While it’s important to eat healthy at any age, the reality is that many adults aren’t tuned in to the importance of healthy food choices until they start feeling the effects of aging. But experts recognize that the aging process really begins as early as our 30s. Whether it’s the busy schedule of a professional who is maturing in their career or the retiree on the go enjoying their newfound freedoms, many people find themselves struggling to eat well as they age.
Eating healthy as we age is an important part of maintaining muscle mass, for not only mobility but balance as well. Remaining active and healthy throughout your lifespan is not only a result of physical activity, but eating a diet that supports a healthy body as well. Experts recommend eating at least 20 to 30 grams of protein at every meal to maintain, preserve and build muscle mass.
Healthy eating is important at any age, whether you’re 25 or 65! Better food choices for better aging @cabotcheese #ontheblog http://ow.ly/JSC4b
Here are a few additional suggestions to help you make healthy food choices as you age:
- If medications or natural changes to your senses make healthy food taste less appealing, use extra spices and citrus zest to add flavor to your meals rather than reaching for the salt shaker or sugar spoon
- If you have dental work that makes it hard to chew certain foods, take a trip to the dentist to make sure they’re fitting correctly.
- It’s possible that things you’ve eaten your whole life may no longer agree with you. Talk to your doctor or a Registered Dietitian about other options. For example, if the milk-based foods you used to enjoy seem to cause digestive upset, it may be time to switch to lactose-free milk. The good news is that Cabot Cheddar has always been naturally lactose-free!
- Some people are surprised to learn that “thirst” diminishes as we age. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids – don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Drink fluids with each meal and remember that you can also get fluids from things like soup and fresh fruits
- If you find yourself gaining weight, consider your activity level. You’ve likely slowed down over the years, which means you can’t eat the same amount of food you did before without gaining weight. Take the time to relearn portion sizes so you know how much you should be eating. A good rule of thumb is to always fill half your plate with high-fiber, low-calorie fruits and vegetables
Eating well as you age doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are some healthy recipes to keep you feeling your best:
As I get older, health and fitness matter even more to me. I want to eat foods that protect my bones, muscle, heart, and body. That’s why I include dairy at almost every meal or snack. This great source of protein, Vitamin B12, calcium, Vitamin D, potassium, and many other essential nutrients provide the health, blood pressure and heart-protective benefits I seek. Some of my favorite quick “go-to” meals are: cheese toast, Greek yogurt topped with berries and nuts, cottage cheese with sliced peaches or melon, individual cheese servings with fresh fruit, and non-fat milk in my latte or hot cocoa (dessert). I choose non-fat and low-fat varieties to help keep my weight and cholesterol levels healthy. I also love that these ideas get me in and out of the kitchen quick, so I can find time for a walk!