors, adults or kids. Carbohydrates should not be demonized. It is sugar and processed carbohydrates that need to be avoided. There are healthy carbohydrates like wholegrain bread. What we should avoid is overly processed foods. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the human body and it is necessary for a plethora of vital functions.
  • A diet should be rich in protein. This is one of the nutrition myths that have caught on in an era when millions are obese and eating more protein is seen as the Holy Grail of weight loss. Eating more protein will make you over weight. Even lean proteins are not always healthy. Over a period of time, protein adds more fat than healthy carbohydrates. The average adult or senior consumes more proteins than necessary. Also, plant based proteins like beans or legumes are healthier. So if one has to recommend healthy food for seniors that is rich in protein then it would be beans and legumes instead of red or white meat.
  • People are advised to shun carbohydrates and endorse protein. The irony is that protein cannot be absorbed by the human body or by the muscles without carbohydrates. It is similar to the nutrition myth that milk is quintessential for optimum bone health. For strong and dense bones, you should consume calcium rich foods. But calcium alone wouldn’t achieve anything. One also needs vitamins, especially D and K, for strong bones.
  • Many people believe that any healthy food for seniors should be low on calories. Calorie has been flagged as the most menacing element in our diets. Unfortunately, the focus is on calories when we must focus on nutrition. It is not calories that matters but the source of those calories. A thousand calories from sugar rich foods or those that are a source of bad cholesterol is worse than two thousand calories from plant based diets that are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Eating Healthy In Your Senior Years

 eating healthyEating healthy for seniors!  Want to stay fit and keep your mind sharp as you age? Looking for the best ways to maintain your health? If so, start by making small changes to your diet. What you eat affects the way you look and feel. A well-balanced diet can add years to your life and ward off diseases. It may also reduce the need for medications, ease the pain, and increase your energy.

The Importance of Good Nutrition for Seniors 

Seniors have different nutritional needs than younger people, so it’s essential to keep up with the changes in their bodies. Eating healthy can reverse aging and minimize its impact. As you age, your metabolism slows down. This increases your risk of weight gain and muscle loss. Thus, you need to eat fewer calories and choose high-protein foods that help preserve muscle. Protein also has appetite-suppressing effects, so it curbs hunger and fills you up quickly.

Eating healthy is important at any age, but its benefits can be even more noticeable as you get older. If you don’t pay close attention to your diet, you’ll gain weight and develop chronic diseases. Seniors with diabetes or insulin resistance should avoid excess sugar and eat small, frequent meals. Those with cardiovascular problems need to cut back on sodium and trans fats. If you have poor digestion, get plenty of fiber and stay hydrated. Consider switching to a gluten-free diet. Older adults who are lactose intolerance can try lactose-free milk and calcium-fortified foods.

What Does a Eating Healthy Senior Diet Look Like? 

Your diet should consist of lean meat, fish, vegetables, seeds, raw nuts, and whole grains. Consume nutrient-dense foods with few calories, such as chicken, salmon, tuna, oats, and leafy greens. Eat local and seasonal produce as often as possible. Limit your sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams a day to prevent high blood pressure.

Avoid foods containing refined grains, trans fats, added sugar, and cholesterol. Cook your own meals and replace salt with herbs and spices. Fill your plate with kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, pumpkin, and other high fiber foods. This way, you’ll keep your digestive system running smoothly and avoid insulin spikes. Additionally, a high-fiber diet can lower your risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.

Get Enough Vitamin D 

Make sure you get enough vitamin D in your diet. Proper intake of vitamin D can help prevent depression, bone disorders, autoimmune diseases, flu, obesity, and glucose intolerance. This nutrient maintains bone density and lowers your risk of osteoporosis. It also supports cardiovascular health and lung function, regulates insulin levels, and slows down aging. Since most people have vitamin D deficiency supplementation is highly recommended.

Eating Healthy Fats 

Seniors shouldn’t be afraid to eat high -fat foods, such as walnuts, pistachios, avocado, and olive oil. Not all fats are created equal. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids keep your heart healthy, lower inflammation, and reduce bad cholesterol. Just make sure you limit saturated and trans fats, which are found in processed meat, margarine, butter, and junk food. If you’re overweight or have high cholesterol, choose low- fat dairy products and avoid fried foods.