Following a healthy balanced diet along with regular physical activity, can help us live an active, independent lifestyle as we age. In addition to helping to prevent health implications and age-related illnesses. Here are some tips to help preserve a healthy and mobile lifestyle as we age.
Be mindful of calorie intake. If you are active, ensure you are eating enough to fuel your body. While if your movement is limited be mindful of your portion size and add lots of salads, vegetables, and fruit to each meal.
Fruit & Vegetables
Aim for 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day to meet dietary requirements. Use fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables for convenience and to try to get as much variety as possible.
Where possible opt for high-fibre carbohydrates. Eating a fibre-rich diet helps the bowels move regularly, lowering the risk of constipation. A high-fibre diet can also lower the risk for many chronic conditions including heart disease and obesity.
Examples of fibre-rich foods include;
- Brown rice and brown pasta,
- Potatoes with their skins,
- Fruit, vegetables and seeds.
Protein is crucial as we age, as it aids the growth and repair of our cells and muscles. Try to opt for lean protein sources, such as fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, and dairy products.
Calcium & Vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health. Calcium helps to build and maintain bones while vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. Calcium is found in dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, and canned fish.
Try to aim for 3-servings of dairy per day, with one serving being 200ml milk, 25g cheese, or 125g yogurt.
However, supplementation may be required to achieve vitamin D recommendations, as the main source is sunshine. Or try opting for fortified dairy products. Talk to your GP about the best supplement for you.
Fat is required in the diet, however, it is best to opt for products that contain healthy fats such as olive oil, sunflower oil, nuts, and oily fish, as they help lower cholesterol levels.
Try to avoid high saturated fat products such as chocolate, cake, and fried foods and only consume them on occasion.
- Be mindful of all fats and oil and do not use them in excess!
Limit salt intake as it may lead to high blood pressure, which may result in heart disease. Try to add spices and herbs to flavour meals instead of salt and high-salt stock cubes. Opt for unprocessed meats instead of processed meats including sausages and cured bacon.
Stay hydrated! Be mindful of your fluid intake as aging can reduce signals of thirst. Keep a water bottle or glass close by and try to drink from it throughout the day. Opt for water or milk where possible and limit caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and sugary beverages.
How can we help?
If preparing healthy balanced meals is becoming difficult for you. You may like to try some of our healthy yet convenient meals. We have a range of meals to choose from including Breakfast, Lunches, and Dinners. Our meals are developed by nutritionists to ensure they provide sufficient nutrients and variety which will help support health and wellbeing as we age.
If you would like to discuss this further with one of the nutritionists, why not schedule a time that suits you here? It's all part of the service!
INDI 'Good Nutrition for the Older Person' https://www.indi.ie/healthy-ageing/509-good-nutrition-for-the-older-person.html