Seniors and Nutrition: How to Eat Right for Healthy Aging
Like our activity levels, as we age our metabolisms tend to slow down. This can lead to a change in appetite, because the body now needs fewer calories than it used to need. However, when seniors begin to skip meals or make poor food choices, their nutrition and overall health can begin to suffer.
Maintaining healthy senior eating habits are vital to overall quality of life. Poor nutrition leads to weight loss or a jeopardized immune system, making seniors more susceptible to illness and infections, and can even make it more difficult to recuperate from an injury.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, a healthy diet can even reduce the risk for cancer and other diseases, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
Healthy Aging through Proper Senior Nutrition
Today’s seniors are living longer than ever before because they know the importance of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. However, because our tastes and appetites can start to change, sometimes it can be difficult to keep up those healthy senior nutrition habits. Or, perhaps you’ve developed some unhealthier behaviors, like being unable to resist dessert or salty snacks before bedtime.
Here are just a few ways to help maintain healthy aging through proper senior eating habits:
Plan your meals ahead of time. Living in a CCRC like Galloway Ridge, you’ll have meal plans and access to three restaurants as well as an English-style pub, all offering amazing menus that utilize the best seasonal ingredients. However, if you’re living independently and cooking on your own, every week you should spend some time devising a healthy meal plan. This way, you can shop for only the ingredients you’ll need to help you stay on track.
Don’t skip breakfast. Most of us have it ingrained in our brains that we eat our biggest meal at dinnertime, but studies show that we should actually be eating the most food earlier in the day. Starting your day with a large, healthy breakfast and lunch keeps your body fueled up for the entire day. Eating less at dinner will help you avoid dozing off right after you’ve consumed the majority of your calories, too.
Prepare healthy snacks. Snacking on “convenient” foods like bags of chips or cookies might seem convenient at the time, but the lack of nutritional value in these snacks isn’t doing your body any good at all. Instead, chop up some veggies and store them in handy snack-size containers, along with other foods like trail mix, dried fruit or whole grain crackers. When you need a quick snack, it’ll be just as easy to grab something healthy!
Lastly, since our bodies also thrive on routine, set a regular eating schedule for your meals and snack times. Seniors with proper eating habits will feel better overall, and can even live a longer, stronger life.
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