It goes without saying that we all need to be mindful of our eating habits. Naturally, the food we ingest plays a huge role in our overall health. If we’re dining too heavily on fatty foods and high-sugar items, we’re not bound to live illness-free lives. Of course, insisting upon good nutritional practices that include the consuming of fruits and vegetables is a great way to optimize one’s health status. As a senior, eating healthy is of paramount importance.
What are some best practices for health living in our later years?
Watch your calorie count.
Male seniors over the age of 70 need approximately 2,000 calories a day. Active male seniors in that age group should consume closer to 2,600. Female seniors need between 1,600 to 2,000 calories per day depending on how active they are. Of course, with slower metabolisms, seniors need to make sure they don’t over consume food. As Tara Gidus points out on Healthline.com, you need fewer calories as you age to maintain a healthy weight.
“Eating more calories than you burn leads to weight gain,” she informs, “You may find you have less energy and more muscle or joint problems as you get older. As a result, you may become less mobile and burn fewer calories through physical activity. You may also lose muscle mass. This causes your metabolism to slow down, lowering your caloric needs.”
Keep your bones healthy.
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones. Sufferers of this condition find that their bones break easily. Fractures most often occur in the hip, spine and wrist. To help improve bone health, seniors are advised to consume diets that are rich in calcium. Don’t assume that this means drinking cow’s milk all the time. There are many non-dairy foods that are rich in calcium. They include almonds, salmon, sardines, tofu, edamame beans, squash and several leafy green vegetables.
“Calcium is more enjoyable and more easily absorbed from food than from a supplement (pill),” explains Ottawa Public Health, “You may need a supplement if you do not eat a variety of foods high in calcium a day. Talk to your health care provider before taking a calcium supplement. It should not be taken with certain medications. Getting too much calcium can cause health problems like constipation and kidney stones.”
Speak to your doctor about how diet can impact your medical issues.
Too often, people dissociate their eating habits from their health conditions. For example, a person with respiratory issues may not realize that his/her dairy consumption is impacting his/her breathing. It’s important to consult with a physician about the different foods that may be harming you. Changes to your diet, notes Gidus, can help you to better contend with such chronic health problems as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and osteoporosis.
“For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, you should eat foods that are rich in nutrients, but low in excess calories, processed sugars, and saturated and trans fats,” she writes, “Your doctor may also advise you to eat less sodium. Some older adults become sensitive to foods such as onions, peppers, dairy products, and spicy foods. You may need to cut some of these foods out of your diet.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we care a great deal about keeping the seniors in your life healthy and safe. To learn about our many accessibility and mobility solutions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!