As we age, our bodies change, and our nutritional needs begin to shift. It's important to be aware of these changes and adjust our diets accordingly. Here are 5 diet tips for seniors that will help improve their health.
1. Eat more fiber. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. It helps keep us regular and prevents constipation. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Senior adults should aim to consume at least 20-35 grams of fiber per day.
2. Get enough protein. Protein is necessary for the maintenance of muscle mass. As we age, we begin to lose muscle mass at a rate of about 1% per year. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu, eggs, nuts, and seeds. Most senior adults need at least 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day (about 68 grams for a 130-pound person).
3. Limit saturated fat and cholesterol. Saturated fat and cholesterol can lead to heart disease and other health problems. They are found in animal products such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and eggs. It's best to limit saturated fat to no more than 10% of your daily caloric intake and cholesterol to no more than 300 mg per day.
4. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are essential for good health. They are also low in calories and high in fiber, which makes them great for weight management. Senior adults should aim to consume at least 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day.
5. Stay hydrated. It's important for all senior citizens to stay properly hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day. This helps ensure that our bodies can function properly flush out toxins and maintain a healthy weight. Cutting back on sugary drinks such as soda, juice and alcohol can also help reduce calorie intake. Water is the best choice. Try adding a slice of lemon or lime.
Tip: Drink a glass of water before each meal to help control portion sizes.
Making small dietary changes as we age can have a big impact on our overall health. By following these tips senior adults can improve their health, manage their weight, and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases. What changes will you make to your diet today?