Healthy Eating: Tips for Older Adults

Published: June 02, 2015

As we age, our bodies begin to change. With our body changes come the change in foods that our bodies need and the physical activity we are able to do or endure.

What is important to my health as an older adult?

  • Bone and muscle strength
  • Physical activity
  • Meal planning
  • Eating foods lower in calories
  • Choosing foods high in nutrients to help maintain a balanced diet

What can I eat to stay healthy?

Choose a mix of nutrient-rich foods every day from all the food groups to get more nutrients with fewer calories. PLAN your meals and snacks to include:

  • Fruits and vegetables – select all different colors to get a variety of nutrients
  • Bread, pasta, cereal, rice or tortillas that are whole grain and high in fiber
  • Milk, cheese or yogurt that is low-fat or fat-free and provides calcium and vitamin D
  • Lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish or eggs that are high in protein
  • Beans and nuts which are nutrient-rich and contain protein, fiber and B vitamins

Why should I pay special attention to vitamin D and calcium?

Older adults tend to need more vitamin D and calcium to maintain bone strength and prevent osteoporosis. Include foods such as milk and yogurt that are fortified or have vitamin D added. Choose reduced-fat cheese or cheese made from part-skim milk. Eat salmon, tuna, eggs or fortified breakfast cereal daily.

What should I do if I experience symptoms of being lactose intolerant?

Drink milk with meals or snacks since the symptoms of lactose intolerance are generally milder if milk is consumed with other foods. Eat low-fat cheese or aged cheese, which have less lactose, and purchase lactose-free products at the grocery store.

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