Dining and Nutrition for Seniors from Five Star Senior Living

A Guide to Eating Well: The Food Pyramid for Adults Over the Age of 60

  • March 13, 2018

March is National Nutrition Month, a time to raise awareness about the role diet plays in how well you live and how well you age. Seniors are often surprised to learn how different their nutritional needs are at age 60 than they were at age 30.

To help older adults learn more about making healthy food choices during retirement, we created this quick guide to senior nutrition. We hope you will share it with the seniors in your life!

A Guide to Healthy Nutrition During Retirement Years

  • Fruit and vegetables: A good rule of thumb is to eat fruits and vegetables that represent all of the colors of the rainbow. Incorporate bright-colored veggies, like broccoli and spinach, as well as deep-colored fruits, such as berries and tomatoes. (And yes, for the record, tomatoes really are a fruit!) This approach can help you reap the rewards of a diet rich with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. 
  • Whole grains: Another group of healthy food choices is whole, enriched grains in a variety of forms. Quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, and whole-grain baked goods made with a variety of flours are all better choices than white rice and bread. 
  • Low-fat protein sources: While red meat can be a good source of protein, it can also contain too much fat. Mix it up by incorporating other protein sources, such as poultry, beans, fish, eggs, and nuts, in to your weekly menu planning.
  • Avoid Trans fat: Along these same lines is the concern that a diet built on fast food or convenience foods is typically high in Trans fats. These are the unhealthy fats linked to heart disease and other chronic health conditions. Opt for olive oil and plant-based spreads low in saturated and Trans fat when you are baking or cooking. 
  • Watch refined sugar intake: Refined sugar can creep in to your diet through seemingly healthy foods, like yogurt, fruit juice, and canned fruits. Even ketchup can contain sugar! Read labels carefully to look for sugar content. The American Heart Association guidelines say most American women should eat no more than 100 calories per day of sugar (six teaspoons or 20 grams) and men should limit sugar intake to 150 calories per (or about nine teaspoons or 36 grams). Talk with your physician if you aren’t sure how much sugar you should be consuming.
  • Low-fat dairy: Dairy products can be a good way to boost your vitamin D and calcium intake, as well as a good source of protein. Like sugar, however, too much fat can find its way in to dairy products. Ask your primary care doctor how much fat is best for you and then make a point of reading food labels to stay on track.
  • Stay hydrated: Water is an important part of a healthy diet. It helps flush the body of toxins, maintain regularity, and boost the immune system. Most older adults should drink 7 or 8 glasses of water each day. If you or a senior loved one can’t bring yourself to drink that much water, try adding fruit to give it extra flavor. Foods like lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, and melon also help promote hydration because they have a high water content.

Residents at Five Star Senior Living communities benefit from our signature dining experience. Under the direction of celebrity chef Brad Miller, meals are designed to be both nourishing and delicious. We invite you to join us for a meal and personal tour of the community nearest you. Call today to schedule a time!

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