It’s no secret that a healthy diet is necessary for a healthy body. What many people don’t recognize, however, is that nutritional needs for adults change as we grow older. Nutritional professionals at Tufts University have developed the MyPlate system, which is a more advanced adaptation of the former food pyramid, supplying up-to-date advice for maintaining a healthy senior diet.
The MyPlate for Older Adults model offers important information on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, fat, and salt; however, it also gives direction on topics such as recommended physical activities and fluid intake, issues that are of particular concern for seniors.
Due to the fact that activity levels are in many cases diminished, older adults tend to require fewer calories as they age, but they also still need equal or greater levels of nutrients and regular activity for maximum health. MyPlate for Older Adults suggests:
- Bright-colored vegetables, such as peppers and carrots
- Deep-colored fruits, including melons and berries
- Whole, fortified, enriched grains and cereals, like brown rice
- Low- and non-fat dairy products, like yogurt and low lactose milk
- Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads, which are lower in saturated and trans fats
- Spices as a substitute to salt
- Liquids such as water and fat-free milk
- Physical activity, including walking, resistance training, and light housekeeping
In addition, further suggestions include taking advantage of choices that are more simplified to prepare and minimize waste, such as bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables and single-portion containers of fruit.
At Golden Harmony, we know it can be a struggle to help older loved ones follow a healthy senior diet. Our dedicated caregivers can help plan and prepare healthy, appetizing meals according to your loved one’s specific nutritional needs. Contact us online or call us at 919-426-7522 to learn more about connecting with the perfect caregiver in Cary or the surrounding areas and to arrange a free in-home evaluation. To learn more about all of the areas we serve in North Carolina, please visit our Service Area page.