With a new year quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to evaluate your lifestyle and determine which resolutions you want to set for a healthier mind and body next year. These resolutions may range from retirement planning to spending more time with family and friends, or making time to be active on a daily basis.
Regardless of what your personal resolutions are, consider making these tips for eating well after 50 a priority:
1. Understand how to create a healthy meal, with recommended serving sizes.
Choosing healthy foods to fill your plate at each meal is extremely important, especially for adults aged 50 and over. ChooseMyPlate, a free resource provided by the USDA, is a helpful tool that provides insight into how the major food groups (fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, and whole grains) stack up based on gender, level of physical activities, and age. And remember… the food pyramid is always a handy tool!
2. Stay properly hydrated.
Never underestimate the power of one magical nutrient: water. Fiber (a key mineral in every diet) absorbs water, and can lead to dehydration if you aren’t drinking enough H2O, as can many medications. Drinking 64 fluid ounces of water consistently throughout the day will help you maintain proper levels of hydration.
3. Look at nutrition labels.
While fresh produce, protein, and dairy are the optimal choices for any diet, there are times when you may choose to purchase packaged foods. In these cases, shop smarter and review labels for items that have lower sodium, fat, and added sugar. Opting for natural sweeteners, like Stevia, instead of sugar is also something to consider.
4. Base food choices on important nutrients.
As you age, here are a few essential nutrients needed for a healthy diet, and which foods contain each:
- Vitamin B12 – lean red meat, dairy low in fat, cheese, fish, shellfish, and eggs
- Folic acid – beans, seeds, nuts, broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruits, and dark leafy greens
- Calcium – yogurt, sardines, kale, low-fat milk, broccoli, and cheese
- Vitamin D – the sun, orange juice, low-fat milk, fish, and shellfish
- Potassium – yogurt, white beans, avocado, sweet potato, and coconut water
- Magnesium – seeds, nuts, dark leafy greens, brown rice, beans/lentils, and fish
- Fiber – artichokes, peas, avocados, blackberries, raspberries, beans, nuts, seeds, and lentils
- Omega-3 Fats – nuts, fish, fish oils, shellfish, spinach, flaxseed oil, and soybeans
It is especially important for anyone aged 50 and over to eat well and have proper nutrients included in every meal. The immune system weakens as we age, so proper nutrition and making healthy choices when eating are essential for maintaining the healthiest lifestyle possible!
These are just a few simple tips on ways you can begin to live a healthier lifestyle. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and while these tips may work for one person, you still need to find what works best for your lifestyle and body. Before making any changes to your diet or fitness, always consult your physician.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to take the place of the doctor-patient relationship and any email is not appropriate for emergency care. To schedule an appointment, please call your doctor's primary office, listed on our Locations page. In case of emergency, we are available 24 hours a day.