Studies show that a good diet in your later years reduces your risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers. As you age, you might need less energy. But you still need just as many of the nutrients in food. To get them:
- Choose a variety of healthy foods.
- Avoid empty calories, which are foods with lots of calories but few nutrients, such as chips, cookies, soda and alcohol.
- Pick foods that are low in cholesterol and fat, especially saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are usually fats that come from animals. Look for: “transfat” on the labels of processed foods, margarines and shortenings.
- To learn about current dietary guidelines, visit Choose My Plate. You’ll also find interactive eating plans to help you eat healthier.
Tips for healthy eating
Sometimes, the simplest of dietary changes can make a big difference. Try the following tips to add more nutrition to your diet.
- Make your next pasta or rice dish a healthier one. Try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta instead of white.
- Mix whole grains like barley into a stew or bulgur wheat into a stir-fry or casserole.
- Don’t buy veggies you know you won’t eat. Opt for easy-to-prepare or even pre-cut vegetables.
- Make your meatloaf or casserole healthier with some shredded carrots or zucchini.
- Making a lasagna? Give it a healthy boost by adding fresh vegetables to the sauce.
- Buy fresh fruits when they’re in season.
- Out of sight, out of mind. So, keep a bowl of fruit visible on the table, countertop or in a visible spot in the fridge.
- Serve milk with meals.
- Instead of water, use fat-free or low-fat milk when making oatmeal.
Source: USDA Patient Education Materials