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  • The Importance of Diet as we Age

    A well-balanced diet can help seniors feel energetic, healthy, vibrant, and mentally sharp. Diet is important during every phase of life. A good diet can also boost the immune system. An important consideration as we age. Additionally, aging comes with new health concerns that may need to be factored into diet.

    Diane Stadler, PhD, RD, a research assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University has stated that colorful fruits and vegetables are important elements of a senior’s diet. The natural color in these vegetables is a sign that they are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. “The darker the red, the deeper the green, the more yellow, the more orange… they’re the foods that have function,” said Dr. Stadler. The best part about these fruits and vegetables is that they can be fresh or frozen.

    Dairy is another important dietary component. The need for calcium is high throughout life. This doesn’t change one bit as we age. In terms of calcium rich food, dairy is as good as it gets. 25oz of milk a day will supply almost all the calcium the body needs. Vitamin D, another crucial component of healthy bones is readily available in most dairy products.

    Many dieticians recommend that older adults make a move to a lower calorie diet high in lean protein. Depending on age and weight, they recommend older woman consume approximately 1,600-2,220 calories per day while men consume 1,800-2,200 calories per day.

    Lean proteins can be found in fish, poultry, beans, legumes, nuts, and dairy products. Read meat is often high in saturated fat which is associated with bad cholesterol. It is also recommended that older individuals use portion control to keep from over eating.

    With health diet and regular exercise, there is no reason we can’t feel healthy, vibrant, and active well into our older years.

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