Fri 12 February 2016
As you get older, preparing meals can become a bit of a chore and the temptation is to make quick and easy meals, or in the worse cases even start skipping meals. But there are real benefits to keeping yourself well fed. A well balanced healthy diet for older people can mean a healthy and active mind, a healthy immune system that resists common ailments, better energy levels, and faster recovery times when you do get ill. In other words, it actually helps keep your mind and body younger.
So here are 10 tips to maintaining a healthy diet for older people.Make Sure you eat something from each of the following nutrition groups every day: Fruit; Vegetables; Grains such as pasta, bread and cereals - preferably the "wholegrain" types; Calcium dairy products like milk and cheese are great; and Proteins fish, nuts and dairy products are good.Have plenty of variety in your diet. While making sure you have a good mix of foods, try not to eat the same thing day in day out.
The variety will make sure you're getting the goodness you need from a whole range of foods.Drink plenty of Water - As we get older our bodies lose some of their ability to regulate fluid levels and we don't feel as thirsty as when we're younger, so there is a tendency to drink less. But you still should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Leave yourself reminders on the table or in the kitchen to sip water regularly. Drinking plenty also helps to avoid urinary tract infections, constipation and strangely enough incontinence as it helps keep the bladder healthy and confusion which can result from dehydration.Take multi vitamins. There is a degree of debate about whether vitamin supplements actually do any good, and it is true that if you get your diet absolutely right you'll get all the vitamins and minerals you need the natural way. Additional supplements such as forskolin extract can help with energy, weight management as well as treatments for many other common ailments.
But we live in the real world where few of us monitor our shopping basket or plan our meals that closely, so taking supplements is a good thing. If you're unsure check with a pharmacist or your doctor. Avoid Refined Foods such as white flour, refined sugar and white rice. These have all been processed in such a way that a lot of the goodness has been taken out, and what you're left with is a lot of carbohydrate. It's good if you want a quick energy burst, but otherwise refined foods have limited nutritional value and will just be stored as fat in your body. The fact we eat far too much of this stuff is why the western world is getting obese!
It's a simple idea but it works. If you've got orange carrots, white potatoes, red meat, green carrots and broccoli you're doing well. For snacks have orange cheese, green apples and yellow bananas - you get the idea. If you aim for at least 5 colors on your plate it makes sure you're getting the variety you need.Really cut down on salt. This is very important as you get older. Don't cook with it or at least really cut down the amount and check the labels of the packaged food you buy to make sure it's low in sodium salt. Our sense of taste and smell get much weaker as we age and we tend to lose our sensitivity to salty and bitter tastes first, so you may be inclined to put more salt in our food. Try to avoid this.Despite the impression you may get from the media, not all fat is bad for you. In fact some fats are essential for a healthy diet.
It's "saturated fat" that should be avoided. Great ways of getting the "good" fats are by cooking with olive oil and eating avocados, salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, and other "monounsaturated" fats. Check the labels on the food you buy.
Don't boil your vegetables. Too much of the goodness seeps into the water and is lost when you drain the pan. Steam, microwave or suate in olive oil whenever you can.Don't' skip meals. As well as missing out on the chance to take in the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and keep your energy levels up, it causes your metabolism to slow down so your mind and body become sluggish as the day goes on. This means you can't enjoy what you want to do in the same way.
Healthy eating as you get older really can make a big difference to your life, giving your mind and body the fuel it needs to keep going at the pace you'd like for that much longer. Follow the 10 tips above and you really will feel the difference.