Healthy living revolves around regular exercise and eating well. But in old age, we ought to pay even more attention to our diet. If we do this, we can prevent many diseases and be sure that our well-being and quality of life are protected.
Thanks to the research conducted by the National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Aging, we know that one in every four older adults lacks proper nutrition. Because of this, many of the elderly are at high risk of gaining or losing weight unconventionally, developing various diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and having their muscles and bones weaken. Some seniors find it hard to keep their diet in balance, especially if they have a medical condition that puts them in and out of the hospital or leaves them without finances to buy the right food.
Nutrition is not an exact science, and seniors who want to have their diet in balance need to consult a doctor. But there are both small and large lifestyle changes that most seniors can do in their daily living. The quality of life of every individual will improve if they adopt a healthy diet. By doing this, they can improve some of their chronic conditions—or at least lower the effect of their symptoms—improve their overall health, and be in a better mood as a consequence. What most people don’t know is that the right diet can even improve mental health. So here’s what you can do to achieve this:
- Stock up on fruits and vegetables
- Switch to healthier fats
- Hydrate often
- Increase your fiber intake
Stock Up on Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are good for health. Even the birds and bees know this. But what you don’t know is that 50% of every meal should be made out of fruits and vegetables. The reason is simple. They are both rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. What’s even better is that they will lower the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain forms of cancer.
You should look to have a diet that includes 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables a day. The goal might seem far-fetched, but it’s not. There are ways you can achieve this. The easiest way is to have salsa in the morning, fruit snacks and vegetable smoothies during the day, and veggies beside your pasta in the evening.
Switch to Healthier Fats
If you consume a lot of saturated and trans fats, you will be at risk of developing heart disease by raising the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. What you can do is back down on animal-based products such as butter, bacon, and some types of meats. This way you will manage unhealthy fats in your body.
The lowered intake of bad fats can be done through switching the products you use. Replace beef with turkey, whole milk with fat-free, and regular peanut butter with a non-fat one.
Healthy living revolves around hydrating. With old age, hydration becomes even more essential. The reason lies behind the fact that your brain will react slower to dehydration when you get older. The signals that you need to drink more water slow down when you pass the 60-year mark.
If you find yourself forgetting to drink water, you should make a schedule and stick to it.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Taking in more fiber is recommended for people of all ages. All of the reasons are good. By taking in more fiber, you will reduce belly fat, increases energy, and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Just some of the foods that are rich in fiber include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.