Eating healthy has several benefits at any age. As an older adult, it’s especially important for you to be aware of your diet to ensure that you are constantly replenishing your body with the proper nutrients. There are many ways for you to include the right vitamins and minerals in your diet, and there are several changes in your body that you should be aware of. Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind when looking to create healthy eating habits.

1) Maintain a well-balanced diet.

A major issue that many older adults face is forgetting to eat at least three meals a day. Try your best to avoid skipping meals because doing so causes your metabolism to slow down and often results in a sluggish feeling. One way you can do this is by making it a habit to eat a big, wholesome breakfast. By selecting foods that are high in fiber and protein, you will be filled with energy for the day. However, if you are starting to lose energy, replenish your nutrients with a lunch meal rich with veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. Doing so can help you to maintain your energy levels and keep your activity level high. If you are too hungry to wait for your actual meals, choosing healthy snacks are a great way to control your appetite and prevent you from over-eating at dinner. Dinnertime is not meant to over-compensate from meals you might have missed, and eating too much can lead to difficulty sleeping. By balancing your diet throughout the day with nutritious foods, your energy level will be high and you’ll be able to live a more active lifestyle.

2) Fuel your body with the right nutrients.

Your calorie intake might be less than that in your younger years, but that certainly doesn’t mean that you can skip out on the proper nutrients. It’s more crucial than ever for you to be sure that you’re maintaining a balanced diet full of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Calcium is one of the most necessary components of your diet for several reasons. A consistent intake of calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt or cheese will help you maintain bone strength and prevent osteoporosis. Your bones take much longer to recover from breaks or fractures than they used to, so it’s important to take preventative measures by incorporating calcium in your diet. Eating sufficient proteins is also important because it can improve various aspects of your life, such as your mood, stress resistance and the ability to think clearly. As you age, your body also loses its ability to easily regulate fluids, so drinking plenty of water is crucial to your overall health. Drinking the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses can greatly reduce your risk of dehydration, especially in the summer months.

3) Be aware of your changing dietary needs.

Your metabolism is one of the many changing aspects of your dietary needs. Over time it slows down and depending on your activity level, you may need to reduce your calorie intake. If you continue to eat at the same capacity that you did when you were younger, you will run the risk of gaining weight. You may also notice a reduction in your sensitivity to taste and smell. You might be inclined to salt your foods more so that they produce the same taste that you’re used to, but try to avoid doing this if possible. Using healthier alternatives such as olive oil or other spices will season your food without greatly affecting your cholesterol. Your slowing digestive system is another change that you should be aware of. This can cause difficulty in processing certain vitamins and minerals, so it’s important to maintain a high fiber intake. Make sure to also be aware of certain side effects of your medication because they can greatly affect the way you digest your foods. If you are concerned and want to find ways to prevent digestive difficulties, consult your physician.

If you or a loved one would like more information about healthy eating or your changing dietary needs, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!