Seniors are often faced with diet challenges. They need to eat healthy foods that will help them maintain a strong immune system, but they also need to avoid diet mistakes that can lead to health problems. This blog post contains five diet tips for seniors that are simple and easy to follow.
It can be hard to focus on real food when you are living alone. Often they don’t want to take the time or effort to whip up a full meal so they snack or eat a lot of crap instead of maintaining a well-balanced diet.
Five Healthy Diet Tips for Seniors
They need to avoid overeating junk food and other high-calorie items, but also make sure that they are getting the nutrients their body needs in order to function properly. Try not to let them overdo it on sugar or salt as these can lead to health problems.
Seniors need to make an effort to eat nutritiously every day. Eating a healthy senior diet will help you feel your best. What you eat controls it all! Here are some tips for eating a healthy senior diet.
Fiber is Your Friend!
Seniors often suffer from constipation so it is especially important to eat a variety of fiber-rich foods and also have a regular exercise routine. Eating whole grains in breads, cereal, and brown rice, along with fruits, helps the bowels work! Choose whole or cut-up fruits instead of juice for more fiber in your diet.
As an additional option, there are powdered drinks you can add to water and use for fiber. Metamucil or even its store-brand options are available in most grocery stores.
Eating a diet rich in fiber can also help you lose weight as it helps keep you full longer while preventing overeating and other diet mistakes. Fiber is important for everyone–not just seniors!
Diet Tips for Seniors: Drink Water!
Water is an important element of a healthy senior diet and one that is hard for many seniors to fulfill. Seniors need to drink at least 8 glasses daily to hydrate their bodies. Drinking water will prevent dehydration symptoms such as headaches, muscle weakness, hoarseness, and constipation.
If you’re one of those seniors who has a hard time drinking enough water, keep a container with at least 8 glasses of water in the refrigerator every day. At the end of the day, the container should be empty which means you have drunk the water necessary for a healthy senior diet!
What counters that hydration?
Seniors must also make sure they’re not drinking too many liquids that will counteract the hydration from water. Alcohol is one of those drinks–not only does alcohol dehydrate you but it’s a diet mistake for seniors and can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, and liver disease!
The other drink that counters your water intake is coffee. Too much caffeine can lead to heart palpitations, insomnia, and increased anxiety or stress levels.
Eat Your Veggies!
Vegetables provide many of our vitamins and minerals so it is important to eat a good variety of them daily. Buy fresh in season, and canned or frozen out of season. Plan some of your meals around vegetables by making soups or stir-frys. Make a habit of munching on raw veggies for a healthy snack.
Here is the thing: a lot of seniors don’t like to eat raw veggies as they are a bit harder to digest as we age. They cause gas. It’s a diet issue for seniors! As an alternative to raw veggies, consider making them into soup which is easier on the digestive tract.
Steaming is a great option also. When you steam vegetables, they are easier to digest and the flavor is locked in.
Diet Tips for Seniors: Take Vitamins Daily
Seniors should try to get vitamins and minerals by making healthy food choices. Often, seniors have problems with eating that make it difficult to eat healthy enough to get the daily required amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Because of this, it is important to take a daily multi-vitamin supplement. So, when you are putting your meds in a pill holder be sure to add a multi-vitamin so you don’t forget to take it every day!
What kind of multi-vitamin is a good choice?
It is important to choose a multi-vitamin that has the appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals for your diet. For instance, if you’re eating healthy foods all day but not getting enough calcium or vitamin D then make sure these are in your supplement.
It is also good to look for a 50+ option, gender-specific. They tend to be formulated for the needs of an aging body.
Seniors should visit the USDA website to use their MyPlate Plan. This personalized plan will tell you the daily amounts of food that you should be eating. Just enter your age, sex, weight, height, and amount of physical activity and you will get your personalized healthy senior diet!
Isn’t that just the coolest?
You can choose to maintain your current weight or lose weight. The MyPlate is a useful tool to develop a healthy senior diet.
It is also available in Spanish!
To wrap it all up, diet mistakes are easy for seniors to make. With the diet tips above, you can avoid overeating, undereating, dehydration, and other diet mistakes that can lead to a host of health problems.
Eat a healthy senior diet, have a regular exercise program, smile, and enjoy your life every day!
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