Our bodies perform based in large part on the food we eat. We can improve the performance with a diet that is rich in nutrients, variety and recommended food groups. As we age, eating the right kinds of foods, in adequate amounts, is especially important.
A diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and lean meats provides the fuel we need to be active and energized. Health issues such as diabetes and heart disease may require special diet modifications that should be followed. Overall, think of food as your energy source. Limit salt, saturated fats, sugars and foods that are high in calories. This doesn’t preclude having your favorite dessert on occasion, but it does mean moderation.
The USDA recommends that women 50+ consume about 2,000 calories per day and that men 50+ consume about 2,500 calories per day to maintain appropriate weight. Factors such as exercise and health concerns can impact these guidelines.
When shopping for and preparing meals, think colorful! Meals that include colorful vegetables, fruits and grains are appetizing, tasty, and better for you. Look for bright red, yellow, orange and green when choosing items. These foods are high in the nutrients and vitamins your body needs to thrive. Don’t forget to include healthy fats–omega 3s and omega 6s support cell health and have anti-inflammatory benefits. Healthy fats can lower cholesterol levels, reduce joint pain and improve blood pressure.
A well-balanced diet keeps your body, mind and spirit healthy. When you feel energized, you are more focused, engaged and can contribute at a higher level