It's no secret that what you eat greatly affects your overall health and well-being. Eating healthily and fueling our bodies with nutrient-dense foods becomes increasingly important as we age.
So, the question becomes: how or what should you eat as you age?
As you age, you should focus on eating more nutrient-dense foods that don’t have a lot of extra calories. Examples of this are:
- Fruits and vegetables: Remember, the more color the better! Think of your plate like a rainbow and try to load it with lots of different types of various colors.
- Whole grains: Foods like oatmeal, whole-wheat bread and brown rice are all great options! They will keep you full for a long time and are packed with fiber.
- Milk or cheese: Look for items that have added vitamin D and calcium to support bone health.
- Protein: Seafood, lean meats like chicken or ground turkey, and eggs are all amazing examples of protein-rich foods. If you can, try to look out for items that are organic, grass-fed, or pasture-raised. These items will have fewer antibiotics and hormones.
- Legumes & nuts: Beans are a great vegetarian option for protein and are good for gut health. Also, roasted almonds and cashews make delicious snacks and are good for you too!
Now that we know what to eat, you may ask: Is there anything I shouldn’t eat? While it depends on the person, certain foods are best avoided.
- Refined sugar: While a sweet treat is okay occasionally, make sure not to overdo it on the candy or baked goods. These foods have little to no nutrients and are just empty calories.
- Alcohol: This is a big one to watch out for, especially if you are on medication. While everything is okay in moderation, alcohol has no known health benefits.
- Processed foods: Things like chips are loaded with calories with little nutrients to support them.
Of course, not everyone needs the same exact foods. While some people need more protein, others need more nutrients. It's important to consider these factors and any food allergies that could affect your body's ability to absorb nutrients. As well, if you have high cholesterol or a low iron count, this is crucial information to know. It's recommended you consult your doctor to have a better understanding of what your body needs.