Healthy nutrition tips for seniors

Healthy meal

It’s never too late to focus on better nutrition, and it’s especially important for seniors. Read the following tips to help improve your diet to make positive changes for your health.

A healthy plate for seniors

Be more mindful of what you’re consuming:

  • Fill half your plate with colorful vegetables and fruits.
  • Include whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta and quinoa.
  • Choose lean protein options like fish, poultry, beans and nuts.
  • Incorporate healthy fats from sources like olive oil, avocados and nuts.
  • Include dairy or dairy alternatives for calcium, such as low-fat milk or fortified plant-based alternatives.

Important nutrients and vitamins

Make sure to get enough:

  • Calcium and vitamin D for bone health
  • Vitamin B12 for energy and nerve function (especially important for those on plant-based diets)
  • Fiber for digestive health
  • Omega-3 fatty acids for heart and brain health
  • Potassium for maintaining healthy blood pressure

Ingredients to avoid

Read nutrition labels and limit your intake of these ingredients:

  • Excessive added sugars
  • High levels of sodium
  • Trans fats and saturated fats
  • Highly processed foods with artificial additives (such as packaged snacks, frozen meals and some boxed products)

Recommended serving sizes

Remember the following:

  • Portion control is key.
  • Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues.
  • Aim for a balance and consider nutrient-dense foods over calorie-dense ones.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans can provide specific recommendations based on age, sex and physical activity level.

Tips for staying hydrated

Focus on getting enough fluids to improve brain performance, aid digestion, increase energy and more:

  • Drink water regularly throughout the day.
  • Use a water bottle that keeps track of water intake.
  • Include foods like fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Limit caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.

Meal programs for seniors

The following programs can support a healthy diet as you get older:

  • Meals on Wheels, which provides nutritious meals to seniors at home.
  • Silver Cuisine, which is tailored for older adults with various dietary preferences.
  • Freshly, which offers chef-prepared meals with a variety of options.
  • Mom’s Meals, which specializes in providing nutritionally balanced meals for seniors.

Always consult with your health care provider or a registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet, especially if you have specific health conditions or dietary restrictions. They can provide personalized advice based on your individual needs and health status.

Related resources

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