Nutrition is a key factor in successful aging. Eating well can help older adults maintain their health and independence. A healthy, well-nourished senior is more likely to feel good, stay well and be able to contribute as a vital member of their family and community.
Many seniors are interested in healthy eating and will make significant changes in their food choices in an effort to maintain and improve their health.1 Dietitians offer the following sound advice to older adults motivated to stay well by eating well:
- Emphasize whole or enriched grain products such as bran cereals, multigrain bread, barley and brown rice;
- Drink plenty of fluids to assist digestion and prevent dehydration;
- Add colourful fruits and vegetables to stimulate appetite and provide essential vitamins and minerals;
- Help strengthen bones by improving intake of calcium and Vitamin D. Choices include milk, yogurt and cheese;
- For high-quality protein, include foods such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu and legumes;
- Choose lower fat foods more often, add less fat in cooking and at the table;
- Eat and drink enough to maintain a healthy weight.
Most importantly, seniors are encouraged to stay active and make healthy eating a pleasurable part of their daily lives.
For many older adults, physiological, functional and environmental realities of aging interfere with healthy eating.
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