Healthy Dieting Tips for Elderly

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ~Hippocrates

The senior years can become the most wonderful times in your life, and healthy nutrition will help you to spend them actively. Of course, the definition of healthy eating hadn’t changed for you. Yet, when you become older, your metabolism changes. As a result, you need to eat fewer calories than before. In addition, your body requires an increased amount of certain minerals and vitamins to function properly. Therefore, paying attention to your nutritional needs can help you to maintain your health and have enough energy for staying active for a long time.

Moreover, healthy eating is essential even for the elderly who require special care and employed a professional caregiver to help with the day-to-day activities. In such cases, nutrition is usually maintained by a senior home care person assigned to the senior’s needs.

It is evident that the right dieting allows spending less time and money at the doctor’s office, especially when you have a chronic condition, like diabetes or heart disease. The smart and healthy eating choices can help you to maintain your well-being.Following the dieting tips mentioned below will help you to do so.

Six healthy dieting tips for seniors

  1. What is a healthy plate?

You might have heard about USDA food graphic called MyPlate. The simple graphics they unveiled divides your healthy plate into five major food groups. These groups are the building blocks of your new diet.

2. Look for essential nutrients

Try to make sure that you are eating various foods and get all nutrients your body needs. Your healthy plate should be colorful and include:

  • Lean protein (seafood, beans, eggs and lean meats)
  • Fruits and vegetables (red, green, orange and purple)
  • Whole grains (whole wheat pasta and brown rice)
  • Low-fat dairy (milk and its various alternatives)

Choose foods that are low in salt and sodium and high in fiber. You should also pay attention to Vitamin D since it is known to be the vital mineral our body needs as we age.

3. Always read nutrition labels

Of course, the healthiest foods you can choose are the whole foods. You can find them on the farmer’s markets and in grocery stores. However, it is not always handy to shop for such foods near you. So you need to be a smart shopper! When choosing packaged foods, read the labels and pick items which are lower in fat, added sugar and sodium.

4. Pay attention to recommended servings

During the aging process, your body needs fewer calories, that is why it becomes critical to eat the right amount of food. The American Heart Association shared the list of daily servings’ recommendations for adults aged 60+ which are worth following.

5. Stay well hydrated

Water is an essential building block for our health. Try to drink plenty of fluids, especially in the summer months. Tea and water are your best choices. Dairy is also good since calcium is highly important for your bone health. Try to avoid fluids with salt and sugar, unless your doctor suggested otherwise.

6. Control your food budget

A healthy diet for seniors is not cheap. Yet, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) might reduce costs spent on the nutrition. The program allows elderly to put healthy food on their table. More than 4 million of seniors are already using SNAP to find food programs near them. You may check if the program available for you here.

Keep these healthy dieting tips in mind while developing your meal plans, consult with the doctor, find out what programs are available in your area and make the big difference in your health. You food choices can make your life better and make you healthier and happier, and your body more protected from the diseases.

Here at Open Door Home Care we understand that healthy diet is a must for our elderly clients, that is why we provide professional nutrition counseling services for seniors which depend on your age and health needs.