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Healthy Eating Tips For Seniors

As we age, the benefits of healthy eating become even more important to overall health and well-being. A healthy diet leads to resistance to illness, faster recuperation from illness, increased mental awareness, and management of chronic health issues such as diabetes or heart disease. Eating healthy can also be a way to maintain a positive outlook on life; healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice or diet. Eating in moderation and eating well balanced meals is more about using fresh, non-processed foods and eating a variety of foods.

If your aging parents eat healthy and take care of themselves physically, they are more likely to remain in their home living a satisfying life. If they are healthy but there are worries they might fall when alone, you might consider equipping their home with a medical alert device.

Here are some reasons to encourage your aging parents to eat a healthy diet:

  • A balanced diet with key nutrients is essential to keep your brain functioning at its peak. Bright fruits, fish, nuts and leafy vegetables can help improve focus and keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay.
  • Living longer and being stronger are also benefits of good nutrition. Keeping muscles, bones and organs healthy can be accomplished by eating a vitamin rich diet. A healthy diet can also help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, cancer, anemia, type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Concentrate on consuming fewer calories and high fiber foods as a way to keep weight in line.
  • Meals that offer a variety of wholesome, fresh ingredients will lead to higher energy levels which can lead to a more active lifestyle.

The USDA put forth a guideline for what seniors need as part of a healthy, nutritious diet, it includes:

  • Vegetables should be chosen for their taste as well as for their color. Choose antioxidant rich dark, leafy greens as well as yellow and orange vegetables that includes yams, carrots and squash. Aim for two to two and a half cups of vegetables daily.
  • Choose whole fruits over juices. Whole fruits provide more vitamins and fiber. Try to eat one and a half to two servings of fruit daily.
  • Grains need to be part of a daily diet and should be whole grains. Choose from pasta, cereal and whole wheat bread. Eating six to seven ounces of whole grains is the daily limit (as an example, one slice of bread is equal to one ounce).
  • Calcium is as important for seniors as it is for the very young. Calcium helps individuals maintain bone health and can prevent hip fractures. A senior should plan on eating, or drinking, 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily. Calcium can be found in cheese, milk, yogurt and in kale, almonds, broccoli and tofu.
  • Don’t forget the protein. You can find protein in lean beef, chicken, fish, peas, nuts, eggs, milk and cheese.

Other items you need to make sure your aging parents are getting enough of include water and vitamins B and D.

If your parents are accustomed to eating heavy, hearty meals, you may want to work with them to modify their diets so they can be healthier. Here are some other food tips to consider:

  • Don’t completely avoid fats, just enjoy the “good” fats, those found in avocados, salmon, walnuts, olive oil and products that have monounsaturated fats.
  • Cut back on sodium. Processed foods are rife with sodium and this can lead to high blood pressure and water retention. Look for low sodium prepared foods and use herbs and other spices instead of salt in your cooking.
  • Fiber can help you keep you fuller longer and also lowers the risk of some diseases and regulates your system. Look for whole grains, beans and fruits and veggies.
  • Carbohydrates are everyone – look for complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. “Bad” carbs include refined sugar, white rice and white flour; these carbs cause spikes in blood sugar and provide only short-lived bursts of energy.
  • Just as sodium is found in many prepackaged goods, so too, is sugar. Check food labels for added sugar or fructose, sucrose, dextrose or brown rice sugars or corn syrup. Canned vegetables, soups, pasta sauces and many fast foods use added sugar.

If your parents aren’t convinced that they need to possibly rethink some of their long-held cooking and eating habits, you may want to talk with their physician. Remind them that eating healthy, equipping the home with a medical alert device and remaining active can help them age in place and enjoy their golden years.

Healthy Eating Tips For Seniors

As we age, the benefits of healthy eating become even more important to overall health and well-being. A healthy diet leads to resistance to illness, faster recuperation from illness, increased mental awareness, and management of chronic health issues such as diabetes or heart disease. Eating healthy can also be a way to maintain a positive outlook on life; healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice or diet. Eating in moderation and eating well balanced meals is more about using fresh, non-processed foods and eating a variety of foods.

If your aging parents eat healthy and take care of themselves physically, they are more likely to remain in their home living a satisfying life. If they are healthy but there are worries they might fall when alone, you might consider equipping their home with a medical alert device.

