Seniors often find themselves bombarded with well-meaning advice about how to eat healthy. Media Articles that address the question of “What are healthy foods to eat?" often contradict each other. In addition, many of these reports focus on weight loss diets or restrictions for people with medical concerns, making healthy eating sound like a chore.
Nutritionists now believe in a holistic, wellness-oriented approach to food choices and eating. Instead of focusing on eliminating entire food groups or carefully restricting calories, nutrition experts would like to see active adults focus on enjoying the process of cooking, serving, and eating healthy, delicious food.
Healthy Eating for Seniors
As we age, changes in our metabolisms, tastes, and lifestyle can have an impact on how we eat, enjoy, and digest food. Here are some things to consider when making food and dietary choices:
Metabolism slows as we age. If you notice that you seem to be gaining weight on what has been your standard diet, you may need to make some adjustments. There are multiple calorie counting books and great mobile apps on the market that can help you keep track of what you are eating.
Some seniors find their palette becomes less sensitive to certain tastes. In some cases, this can result in over-salting food. Keep track of the amount of salt you use and consider using salt-free seasonings as an alternative.
Some foods may interact badly with medicines you might be taking. Your physician and pharmacist can provide you with information about possible food interactions that can reduce the effectiveness of medications or even pose risks to your health.
Speaking of your doctor, she can help you set weight loss and fitness goals and answer questions about the possible need for nutritional supplementation.
Tips for Eating a Healthy Diet
Here are some tips to make transitioning to a healthy diet easy:
Plan your grocery trips: When you go to the grocery store without a list, there's a real risk of buying too much food or purchasing processed snack food on impulse. When you plan your grocery trips ahead of time, you can ensure you are purchasing healthy foods along with a few treats. In addition, planning your shopping trips also helps you save money by taking advantage of coupons and sales.
Take a cooking class: One advantage of cooking your own meals is that you can control portion size as well as the ingredients you use. If you are uncomfortable in the kitchen, take a cooking class, preferably with a friend.
Try new foods and cuisines: Since your tastes may change as you age, it's a good idea to try out different foods and cuisines. Make a point of checking out ethnic restaurants with your friends or trying new recipes that you find online. Many cuisines emphasize healthy seasonings along with fresh produce, making them perfect for seniors.
Interest in eating well has never been stronger in our culture. Take advantage of the many resources out there to learn about new foods, new cooking techniques and ways that you can use food to keep yourself healthy and happy well into retirement.