HEALTHY DIET AND EATING FOR SENIORS
As you age your metabolism inevitably slows down, so being conscious of the foods you choose to eat becomes increasingly important. Even though cutting down on overall calorie intake is often recommended as you get older, you still require the same (and in some cases, higher) levels of nutrients.
FOOD PYRAMID FOR OLDER ADULTS
This modified food pyramid was created specifically for the dietary needs of older adults (50 and up). The main difference you will see in this food pyramid is that at its base it emphasizes low-impact forms of exercise. Swimming, house and yard work, and getting together to cook a healthy meal with friends are all shown as ways to keep your body moving while balancing your diet with nutrient-dense foods.
From left to right, the Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults recommends:
- Whole, enriched, and fortified grains and cereals such as brown rice and 100% whole wheat bread.
- Bright-colored vegetables such as carrots and broccoli.
- Deep-colored fruit such as berries and oranges.
- Low- and non-fat dairy products such as yogurt and low-lactose milk.
- Dry beans and nuts, fish, poultry, lean meat and eggs.
- Liquid vegetable oils and spreads low in saturated and trans fat.
- Fluid intake.
- Physical activity such as walking, house work, and yard work.
You will also notice that in this food pyramid, fruits and vegetables are shown in both fresh and frozen states. Always having bags of pre-cut and washed fruits and veggies in your freezer makes it easier to quickly put together a healthy, balanced, and nutritious meal with minimum effort or planning.