As you grow older you may find that, even though your diet has not changed, you are gaining weight or feeling sluggish. Part of this has to do with the fact that your metabolism slows as you age. This means that, while your body may require an increase in specific nutrients to keep things running smoothly, it may actually need less food overall. Here are some things you can do to ease the process of making healthy food choices as you age.
Remember to think “rainbow”
The best way to get the nutrients you need is to think about making your plate look like a rainbow. You need a balance of foods that are high in fiber and low in salt. Low-fat dairy like skim milk or almond milk is great. Whole grains like brown rice and wheat pasta, lean protein like seafood, lean meat and eggs, and fruits and vegetables will give your plate the color it needs to be healthy for you.
Don’t forget to hydrate
It is important to stay hydrated by drinking regularly throughout the day. Liquids like tea, coffee, and water are best. Stay away from sugary juices and soda pop, and go easy on the alcohol consumption as well – too much of these liquids can actually result in dehydration. Proper hydration aids in proper digestion of foods and also helps regulate body weight.
Always read the label
It is easy to buy something that you think is good for you but, in reality, is filled with ingredients that are bad for you. If you aren’t already in the habit, make a point of looking at the labels on the food you buy. Look for things that are low in fat, added sugars, and salt. Look for organic produce, which is grown with natural fertilizers, as opposed to conventionally-grown produce which uses synthetic or chemical fertilizers. Shop for organic meat that is fed with hormone-free and GMO-free food as opposed to meat that comes from conventionally raised livestock that are given hormones for faster growth.
Let someone else cook for you
Another option involves making a move to a senior living community where some or all of your meals are prepared for you by a dietary manager who is committed to providing healthy, fresh dining options. Communities like Sweetwater will even offer meals customized to specific health needs. Utilizing an option like this takes all the hassle out of trying to figure out what you should be eating, and they even clean up your dishes for you when you are done!
If you have questions or concerns about your dietary health or that of a loved-one, Sweetwater would be honored to help. Just call (406) 534-0355 for more information.