Healthy eating after 50 years – Choosing healthy foods is bright, no matter how old you are! Here are some tips to help you get started:
Eat vegetables and fruits of many different colours and types.
Make sure at least half of the grains you eat are complete grains.
Eat only small totals of solid fats and foods with added sugar. Limit saturated fats (mainly found in animals) or trans fats (in foods like store-bought baked goods and some margarine).
Eat “good” fats (poly and monounsaturated), like those found in seeds, nuts, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon. When cooking, any fats should come from plant oils such as olive, canola, corn, or vegetable oil.
Eat seafood twice a week. Mercury can be harmful. Small fish, such as sardines or trout, or farm-raised fish (check the label) contain less mercury than large fish, such as tuna.
Healthy Eating – Choose foods wisely
Eating various foods from each food group will help you get the nutrients you need. In addition, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the United States Department of Agriculture ( USDA ) and the Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) describe healthy eating patterns.
You create a healthy eating design by making good food and drink choices every day. These guides are flexible to help you choose a diet of nutritious foods and beverages that you like, available in your area, and fit your budget.
The Dietary Guidelines suggest that people 50 years of age and older choose foods from the following list every day:
Fruits—1½ to 2½ cups
What is equal to half a cup of fruit cut into pieces? A 2-inch peach or 16 grapes.
Vegetables—2 to 3½ cups
What is equal to a cup of vegetables cut into pieces? Two cups of raw leafy vegetables.
Grains—5 to 10 ounces
What is equal to an ounce of grains? A small bagel, a share of whole-grain dosh, a cup of ready-to-eat cereal flakes fortified with vitamins and minerals, or a half cup of cooked rice or pasta.
Protein foods—5 to 7 ounces
What is equal to an ounce of meat, fish or poultry? An egg, a quarter cup of cooked beans or tofu, a half-ounce of nuts or seeds, or one tablespoon of peanut butter.
Dairy products—3 cups of skim or low-fat milk
What is equal to a cup of milk? A cup of plain yoghurt or 1½ to 2 ounces of cheese. One cup of cottage cheese is equivalent to half a cup of milk.
Oils—5 to 8 teaspoons
What equates to oil added when cooking? Foods such as olives, nuts, and avocados contain a lot of fat.
Solid fats and added sugars and sodium (salt)—use small amounts of solid fats, added sugars, and salt
If you eat too many foods that contain solid fats and added sugars, you won’t have enough calories left over for the more healthful foods you would be intake.
Your doctor may hunger you to follow a special diet because you have a health problem, such as heart disease or diabetes. Or maybe you’ve been told to avoid eating certain foods because they can alter the effectiveness of medications. Talk to your doctor, a listed dietitian, or nutrition specialist about foods you can eat instead.
Tip: Avoid “empty calories.” These foods and drinks contain many calories but few nutrients, such as potato chips and similar products, cookies, sodas, and liquor.
If you have high lifeblood pressure or are at risk for high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend the Diet to Stop Hypertension (DASH) (DASH) eating plan. Next, this plan can help you lower your blood pressure. See the For More Data section for more information on the DASH eating plan.
How much would I annoy?
How much you should do depends on how active you are. If you consume more calories than your body uses, you will gain weight.
What are calories? Calories are a way of counting the amount of energy that a food product contains. The point you get from food helps you do everything you need to do every day. So try to choose foods with many nutrients you need but not many calories.
Some foods can make you feel filled than others. Simply counting calories is not enough to make intelligent choices. Think about it: a medium banana, 1 cup of cereal flakes, 1½ cups of cooked spinach, one tablespoon of peanut butter, or 1 cup of 1% milk all have about the same number of calories. But those foods are different in many ways. Some have more nutrients than others. For sample, milk gives you more calcium than a banana, and peanut butter gives you more protein than cereal.
How much food do I have on my plate?
How does the amount of food on your plate compare to the amount you should eat?
Here are a few ways to see how the amount of food on your plate compares:
- One deck of cards = 3 ounces of meat or poultry
- Half a baseball = half a cup of fruit, rice, or pasta
- 1 baseball = 1 cup salad greens
- Four dice = 1½ ounces of cheese
- The tip of the index finger = 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine
- One ping pong ball = two tablespoons peanut butter
Common Problems Older Adults Have When Eating
Does your favourite chicken dish taste different to you? As you age, your intellect of taste and smell may change, and foods may seem to have lost their flavour. Try using extra spices, herbs, or lemon juice to add flavour. Also, medications can change the taste of food. They can also make you feel starving. Talk to your medic if this is problematic.
Possibly some of the foods you used to eat are now off-putting. For example, some people develop lactose intolerance. Have stomach pain, gas, or diarrhoea after eating or drinking something that contains milk. Your medic can test you to see if you have lactose intolerance.
Is it harder for you to chew food? If you have dentures, they may not fit well, or your gums may be sore. If so, a dentist can help you. In the meantime, you may want to eat softer foods that are easier to chew.