21 Diet Tips For Seniors


A lot of things that you have never pondered about become clear to you once you reach a certain age. Paying close attention to your dietary habits is one of those things, seeing as your organism is somewhat more sensitive than it used to be when you were younger. So, if you need some advice, we’ll give you some advice! Here are a few tips on what you will need to do to maintain a healthy diet.

1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and veggies have always been your friends, even though they might not look (or taste) that way. The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis are so numerous that we won’t even bother putting them all here. What you should know is that your body craves for them, and you should always listen to what your body is telling you. Love your body and it will love you back.

Make sure you consume whole fruits more often than drinking juices. Juices are good, but some of the fiber and vitamins are lost in the process of creating juice. Go for colour-rich pickings like watermelons and berries. As far as vegetables are concerned, pick antioxidant-rich dark, leafy greens, like kale, spinach, and broccoli. But don’t forget about yellow vegetables, such as squash, yams and carrots.


2. Insert a decent amount of calcium every day

As you grow older, one of the main problems you will encounter is issues with your bones. Bones tend to decline rapidly in the later stages of life, and you know how they say – nothing can beat a bone ache. Calcium’s your #1 friend here, so pay close attention to the fact that your body is physically not able to produce it – you just have to find calcium and eat it.

There’s a rough estimate that older adults need about 1,200mg of calcium each and every day to maintain their bones in good shape. So bring out the dairy products – because they’re packed with it. Milk, yogurt, cheese, it’s your choice, just make sure you get plenty of it (while still limiting yourself, make sure you’re not lactose intolerant). If you wanna skip the dairy, tofu, broccoli, almonds and kale are also packed with calcium, so try that if you don’t want to mess with milk and cheese.


3. You need the grains, you really need them

There’s one thing you can do about grains that is very smart and that is choosing whole grains over processed white flour. You get more nutrients and more fiber that way and everything that is processed always gives you that thought “How is this processed exactly?” If you don’t really know what we’re talking about, just make sure that you look for pasta, cereals, and bread that have the word “whole” on their ingredients list.

Seniors need about 7 ounces of grains each day so make sure you obey these regulations. Don’t be lazy – head on over to the bakery which makes bread with whole grains and talk with the person behind the counter about it. They are bound to tell you which bread would be good for you if you’re looking forward to munching on some whole grains.


4. Proteins!

There’s this common misconception that protein is this thing that only bodybuilders need in large amounts so that their muscles can grow even bigger. Well, this is absolutely not true, seeing as every single person in the world needs proteins to survive. Adults over 50 without any kind of kidney disease or diabetes need about 0.5 grams per 2lbs of body weight. We’ll do the math for you, it’s about 70-100 grams of high-quality protein per day for somebody that weighs 150lbs.

Make sure to divide your protein intake to an equal amount between different meals. It’s also very important that your source of proteins isn’t the same meal every day because the intake will deteriorate after some time. For instance, instead of relying solely on red meat, try to include more fish, peas, nuts, eggs, beans, and seeds in your diet.


5. Drink copious amounts of water

We’re just joking a bit here, but when we say “copious” we actually mean “as much as your body requires you to.” As we all age, there are people who are prone to dehydration because their bodies lose a fraction of the ability to maintain fluid levels. Not only that but their senses of thirst may not be as ‘sharp’ as they once were.

Make sure to always drink at least a cup of water before, after or during a meal. This will ensure that you drink at least a liter of water a day, but you should take more – if you could have a small glass of water every hour that would be perfect. You would avoid urinary tract infections, constipation and we’ve even seen some reports on people claiming that water helps them with confusion. No wonder folks say that water clears you up completely.


6. Take all the vitamin B you can find

One of the things your body starts doing once it turns fifty-something is that it produces less and less gastric acid. This makes it difficult for the body to absorb vitamin B-12, which is necessary for keeping blood and nerves vital. Make sure to get the recommended daily intake of 2.4 mcg from food or some vitamin supplements. But we’re not here to discuss vitamin supplements, this is a food article, so what foods exactly are rich in B-12?

Well, according to several studies, some of the foods that are packed with the invaluable vitamin are shellfish, liver, mackerel, crab meat, fortified soy products, fortified cereals, cheese, and eggs. That’s not a small amount of foods that you can add to the variety of your cooking options, so get to it, chomp those vitamins and feel the health pouring in.


7. Don’t forget vitamin D

Vitamin D’s just as important as any other vitamin, no matter what their letters say. Vitamin D is essential to absorbing calcium and boosting your muscles towards optimum efficiency, and we get most of it through sun exposure. However, certain foods like fatty fish, fortified milk, and egg yolk are packed with this vitamin and you should make sure to balance your diet and include these as well.

