Six Tips for Healthy Eating That Can Prevent Senior Health Problems
As you grow older, your appetite and nutritional needs can change. At the same time, senior citizens are unfortunately more prone to developing health conditions.
So, it is crucial that you have a well-balanced diet so you can stay healthy as you age. A healthy diet can enable you to stay energized, maintain a healthy weight, and get the macro and micronutrients your body needs. To prevent developing health problems as you age, follow these six helpful tips for healthy eating.
Don’t Eat More Calories Than You Burn
As you get older, your body usually needs fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. That means you need to monitor your caloric intake because if you eat more calories than you burn, you could gain weight. Furthermore, eating more calories than you burn can lead to muscle and joint problems as you age. To ensure you are eating and burning the right number of calories and macronutrients, you can simply use the online calculator on this page to work out your optimal calories and macros.
As you age it is common to lose your appetite, as well as your sense of taste and smell, which can cause you to eat less. That in itself is not a problem. Just make sure you get enough calories to maintain healthy organs, bones, and muscles and do not eat more calories than you burn.
Make Sure You Get Enough Macronutrients and Micronutrients
Macronutrients in food provide you with energy. Macros are made up of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Micronutrients are nutrients that are only required in small amounts but they are pivotal for your body functioning properly to maintain good health. Micronutrients come in the form of minerals and vitamins.
To maintain good health, people of all ages must ensure they get adequate amounts of protein, fats, and carbs each day. But it becomes even more important to get the right macros in your diet as you get older. Here is a brief overview of why the three macronutrients are vital for good health:
- Protein increases your metabolism and makes you feel fuller after eating. It helps you to build muscle and lose weight.
- Fats supply you with energy and enable the other nutrients to do their jobs.
- Carbohydrates are one of the primary food groups. They are essential for living a healthy life, and you should get the majority of your calories from carbs.
Know Which Foods Contain the Nutrients You Need
The healthy foods that contain macros often also include the micronutrients you need. But you could take vitamins and minerals as supplements if you are not getting enough micronutrients through your food. You are probably now wondering which healthy foods you can get your macronutrients from. Here is the answer:
- Protein foods include fish, cheese, milk, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds.
- Healthy fats are found in oils, cheeses, oily fish, nuts, and avocados.
- Carbohydrates are found in starches like breakfast cereals, pasta, rice, bread, and potatoes, and in fibres and sugars in foods like vegetables, grains, and dairy products.
So, for an all-around nutrient-dense healthy diet, make sure you eat things like fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products regularly.
Eat Plenty of Fibre
Many foods that contain carbohydrates also contain fibre. It is essential you get enough fibre in your daily diet to maintain a healthy digestive system and avoid health problems like constipation. Good sources of fibre are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, whole grains, oat bran, and oats.
Limit Foods That Are High in Calories and Low in Nutrients
While it is important to get the right healthy protein, fats, and carbs into your diet, you also need to avoid eating too many foods that are high in calories, low in nutrients and contain processed sugars, salt, and saturated and trans fats. So, save things like desserts, foods with added sugar, and deep-fried foods for the occasional special treat; or simply cut out junk food altogether.
Consult Your Doctor
While the above healthy foods can help to prevent senior health problems from occurring, you may need to cut certain foods out of your diet altogether to help prevent or treat problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and high cholesterol. For example, if you are diagnosed with diabetes or high cholesterol, you should eat foods that are nutrient-rich but low in processed sugars and saturated fats. Speak to your doctor about the changes you can make to your diet for your precise conditions and level of health and fitness.
Furthermore, some people become sensitive to some foods as they get older. Sensitivity to peppers, onions, dairy products and spicy foods is quite common, so you may need to cut those out of your diet.
At the end of the day, as long as you eat the right things, avoid the wrong foods, and get some form of regular exercise, there is no reason why you cannot stay healthy for years to come.