Mealtime is one of the essential parts of the day. It is when you and your loved one can fuel up before starting your day, during your day, and when the day has ended. Food is not just delicious—it is essential!
If so, why do so many Americans consume diets that fall short in the critical nutrients they need? One common answer: time! Many people—especially busy and hardworking caregivers—cannot find time to create healthy and satisfying meals for themselves and their loved ones. Also, they might be unsure what items to purchase when shopping.
So, how can you get around this and stick to a healthy diet? In this blog, we will discuss four healthy eating tips for seniors. Continue reading to learn about these!
- Be a smart shopper.
As mentioned above, many Americans have diets that have little of the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need. The average American diet goes beyond the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories, which are calories from solid fats and added sugars, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat. So, what can be done to help this? Well, there are a few solutions. You might want to change how you buy food for yourself or your loved one. Remember to choose your foods wisely when roaming down the grocery store aisles (or getting a pick-up order or grocery store delivery service). Think about what has the most nutritional value; this means getting more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and fewer foods filled with sugars, lots of sodium, saturated fats or trans fats, and preservatives.
If you are concerned about going over your budget when buying fresh and healthy foods, always check for coupons and deals on items that lean more on the expensive side. Shop around to see which grocery store or meal delivery service allows you to get the most bang for your buck so that you are not overspending.
- Make the freezer do the work.
Part of eating healthier comes with preparing your foods if you can. But, if you live a hectic lifestyle, you might think you have no time to cook meals for yourself. Well, think again! We all have at least a few hours during the week where we have some free time. Why not use these moments to prepare meals?
The good thing is that your freezer can (and should!) do most of the work once shipping is completed for the week; time to cook your favorite dishes all at once. Then, store individual portions into freezer-safe containers, place these into your freezer, and reheat the meals throughout the week. Meal prep makes it extremely easy to have something ready to eat on those busy days when you can’t bother to cook for yourself or your loved one.
Also, it is nice to know that you can control the ingredients in your meals. This way, you will not be consuming foods that are not beneficial to your health. For example, many foods contain an excess of sodium that can heighten the risk for high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease.
- Control your portion sizes.
Do you or your loved one frequently eat until you feel stuffed? It is indeed possible to have too much of a good thing; as you continue to grow older, it is essential to be mindful of your eating habits.
Individuals who are age 50 or older and follow the U.S.-Style Healthy Eating Pattern choose foods from these every day: two to three cups of vegetables, one and a half to two cups of fruits, five to eight ounces of grains, three cups of dairy which is either fat-free or low-fat, five to six and a half ounces of protein foods, and five to seven teaspoons of oils.
While you do not have to measure your foods this way, it might be helpful. Also, if you eat out or opt for take-out, remember to monitor your portion sizes in those scenarios. For example, if your portion size is too large, try splitting the meal in half.
- Speak to a dietitian.
If you are unsure where to begin when it comes to eating or helping your loved one eat healthier, you may want to speak with a dietician to create a meal plan that works for you or your loved one’s nutritional needs.
While there is additional information on how to eat healthy meals and what to prepare as a senior, many older adults suffer from multiple health problems that can require particular guidelines on what to eat due to the medications they have to take, as well as other factors such as being at a higher risk for developing health diseases.
You must get accurate advice regarding what you or your loved one should eat daily; this includes getting help on topics like how to maintain a healthy weight. Remember that many seniors also suffer from malnutrition (Eat Right Nutrition).
Eat Your Best So That You Can Be at Your Best.
There are many other healthy eating tips, but these are just the ones we chose to highlight. As older adults, it is increasingly essential for you and your loved one to eat healthy, well-balanced meals daily to have an excellent quality of life.
If you live far away from a grocery store or find it challenging to shop for yourself, do not hesitate to ask for help from others. You may want to consider ordering meals from meal delivery services that offer healthier options for you or your loved one.