With age, our skin becomes less efficient at hanging out with vitamin D, which means that you won’t absorb as much of it through spending time in the sun. Talk to your doctor about supplementing your diet with some tasty fortified foods or perhaps even a multivitamin. Definitely consider the latter if you suffer from obesity or have limited sun exposure.


8. Reduce your sodium intake

Although nobody likes a meal that isn’t salty enough, perhaps it would be a good time to consider lowering the amount of salt you take in on a daily basis. The white crystals which have followed you throughout your life may have been vital during your infantile years, but now that you have reached a certain age, it is time to say goodbye to oversalting your meals.

Your body is simply not able to process a lot of salt at this point, so to help prevent water retention and high blood pressure, look for the “low sodium” label on the products that you buy. Also, make sure to try out seasoning your meals with some other spicy tastes, like garlic, herbs, or various exotic spices that can soothe your taste buds, instead of reaching out for the saltshaker and pouring avalanches of salt into your plate.


9. Enjoy the ‘good’ fats

Fat comes from nearly all meals, and it’s vital to keeping your body functional and healthy. Overdo it though, and you will end up looking like a melted ice cream, and maybe even with some serious health issues you simply don’t want to deal with ever, not only now.

Olive oil, for instance, is high in fat but is also healthier than your average sunflower oil. There’s a whole list of foods that are high in ‘good’ fats that won’t mess you up so much if you take in a lot of them, like avocados, salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed. Pretty much all monounsaturated fats.

The fats from these delicious sources can help protect your body against heart disease. How? Well, they control the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and they raise the “good” HDL cholesterol levels. It’s really that simple, so pay attention to what you use in the kitchen.


10. Steer clear of the “bad” carbs

Tons of unhealthy carbs can be found in all kinds of food, and it would do you good to learn about them and stay away from all of them. These include foods such as white flour, white rice that has been stripped of all bran, refined sugar, fiber, and nutrients. The thing about bad carbs is that they are digested very, very quickly and cause major spikes in blood sugar levels.

For long lasting energy and stable insulin levels, you should choose the “good” carbs, or complex carbs as some like to call them. And you can easily find them in whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Do some research, find out which foods that you like have a solid amount of good carbs, and stick to them. Your body will be thankful and you will feel it.


11. Spot the hidden sugars in meals

Sugar is like a ninja – it infiltrates foods that you would never believe had sugar in them, and once they are in your system, they can cause some serious damage. And we don’t want that, no siree! You would be surprised if you knew what kinds of foods have sugar in them, like canned soup, pasta sauce, frozen dinners, fast food and even ketchup!

That’s why you should always make sure to check the labels for other terms that actually mean “sugar.” These include corn syrup, molasses, cane juice, fructose, sucrose, brown rice syrup, dextrose, maltose, all the ‘oses’ you can find. Always choose fresh or frozen vegetables over canned ones and make sure to buy low-carb or sugar-free variants of products such as bread, pasta, ice cream and even tortillas.

Artificial sweeteners are another thing you should try to avoid. If you’re making tea, honey is way better than sugar – not only is it super sweet, but also extremely healthy and good for your body.


12. Put five colours on your plate

There’s a custom in Japan to always make a dish that includes at least five colours on your plate. It sounds a bit mysterious, magical, shamanistic and what not, but in fact, it’s some very good advice. You think a dish with two colours is healthier than a dish with five? Think again.

We’re talking strictly about fruits and veggies here, mind you. But just think of it for a second – a plate holding clakberries, melons, yams, spinach, tomatoes and zucchini. It’s a freaking bomb filled with health which will explode upon landing in your stomach.

Even if all these ingredients we listed here aren’t enough to get that clockwork in your brain working and planning ahead, just think of it like this – a variety of flavours and vitamins is all you need in a good meal. So basically, the tip here is to make sure that your meals are packed with a variety of different tastes and healthy nutrients.


13. Avoid skipping meals

Even though skipping meals might seem like the lazy way out of any kind of labor, it is imperative that you don’t skip meals. We’ll say this again – it’s paramount. Don’t. Skip. Meals. Apart from the fact that your body requires at least three full meals per day to function properly, skipping meals causes your metabolism to slow down. This results in you feeling sluggish and making poorer choices during the day.

Another thing that is bad about skipping meals (for instance, focusing on dinner as your main intake of proteins and vitamins) is that calorie loading easily occurs. It is similar to plugging all the appliances in your house into a single socket, and why in god’s name would you do something like that? Sounds odd? Well, don’t do it to your body either, you just don’t need something like that.


14. Make sure to have a strong breakfast

Breakfast is, in fact, the most important meal of the day for a number of reasons. We’re pretty sure you’ve already heard this a million times, but it can’t hurt to hear it once again.

Always make sure to choose high-fiber bread and cereals for breakfast, or colorful fruits and proteins which will fill you with enough energy for the day. Try some yogurt with muesli and berries, you get everything you need there. Or try making a veggie-packed omelet, it gives you enough proteins and vitamins to last for almost the following 24 hours.

