March is National Nutrition Month. A designation that serves as a reminder of the role proper nutrition plays in maintaining good health. While everyone can benefit from a diet that is rich in nutrients, seniors especially should be aware that good food choices can have a positive impact on their overall well-being.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) recommends a diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. If eating well sounds like a boring way to live, think again. You can still eat plenty of delicious foods that are also good for you.
Healthy Nutrition and Seniors
Here are a few ways seniors can keep their nutrition on the right track.
Eat foods that are filling
Many diets will lead you to believe that you have to eat less food in order to stay healthy. That sounds like a recipe for always being hungry! But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially when you choose foods that are high in fiber. Food with a higher fiber content make you feel full faster, so you’ll automatically eat less food to feel satisfied.
The Mayo Clinic suggests the following filling foods for a good diet:
- Fruits such as raspberries, pears and apples (including the skins), and strawberries
- Grains, cereals, and pasta, especially whole-grain spaghetti, barley, and oat bran
- Legumes, nuts, and seeds, including split peas, lentils, and baked beans
- Vegetables like artichokes, green peas, and broccoli
Take time to enjoy each bite
When you sit down to enjoy a meal, you are more aware of the food that you are eating. However, when you grab a meal or snack on the go, you’re less likely to be mindful of what or how much you’re eating.
Not only is it less enjoyable to eat your food in a rush, but you are also more likely to make poor nutrition choices. When you carve out time in your day for preparing tasty, nutritious meals and snacks, you’ll find that your food is more satisfying.
Pay attention to serving size
Nutrition labels provide valuable information about the foods we eat, including ingredients, calories, and serving sizes. Most people don’t realize that they are actually eating two and three times the suggested serving size of food. This means they are eating two to three times more calories. Not a good practice for managing nutrition or weight!
Take the time to read nutrition labels and make sure you are eating the proper serving size. Your waistline will thank you.
Good nutrition on a budget
It is possible to eat healthy, nutritious foods and still remain on a budget. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps eligible seniors afford food that is good for them.
The benefits of eating well
A nutritious diet can have many positive effects on a senior’s health. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that the following are just a few of the benefits of eating healthfully:
- Less money spent on medication
- Fewer doctor visits
- Better overall health
When you plan and prepare foods that are as delicious as they are good for you, you’ll be well on your way to feeling great.
Chef-Inspired Dining at Five Star Senior Living
Residents at Five Star Senior Living communities enjoy healthy meals. We extend an open invitation to you and your senior loved one to join us for lunch or dinner. Call the community nearest you to make a reservation!