We have different national needs depending on the phase of our life we’re in. As babies, we had very simple needs. At the very beginning of our lives, we only needed milk to survive, but it doesn’t stay as simple as that. As older adults, our needs can be quite different and complex. We need to be a lot more careful and thoughtful about the foods we eat as we get older. Here are four tips for adapting your diet and what you should pay attention to as you get older.
Opt for More Nutrient-Rich Foods
You’re likely going to find that the older you get the less you need to eat to feel full and the fewer calories you’re consuming. This means that the food you do eat should be rich in nutrients and provide your body with all the protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals it needs. Fill your plate with more of these nutrient-rich foods, like vegetables, beans, pulses, and whole grains, and switch to low-fat dairy products. You should also start avoiding high-fat foods that offer a lot of calories but not much nutrition, particularly fast food and deep-fried foods. Throughout your life, it is always advisable to avoid junk food, but as you age it becomes even more important.
Up Your Fiber Intake
Constipation is a fact of life as we get older, so to counteract this, you need to ensure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet. If you don’t have the luxury of a cafeteria in your assisted living home, such as Belmont Village, then a great way of getting good amounts of fiber is with a high-fiber breakfast with lots of healthy whole grains and oat bran. You might also consider a fiber supplement like psyllium husk if you struggle to get a good amount of fiber into your food.
Start Adding Softer Foods
It’s possible, depending on your oral health and how well you looked after your teeth, that as you age, you’re going to struggle with harder foods and foods that need a lot of chewing. For this reason, you’ll want to start adding softer foods to your meals. Foods like potato mash and soups can become favorites in this area. As an added benefit here, softer foods generally contain good amounts of water and fluids that are important for hydration.
Don’t Forget About Hydration
As you get older, your body starts to struggle with things you took for granted before. Absorbing water is one of those things, so don’t forget to keep drinking enough fluids, preferably water, every day. It’s an easy thing to do but also an easy thing to forget. A good rule of thumb is to drink about eight glasses of water a day, which should be about 8 ounces of fluid. You can also include other things you drink in this goal, provided they don’t contain alcohol. Drinks like tea or even meals like soup will all add to your water intake.
With some thought and planning before you go to the grocery store, it’s not difficult to make nutrition a walk in the park!
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