According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the definition of a healthy diet changes as people age. One reason for this is that the body’s metabolism naturally slows down the older people get. That means you do not need to consume as many calories as you did when you were younger to provide your body with physical and mental energy.
Older people also need to include different nutrients in their diet than when they were younger. Since you need fewer calories to function, it is especially important to choose foods that provide maximum nutrition. In this blog post, we offer tips for a healthy diet for retirees provided by the NCOA.
How to Choose the Healthiest Nutrients
The more colorful the foods on your plate, the more likely it is that you are eating healthy. Here are the nutrients the NCOA recommends to ensure a healthy diet as you age:
- Fruits and vegetables such as oranges, apples, and grapes
- Lean protein that includes beans, eggs, lean meats, and seafood
- Low-fat dairy products like skim milk
- Whole grains such as whole wheat pasta and brown rice
When you choose foods for meals and snacks, be sure to look at the nutrition label to make sure the food is low in sodium and high in fiber. Vitamin D is also an important part of a healthy diet for retirees.
Reduce the Amount of Packaged or Processed Foods You Eat
When you go to the grocery store, try to choose most of your items from the outer perimeter of the store in the dairy, meat, and produce sections. While the occasional packaged meal is fine, don’t forget to read the nutrition label to check the sugar, fat, and sodium levels.
Drink Plenty of Water throughout the Day to Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can cause significant health problems, especially among older people. We recommend buying a high-quality 20-ounce water glass and filling it up at least a few times a day. Drinking coffee or tea can help to add a little variety to your water-based drinks, and these are the options that the NCOA recommends. Be sure to avoid drinking beverages with added sugar or salt as much as possible unless your doctor has given you different advice.
Understand the Components of a Healthy Meal
Maybe you raised your kids following the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food pyramid for healthy eating and have not considered that it might have changed. In recent years, the USDA updated its recommendations and now calls it MyPlate. The typical plate of healthy food contains fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains. You can learn more about MyPlate at this link and get some meal ideas at the same time.
Make Solivita Living Your Next Home to Access Healthy Food Onsite
Solivita Living is a real estate agency with five locations in Central Florida that caters to the 55+ retirement community. Among the dozens of amenities available, you have access to onsite catering and three restaurants with a variety of menus available. Please contact Solivita Living today to learn more about living in an active Central Florida retirement community.