Here are some reasons to encourage your aging parents to eat a healthy diet:

  • A balanced diet with key nutrients is essential to keep your brain functioning at its peak. Bright fruits, fish, nuts and leafy vegetables can help improve focus and keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay.
  • Living longer and being stronger are also benefits of good nutrition. Keeping muscles, bones and organs healthy can be accomplished by eating a vitamin rich diet. A healthy diet can also help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, cancer, anemia, type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Concentrate on consuming fewer calories and high fiber foods as a way to keep weight in line.
  • Meals that offer a variety of wholesome, fresh ingredients will lead to higher energy levels which can lead to a more active lifestyle.

The USDA put forth a guideline for what seniors need as part of a healthy, nutritious diet, it includes:

  • Vegetables should be chosen for their taste as well as for their color. Choose antioxidant rich dark, leafy greens as well as yellow and orange vegetables that includes yams, carrots and squash. Aim for two to two and a half cups of vegetables daily.
  • Choose whole fruits over juices. Whole fruits provide more vitamins and fiber. Try to eat one and a half to two servings of fruit daily.
  • Grains need to be part of a daily diet and should be whole grains. Choose from pasta, cereal and whole wheat bread. Eating six to seven ounces of whole grains is the daily limit (as an example, one slice of bread is equal to one ounce).
  • Calcium is as important for seniors as it is for the very young. Calcium helps individuals maintain bone health and can prevent hip fractures. A senior should plan on eating, or drinking, 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily. Calcium can be found in cheese, milk, yogurt and in kale, almonds, broccoli and tofu.
  • Don’t forget the protein. You can find protein in lean beef, chicken, fish, peas, nuts, eggs, milk and cheese.

Other items you need to make sure your aging parents are getting enough of include water and vitamins B and D.

If your parents are accustomed to eating heavy, hearty meals, you may want to work with them to modify their diets so they can be healthier. Here are some other food tips to consider:

  • Don’t completely avoid fats, just enjoy the “good” fats, those found in avocados, salmon, walnuts, olive oil and products that have monounsaturated fats.
  • Cut back on sodium. Processed foods are rife with sodium and this can lead to high blood pressure and water retention. Look for low sodium prepared foods and use herbs and other spices instead of salt in your cooking.
  • Fiber can help you keep you fuller longer and also lowers the risk of some diseases and regulates your system. Look for whole grains, beans and fruits and veggies.
  • Carbohydrates are everyone – look for complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. “Bad” carbs include refined sugar, white rice and white flour; these carbs cause spikes in blood sugar and provide only short-lived bursts of energy.
  • Just as sodium is found in many prepackaged goods, so too, is sugar. Check food labels for added sugar or fructose, sucrose, dextrose or brown rice sugars or corn syrup. Canned vegetables, soups, pasta sauces and many fast foods use added sugar.

If your parents aren’t convinced that they need to possibly rethink some of their long-held cooking and eating habits, you may want to talk with their physician. Remind them that eating healthy, equipping the home with a medical alert device and remaining active can help them age in place and enjoy their golden years.

Sandwich Generation: Staying Healthy

The Sandwich Generation is the generation of people caught between caring for their aging parents as well as their own children. Thousands of families across the country are affected by this situation. It can be very stressful and hard on the individuals both mentally and physically. These stresses can cause those affected to gain weight and carry on an unhealthy lifestyle.

With the responsibility of caring for two different generations many people find it hard to find time to care for their own health. The combination of having less time and more stress and responsibility causes many people to put their own health and fitness on the back burner. This can result in weight gain and other health problems. These health issues can be avoided with proper time management and being able to take time for yourself.

One of the main things to remember is to some time to care for yourself.  You might feel overwhelmed in this generation squeeze but you must be able to step back and give yourself some ‘you’ time. We all need time for ourselves to do some things we love and get away from the everyday stresses of life. So give yourself a couple of hours a day to go to the gym or go for a walk or bike ride through your neighborhood. This will both relieve a lot of stress and also this exercise will give you more energy throughout the day.

It’s also really important to eat the right foods. Healthier eating will help to manage your weight and give you more energy. I know it can be difficult to find time in your busy day to cook a healthy meal with your busy schedule but there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re eating a healthy diet. One thing you can do is prepare meals ahead of time. During a Saturday or Sunday you can plan your meals for the week. Cook these meals ahead of time so you can just reheat and serve. This saves time and relieves one more stress you have. Also it’s a good idea to have fresh fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator for easy healthy snacking. Fruits and vegetables are easy to grab and go and you won’t have the temptation to stop at the local drive through.

It is possible to care for your parents and children and also give yourself the attention you deserve. Don’t let the generation squeeze effect your health and quality of life. Use these tips to help work through the stress and responsibility of living in the Sandwich Generation.