Monthly Archives: March 2016

Eating Healthy

We always hear about how we are support to eat healthy, but what does that actual mean.
Eating a well-planned, balanced mix of foods every day has many health benefits. For instance, eating well may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, and anemia. If you already have one or more of these chronic diseases, eating well and being physically active may help you better manage them. Healthy eating may also help you reduce high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, and manage diabetes. As we get older, our food and activity choices become even more important to our health.
But how you do that:
1. First check with you doctor, about what you can and can’t eat. Some diseases will not allow you to eat certain foods; some medication also will not allow you to eat certain items, such as grapefruit or greens based on what you are taking.
2.Ask to be referred to a local Registered Dietician or nutrition professional who meets certain requirements can provide these services, which may include an initial nutrition and lifestyle assessment, one-on-one nutritional counseling, and follow-up visits to check on your progress in managing your diet, which could be covered under your Medicare plan if you have diabetes or kidney disease.
3. Find trusted nutrition information from ChooseMyPlate.gov and the National Institute on Aging. Get advice on what to eat, how much to eat, and which foods to choose, all based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Find sensible, flexible ways to choose and prepare tasty meals so you can eat foods you need. Include a variety of different colored vegetables to brighten your plate. Most vegetables are a low-calorie source of nutrients. Vegetables are also a good source of fiber. As we age, we need fewer total calories, but more nutrients, especially protein, B-vitamins and calcium. In terms of nutrition, you need to focus on quality not quantity. All your food choices, for every food group, need to be power-packed with more nutrients per calorie. For both optimal physical and mental health, older adults truly need to make every calorie count.
4. Protein is needed to maintain muscle mass, fight infection and recover from an accident or surgery. Chewing protein foods such as meat or chicken also can be a problem for some older adults. You can add power milk or protein power into items to increase the amount of protein, drink items such as ensure or boost to add proteins and vitamins to you diet. Add peanut butter to you cereals, on crackers or add beans to salads, casseroles, or soups without breaking the bank. Reduce the amount of processed foods. Try to eat items in season, or for protein try chicken and turkey, dairy, plant-based protein sources such as meatless meals, breakfast at dinner time, etc. My adding fiber into you diet, you can also help your digestion which become less efficient as we age or take certain medications
4. Foods may seem to lose their flavor as you age. If favorite dishes taste different, it may not be the cook! Maybe your sense of smell, senses of taste, or both have changed. Medicines may also change how foods taste. Add flavor to your meals with herbs and spices. Just make sure that you watch the salt that might be in your spices.
5. Make the right choices when buying food. Pay attention to important nutrients to know as well as calories, fats, sodium, and the rest of the Nutrition Facts label. Ask your doctor if there are ingredients and nutrients you might need to limit or to increase. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be about dieting and sacrifice. Whatever your age, eating well should be all about fresh, tasty food, creativity in the kitchen. No matter how healthy your diet, eating the same foods over and over is bound to get boring. By making variety a priority, you’ll find it easier to get creative with healthy meals. Stocking the pantry and fridge with wholesome choices will make it easier to prepare quick, tasty meals. Remember take small steps to change your diet and eating healthy does not have to break the bank.