Eating well is essential at any age, but healthy eating for seniors is especially important to help maintain mental clarity, boost energy and mood levels and increase resilience. Luckily, eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the foods you love – instead, it’s about incorporating fresh, wholesome ingredients into your meals for that extra nutrition. No matter your eating habits, it’s never too late to change how you approach food!
We’ve put together 5 tips on healthy eating for seniors below!
1. Drink More Liquids
As we age, we naturally begin to feel less thirsty, so it’s essential to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day to stay hydrated. Of course water is important, but you can also mix it up with 100-percent juice, fat-free milk or even broth.
2. Eat a Variety of Nutritional Foods (While Limiting Empty Calories)
Try to consume meals that consist of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy – these are the foods that give our bodies valuable energy. As we get older, our bodies tend to need fewer calories, so the calories you choose to eat are extra important. That said, try to avoid foods that have “empty” calories, or little to no nutritional value. These are foods such as chips, soda, candy or baked goods. If you have a sweet tooth, try to incorporate naturally sweet whole foods, such as fresh fruit. Everything in moderation!
3. Trade Salt for Alternative Seasonings
Salt can be tempting – it makes food taste delicious and enjoyable. However, over-consumption of salt can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure, which ultimately can lead to a stroke or heart disease. Pass on the salt and instead reach for healthier seasonings, such as fresh herbs, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and garlic.
4. Avoid Saturated and Trans Fats
This is a more obvious one! Foods fried in butter, margarine or vegetable oils contain a high amount of “bad” fats like saturated and trans. Swap out fried foods for baked or grilled alternatives using “good” fats such as olive oil or ghee. For an extra boost of healthy fats, up your intake of avocados, nuts, and fish!
5. Read Nutrition Labels (and Follow Recommended Servings)
Always read the nutrition label on any packaged foods you are eating! Oftentimes, even if something is promoted as a healthy option, the nutrition label may tell you it’s actually full of sodium, sugar or added fat. Keep an eye on recommended serving sizes as well – this is essential for helping maintain a healthy weight!
Note: It’s always best to consult with your doctor to determine your custom serving size based on your health and medical history.
Cumberland Crossing by OceanView
Nutrition is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At Cumberland Crossing by OceanView, we put an emphasis on wellness and health. As an active living retirement community, we know that staying healthy means you can spend more of your hard-earned free time doing what you love!
To help you focus on your health and happiness, we offer full-time services including interior and exterior maintenance, landscaping, lawn and garden care, housekeeping, and seasonal snow removal. Our in-house RN and Wellness Office is open weekly, providing annual health reviews and is available for any questions or concerns you may have. We also have a consulting nutritionist available for those residents with dietary restrictions.
If you want to learn more about healthy eating for seniors or our active retirement community at Cumberland Crossing, please contact us today!