Eating healthy and staying active is important for everyone, regardless of their age. However, as we age it can be especially important for continued health and also for preventing the development or progression of some chronic diseases, like diabetes or heart disease. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of a healthy diet for a happy and healthy life.
healthy diets for seniors
preventing diet related disease
Changing individual behaviors to control what they eat, how they eat and when they eat can be a challenge. In order to ensure that the new eating regiments will become a habit, sometimes it is best to start with small changes over weekly periods of time. Some of the changes that can be made are things like eliminating late night snacking or making sure to eat a piece of fruit for breakfast. After successfully completing smaller goals like this, new goals can be added. After a while, individuals that are successful with accomplishing small goals will realize that they’ve actually achieved what seemed like very large goals at the very beginning.
As we age, it is also important to monitor cholesterol in our diets. The American Heart Associate and American College of Cardiology have published cholesterol guidelines that are aimed at helping to prevent heart attacks, strokes and other cholesterol related health issues. Individuals can work with their primary care physicians to make sure that their diet is in line with healthy living and preventing any risks associated with cholesterol imbalances in the body. Doctors can also help individuals when diet alone is not enough. They will aid with things like:
• Cholesterol Medications
• Maintain a healthy body weight
• Cutting saturated fats (red meat, butter, etc.) and suggesting replacements like fish, poultry and low-fat dairy products.
• Eat foods high in monounsaturated fats such as olive, canola and peanut oil.
• Exercise regularly
Those with known history of cholesterol problems in their family should get their levels checked regularly.
Cooking nutritious meals can be a daunting task. While canned (especially soups) and pre-packaged foods may simplify the process, some are also loaded with sodium (salt). We urge everyone to keep their sodium intakes to less than 2300mg per day (1 teaspoon/day). Make it a priority to buy fresh produce, fresh or frozen vegetables and if you do use canned goods, go with the lower sodium versions. Make it a consistent routine to read labels. Cook in larger batches and freeze leftovers for nights when cooking is too much. You will be glad when there’s a healthy and easy option in the freezer.
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