Here are 6 tips to help fit your dietary needs as you get older for both your body and your budget.
- Important Nutrients
Eating a variety of foods helps you get all the nutrients you need. Making your plate look as colorful as possible is always the best choice. Healthy meals should include:
- Lean protein (lean meats, fish, egg whites, legumes)
- Fruits and veggies (green, red, orange, and purple)
- Whole grains (whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice)
- Low-fat dairy (milk and its alternatives)
Choose foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium. Finding foods with extra Vitamin D is a great addition as it is an important mineral as we age.
- What does a healthy plate look like?
When we were younger it seemed all we saw about healthy eating was the food pyramid. Luckily for us, the USDA unveiled an easier way to help us see what we should be eating each day. This simple graphic below is called MyPlate. Follow this link to see your recommended serving. It shows us exactly how the five food groups should be laid out on our plates. Easy way to keep track of a healthy diet.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking small amounts of fluids throughout the day will help keep you from being dehydrated. Water is best, but if you must drink other items keep the salt and sugar at a minimum, unless your doctor has stated otherwise.
- Read the label
The best and healthiest foods are whole foods. (Meaning not processed or packaged.) If you must eat packaged foods, make sure to read the Nutrition Facts on the label. Stay away from the foods that are high in fats, sugar, and sodium.
- Recommended servings
As we get older we need to work on maintaining our weight and eating the right amount of food for our age and body. Lucky for us, the American Heart Association provides recommended daily servings for adults aged 60+.
- Stretching your food budget
Have you ever heard of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP)? It is a program that helps those in need to afford healthy food for when they need it. There are over 4 million older Americans that use SNAP to buy food, and the average senior receives $113 a month. Click BenefitsCheckUp.org/getSNAP to see if the program can help you.