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Senior Nutrition Tips

June 16, 2021 Posted in: Nutrition

Although important at any age, following a mindful diet becomes even more critical as you grow older. The types and amounts of food you choose to put into your body have direct effects on your mood, energy levels, and other daily functions. These effects are amplified with age, putting an emphasis on how vital it is to monitor what you’re consuming. It can be tricky to figure out what foods to avoid and which to embrace, which is a key component to staying healthy. Follow these simple nutrition tips if you’re trying to create a healthier diet.

Calcium helps with bone health

Ensuring an adequate amount of calcium intake helps avoid bone fractures and prevent osteoporosis. This means focusing on foods that are rich in calcium, such as dairy products (yogurt and milk), dark leafy greens (kale or broccoli), and fish. The official daily recommendation is 1200 mg of calcium in women 51 years of age and older, 1000 mg for men 51-70 years old, and 1200 mg for those above 70 years of age. Try to reach these levels without supplements but consult with your doctor if you feel you aren’t reaching the recommended amount. Supplements can sometimes increase your risk of kidney stones and cardiovascular issues, so it’s important to check in before modifying your diet.

Eat more fiber

Chances are, you're not consuming enough fiber in your daily diet. Women over 50 should try to eat a minimum of 21 grams per day, while men are recommended at least 30 grams. Most people do not consume half of those amounts on a daily basis, so correcting your dietary fiber intake is a great way to improve your overall nutrition. Dietary fiber does more than you think: it lowers your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke, assists with weight loss, and improves skin health and digestion. Common sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. An easy way to consume more fiber is by starting your day with a bowl of whole grain cereal. Try topping it with fresh berries for an extra boost.

Read the label

Reading the nutrition facts label will help you learn about your current habits. When looking at the labels, pay special attention to the amounts of fats, sugars, and sodium listed on the package. Track your usual intake and see if you need to make any changes to the foods you usually eat based on your doctor’s recommendations. Remember: the healthiest foods are whole foods, so substituting your usual choice with the whole foods option will help improve your nutrition.

Another useful section on nutrition facts labels is the “recommended serving” section. For adults aged 60+, these recommendations are encouraged to be followed. Starting with adjusting how much you’re eating is an excellent way to begin mindful nutrition habits while also regulating your weight.


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