Making healthy food choices is a smart thing to do, no matter how old you are! Here are a few tips to choose foods for better health at each stage of life.
1. Plan healthy meals
Good nutrition is linked to healthy aging. Find nutrition information from ChooseMyPlate.gov and the National Institute on Aging. Get advice on what to eat, how much to eat, and which foods to choose, all based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Find sensible, flexible ways to choose and prepare tasty meals so you can eat foods you need.
2. Know how much to eat
Learn to recognize how much to eat so you can control portion size. Portion is how much food you choose to eat at one time and it’s 100% under our control. Tracking your calories helps monitor your weight.
3. Vary your vegetables
Color key! Include a variety of different colored vegetables that will give you a wide range of nutrients. Most vegetables are a low-calorie source of nutrients and a good source of fiber.
4. Drink plenty of liquids
Drink water often. Water helps you digest food, absorb nutrients, and get rid of the waste. Limit beverages that have lots of added sugars or salt. With age, you may lose some of your sense of thirst, so it’s important to make it a priority.
5. Keep food safe
A food-related illness can be life threatening for an older person. Throw out food that might not be safe and always label and date your leftovers. Avoid certain foods that are always risky for an older person, such as unpasteurized dairy foods, raw eggs, meat or poultry.
6. Read the Nutrition Facts label
Make the right choices when buying food. Pay attention to important nutrients to know as well as calories, fats, sodium, and the rest of the Nutrition Facts label. Ask your doctor if there are ingredients and nutrients you might need to limit or to increase.