Food Wonderful Food ……

March 1, 2016

March is National Nutrition Month, so this is as good a time as any to talk about nutrition and aging.

What should we be eating as we age?

Does it matter?

Should we be concerned if we are “a little overweight”?

Is it natural for an elder to have less of an appetite?

As it turns out, we need to be as careful with our diets now as we were when our bodies were growing and changing. Our bodies continue to alter as we age.

  • We experience sensory changes – how we see, hear, taste, smell and feel.
  • We lose muscle mass.
  • Our metabolism slows.
  • Our bones become less dense, more prone to fracture.
  • We can experience more constipation as our digestive systems slow.

Nutrition plays a huge role in maintaining energy, healthy bones, preventing disease and improving mood. While we may not need to take in as many calories it is important to make sure the calories we do eat are high in nutrients, protein and fiber. We may need to increase some supplements, i.e. Vitamin D as our bodies do not manufacture it as efficiently as we age.

Good nutrition can help decrease inflammation helping to keep diabetes, cancer, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s disease at bay.

What should we be eating, then? My Plate is an graphic the replaces the harder to understand Food Pyramid. My Plate shows what foods are best to eat and the basic amount. For example, ½ of our plates should be fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables. ¼ of our plates should be grains and ¼ of our plate should be proteins.

See this infographic from Tufts University.

 

 

 

 

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