Healthy Eating Habits as You Age

Whether you're in your seniors years or care for someone who is, healthy eating habits can make a big difference as you age. As a kid, you probably heard an adult tell you to eat more vegetables, drink more water, or go easy on dessert. But as a senior, or a caregiver for a senior, who's in charge of the menu now? You are.

Food for Thought

Want know what a healthy diet for a senior looks like? It's not complicated. In fact, the biggest difference in eating as you age, is that you typically need fewer calories. In addition, health conditions you may have will also have an impact on what foods you should eat and what you should avoid.

Here's what a healthy senior diet should include, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

Try broccoli, spinach, carrots, watermelon, and blueberries.

Whole grains.

Try whole-grain oatmeal, cereal, brown rice, breads, and pastas.

Non-fat or low-fat dairy products

This includes foods such as cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and sour cream. If you're allergic to dairy, try soy products.

Lean protein.

Avoid or limit red meat. Enjoy skinless poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes.

Fiber.

Get enough fiber from fruits and vegetables, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds.

Herbs and spices

Use generously. Avoid or limit salt.

Healthy oils

Skip deep-fried foods, and foods made with saturated fats and oils. Cook and bake with olive oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil.

Healthy drinks

Drink water, fat-free milk, vegetable juice, coconut water.  Tea or coffee without added sugar are also good. Avoid or limit alcohol and sugary drinks.

Facts about food as you age

If you or a senior you care for doesn't seem to have the appetite for healthy eating, age may be the reason. Vision loss, changes in smell and taste, a decline in thirst, and age-related factors that can alter food textures, can all have an impact on your appetite.

Bottom line, if you want to be a healthy senior, you need to eat like one. But that doesn't mean you have to become a gourmet chef. Leave the cooking to us, keep clean-up simple, and still eat healthy meals made from fresh ingredients. All you have to do is check out the selection of Senior Meals.