These days, there’s a huge emphasis on health, and for good reason – staying healthy can keep your immune system strong and help your body fight off viruses and other pathogens that can cause illness. Staying healthy takes a combination of efforts, from exercise to nutrition to caring for your mental wellbeing. Today, we’re focusing on the best nutrition tips for seniors to help you eat healthily and stay strong.
Choose your food wisely. We all love to splurge on the occasional sweet dessert, but for seniors, it’s important to choose healthy foods most of the time. That means getting the best nutrition for the calories you eat. Junk food is packed with calories but offers little nourishment from vitamins and minerals. Healthy whole food, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and lean proteins like skinless chicken or fish are good choices that provide great nutrition for the calories.
Avoid trans fats or saturated fats. Margarine and vegetable oils can make food seem to taste better, especially when deep-frying. But this adds unneeded calories and dangerous fats that can increase bad cholesterol levels and contribute to diseases, especially in older people. Instead, opt for low-fat cooking options like baking, steaming, and grilling, and season your food with healthier, tasty herbs and spices instead of slathering on the margarine.
Aim for variety. When you eat the same thing all the time, you’re not only limiting your taste options, but you’re also limiting nutrition. Find creative ways to add different colors, tastes, and textures to your plate every day to give your body the full spectrum of nutrition that it needs to be healthy, and to make every meal interesting and satisfying.
Reduce the salt. High blood pressure is a problem for many seniors, and excess sodium can make it much worse. The CDC recommends no more than 2300 milligrams of sodium each day, and for high-risk groups like seniors, that level may be at 1500 milligrams or less. The problem is that sodium is hiding just about everywhere, in canned foods, condiments, bread, cereals, and more. Read labels to keep an eye on your daily sodium intake and replace salt with herbs and spices that will make food taste better without the added sodium.
Stay hydrated. It’s easier than you think to become dehydrated. Many people don’t drink enough water each day, especially seniors, who may have a decreased sense of thirst. Try to drink about eight 8-ounce glasses each day to stay healthy and hydrated.
Ask your doctor. Medications and health conditions can affect which foods are healthy for you to eat, so always ask your doctor about any restrictions or recommendations to ensure that your diet is nutritious and healthy for you.
Good nutrition is especially important for seniors, and at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living, our emphasis is on a healthy senior lifestyle. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, our friendly, professional staff members can help make it easy. With state-of-the-art facilities that emphasize wellness, fun daily activities and a welcoming sense of community, we make it easy to transition to your new, active senior lifestyle. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special! Ashbridge Manor is a safe, COVID-free senior living community.