No matter how old you are, choosing healthy foods is a smart thing to do! Try eating a variety of foods from each food group to get the nutrients & you need everyday.
Create a healthy eating pattern for yourself by making good food & drink choices every day. You might often worry about how much you should eat; Here’s the deal – What you need to eat is directly proportional to how active you are and eating more calories than your body uses, can make you gain weight.
Try to choose foods that have a lot of the nutrients you need, but not many calories. Just counting calories is not enough for making smart choices. These guidelines help you choose a diet of nutritious foods and drinks that you like, which are a perfect fit for your daily lifestyle.
How Many Calories Do You Need Each Day, If You Are Over 50?
- If physically not active needs about 1,600 calories
- Some physical activity needs about 1,800 calories
- With an active lifestyle needs about 2,000-2,200 calories
- If physically not active needs about 2,000 calories
- Moderate physical activity needs about 2,200-2,400 calories
- With an active lifestyle needs about 2,400-2,800 calories
Here’s A Tip: Aim for at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of physical activity each week, to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Do Older Adults Need to Drink Water?
With age, you may lose some of your sense of thirst. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water. Unless your doctor has told you to limit fluids, drink plenty of liquids like water, milk, or broth.
Try to add liquids throughout the day. You could try soup for a snack, or drink a glass of water before exercising or working in the yard. Don’t forget to take sips of water, milk, or juice during a meal.
Fiber is found in foods from plants—fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Eating more fiber might prevent stomach or intestine problems, like constipation. It might also help lower cholesterol, as well as blood sugar.
It is better to get fiber from food than dietary supplements. Start adding fiber slowly. That will help avoid gas.
Here are some tips for adding fiber
- Eat cooked dry beans, peas, and lentils often.
- Leave the skin on your fruit and vegetables if possible, but wash them first.
- Choose whole fruit over fruit juice.
- Eat whole-grain breads and cereals.
- Drink plenty of liquids to help fiber move through your intestines.
Choosing Healthy Fats
Fat in your diet comes from two places—the fat already in food and the fat added when you cook. Some types of fat, like mono- and polyunsaturated fats, provide your body with important nutrients and can be good for you in the right amounts. Other types of fat, like trans fat, saturated fat, or fats from animals, can be bad for your health. Fat gives you energy and helps your body use certain vitamins, but it is high in calories.
To lower the fat in your diet
- Choose cuts of meat, fish, or poultry (with the skin removed) with less fat.
- Trim off any extra fat before cooking.
- Use low-fat dairy products and salad dressings.
- Use nonstick pots and pans, and cook without added fat.
- Choose an unsaturated fat (such as olive, canola, or vegetable oil) for cooking.
- Check the label.
- Don’t fry foods. Instead, broil, roast, bake, stir-fry, steam, microwave, or boil them.
Keeping your food safe
As you grow older, you must take extra care to keep your food safe to eat. It is harder for you to fight off infections, and some foods could make you very sick. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about foods to avoid. Handle raw food with care.
Keep it apart from foods that won’t be cooked or are already cooked. Use hot, soapy water to wash your hands, tools, and work surfaces as you cook. Don’t depend on sniffing or tasting food to tell what is bad. Try putting dates on the food in your fridge. Check the “use by” date on foods. If in doubt, toss it out.