Some other choices include peanut butter on whole grain toast with salad or an old-fashioned oatmeal made with dried cherries, honey, and walnuts. The options are endless – you just have to decide what you feel like eating and enjoy a healthy meal.


15. Have a good, strong lunch every day

Lunch is like a follow-up for a good breakfast. You will notice that if you have a strong breakfast in the morning, you will feel that honest, healthy hunger just in time for lunch.

A few things you should try having for lunch are whole-grain bread, lean protein, and fiber. You might not think of it like that, but a veggie quesadilla or a whole-wheat tortilla can sometimes fill you up much more than a steak and two pounds of french fries (not to mention the health difference).

Try some veggie stew with (again) whole-wheat noodles. Try a quinoa salad with roasted peppers and some mozzarella cheese – you’ll be licking your fingers while at the same time doing your body a solid favor when it comes to health.


16. Your dinner should also be healthy

Always end your day on a wholesome note. Your dinner is the closure to a day and you should make sure that if you had a healthy day – you should end the day with a healthy meal. Instead of roasting some greasy sausages, why not try a warm salad with roasted veggies and a side of crusty brown bread with some cheese to fill it all? It might not sound as tasty as the sausages, but believe us, once you get used to it, it becomes phenomenal.

Try some fish for dinner, grill a salmon and add some spicy sals, or whole-wheat pasta with asparagus and shrimp. Also, you can opt for sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, and you can always go for some grilled meat instead of fried. Fried meat means you eat tons of oil and tons of oil is definitely not good for you, whichever angle you look at it from.


17. Pay attention to the quality of your snacks

Snacks are essential, snacks should never be forbidden in any diet because they make you happy, make you feel full throughout the day. Make them count by choosing high-fiber snacks to healthfully guide you towards your next meal. Instead of opening a bag of Cheetos or eating an entire pack of ice cream, take some almonds and raisins.

Or you can always eat some fruit – fruits make a neat snack and they’re as healthy as they can be. Other options include yogurt, cottage cheese, or apple with peanut butter. Or maybe you could even (if you’re feeling up to it) eat some veggies. Eating healthy snacks is crucial to maintaining a healthy diet and reducing your risk of various illnesses.


18. Don’t eat alone

Eating with others is just as important as adding vitamins to your everyday diet. Being in a social environment stimulates your mind and really adds to the whole experience of eating your meals. If you enjoy your meal, you’re much more likely to eat better. If you live alone, this can be somewhat tricky, but with some strategizing, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Share lunch with children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, friends, neighbors, whatever. Just make sure to have a good time with those people, and you will eat more healthily. Take a class, volunteer, join an adult day care center, there are many lonely people out there who are looking for some company, why not join them and share a meal?


19. Chew your food well

Let’s face it – old age is connected with various dental problems and jaw inhibition that can make chewing pretty painful. On the other hand, chewing your food is important so that your bites can reach your stomach in the appropriate form. It’s much easier to digest food which has been chewed properly than something you simply licked a bit, spun across your mouth for a second and then swallowed.

If you don’t feel like chewing food (or you simply aren’t able to), opt for smoothies. Smoothies are a great solution to these problems, and they can be made with fresh fruit, yogurt and protein powder. Or you can always eat steamed veggies and soft foods such as couscous, rice, and yogurt. Always make sure to talk to your dentist, just to be certain that your dentures are properly fitted.


20. If you have problems with shopping for food – there are solutions to that too

Maybe you are in a wheelchair, maybe you have some other difficulties that make it hard for you to go shopping for groceries on a daily basis. It can be a tough spot, but thankfully there are numerous solutions to this issue. Invite your neighbors over for some tea, have a blast with them and then politely ask them to bring you some groceries when they’re doing their next shopping round.

You can also always opt for a home delivery service. There are many to be found in the States and at cheap rates as well. Luckily, the Internet provides us with all kinds of contacts and information so finding an organization that can help you out shouldn’t be too much of a burden. Or you can always hire a homemaker. That’s the easy way out but hey, it’s a solution and you might not have many options at the moment.


21. Make sure that your budget covers your dietary needs

Some people think that it’s impossible to afford a balanced, healthy diet on a limited income. Your pension, you believe, may not be enough to always buy a healthy meal for lunch, dinner or breakfast, but it’s all about spending your money wisely. With the rights tips and just a little bit of planning, it is possible to enjoy healthy food on a daily basis – regardless of your income.

For instance, cut down on junk food. Seriously, just eliminate it from your diet. Junk food is expensive if you consume it every day, not to mention that it has a negative effect on your health. You could also try eating out less and save about $40 per week, which is $160 per month. Make a list and stick to it, think of all the money you’ll save and primarily think of the benefits to your health.

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