As you grow older, you can’t get away with eating as you did as a teenager when your metabolism was running high, and you could chow down on junk food to fuel your day.
But with age, the body changes, and we have to be more careful about our eating choices.
As Healthline put it, studies indicate that as people age, their metabolism tends to slow down. Scientists say this results from the diminished activity, loss of muscle and the general effects of aging on the body.
Staying fit and healthy is essential for getting the most out of life with your family and friends, after all. With that in mind, here are some tips on eating well as you age.
The Benefits of Eating Healthy as We Age
The U.S National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus report on nutrition for older adults noted that good food choices are crucial no matter the age. Proper nutrition provides us with energy, sharpens our minds, makes us feel better and can help control our weight. The report on healthy eating for seniors also indicated a possibility of good nutrition playing a role in preventing diseases ranging from heart disease to cancer to type 2 diabetes.
Consuming food with calcium (such as dairy products) helps keep your bones strong, which is a significant concern as we grow older. Eating foods with fiber help keep your digestive system working properly.
St. George Dining
At Ovation Sienna Hills, with over 1,000 recipes you are certain to find your favorite on the menu. Plus, our culinary plan makes it easy to come, go, eat, and drink whenever you desire. Community tastes are also considered and woven into every menu to keep things new and fresh. Imagine memorable culinary experiences every day at Ovation Sienna Hills.
Why Subtle Changes in Diet Can Help Overall Health
There’s no need to be drastic when adjusting what you eat. Subtle changes can be more effective because you give yourself and your body the time to adjust to the new way of eating.
For example, based on recommendations from your health care provider, you may modify meals by reducing salt, including more vegetables, or by finding tasty recipes that offer nutrients that you need.
Popular Healthy Cookbooks
Cooking and trying new recipes has quickly become one of the most popular hobbies people pick up during retirement. Whether it’s in the kitchen or on the grill, eating healthy is a lot easier today with all the resources.
Below, we’ve listed some popular cookbooks and magazines to help you get inspired to cooking healthier.
- The Healthy Senior Cookbook: Ideal Meals and Menus for People Over 60 (or Any Age)
- Cooking for Seniors: Over 60 Delicious and Nutritious Recipes
- The Joy of Healthy Grilling: Keeping the Fat Low and the Flavor High
- Prevention Magazine
- Eating Well Magazine
- Taste of Home Magazine
Making a List to Reinforce a Healthy Diet
Instead of making impulse buys at the checkout aisle, plan your next trip by making a shopping list. Stick to the list rather than loading up on random items. There is plenty of junk food tempting people on their way out of the store.
Popular Foods With Health Benefits
The next time you go shopping, consider adding any or all of the following foods to your list. Spend time in the fresh produce section, where you can find plenty of good options for staying healthy as you age. For example, some of the food below provide some significant nutritional benefits that can power-pack your snacks, meals and ultimately enhance your eating pattern to become healthier.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C and more.
They’re high in fiber, which makes them a perfect snack that’s both filling and offers healthy benefits. Add peanut butter for additional protein and benefits.
They contain vitamin K, which your doctor may already want you to increase in your diet.
Rich in healthy fats, they are a good source of calories as they are nutritionally dense. You can easily add them to your salad or create a tasty side of guacamole.
If your doctor has been reminding you to get more potassium in your diet, this fruit has plenty of this essential mineral.
This cruciferous vegetable works well raw for dipping (such as in hummus) or cooked. Whether you stir fry, steam them or put them in soup, this vegetable gives you plenty of protein and micronutrients.
Those who swear by vitamin C to help them stay healthy (such as avoiding the common cold) love a sweet, juicy orange. Remember that eating an orange provides more benefits than drinking orange juice. That’s because getting rid of the plant fiber (pulp), there’s nothing to slow down the digestion of sugars.
A good way to get better nutrition is to “eat the rainbow,” selecting all colors of produce, from bright red tomatoes to dark green kale to purple eggplant to yellow squash and so on.
Lean meats are a good source of protein and have fewer calories than non-lean meats.
This lean meat packs a lot of protein but not much fat (unless deep-fried).
Beef and Turkey
They are other good protein options to keep on hand in your kitchen.
Snacks and Nuts
When it comes to stocking up on snacks, there are plenty of healthier options than grabbing a carton of ice cream or a candy bar.
Healthy nuts are an ideal choice, as they contain healthy fat and vitamins. You can eat them raw or roasted. Avoid seasoned nuts if your doctor wants you to cut down on sodium.
From almonds to peanuts to walnuts, there are plenty of healthy nuts to keep on hand the next time you get a craving for something to munch on in between meals. Keep sliced vegetables in the fridge, such as carrot sticks and celery to grab when you find yourself in need of a quick snack.
Don’t Overdo It!
Remember that if you plan on making any significant changes to your meals or your exercise routine, it’s wise to assess your current condition. You don’t want to go to extremes with nutritional changes or your level of activity.
It will be a good idea to consult with your physician first if you have any questions or concerns about dietary adjustments or a new exercise regimen.
But doing things like including more fresh produce in your meals or cutting portion sizes is an easy way to get started.
Eating Right Makes Living all the More Pleasant in a Retirement Community
For individuals who are interested in living in a retirement community, such as Ovation Sienna Hills in St. George, Utah, it’s worth keeping in mind that meals are available with sit-down restaurant service as well as through grab-and-go food options from the convenience store.
Indeed, a nice variety of delicious, locally sourced nutritious food is available at Ovation Sienna Hills in St. George, Utah. If you have questions about the cuisine or other amenities at our senior living community, please connect with us at 435-429-0000 today.