Making smart food choices is important for people of all ages. But as you age, your body changes and has different needs than, say, a 20 year old’s body. Eating healthy seems to be a popular resolution during the beginning of the year. However, many people also lose focus as the year progresses. We list some simple steps to incorporate into your eating routine to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle year round.
A person’s sense of thirst diminishes when you get older, so it’s crucial to continually drink plenty of fluids. It’s best to stay away from drinks that are high in sugar and sodium and drink water instead. You may have heard the general rule of drinking eight glasses of water a day, but every body type and diet is different. According to Medical Daily, 75% of Americans function in a chronic state of dehydration. This means you need to by hyperaware of how much water you drink daily. You’ll be surprised with how many times you think you’re hydrated, and you actually aren’t.
Color Your Plate
It may come as a shock to you, but just by filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal you will get the majority of the nutrients your body needs each day. Produce is chock-full of fiber, antioxidants, potassium, and vitamins A and C – all of which allow your body to function at its best. You may even notice the change in the amount of energy you have and how you feel overall.
Preparing your meals ahead of time will do wonders for the amount of free time you have each day. You’ll be able to do more of what you want and you won’t spend nearly the amount of time cooking food. It’s convenient and easy when all you have to do to eat is use the microwave or the oven for a couple minutes to heat up a meal. Also, planning your meals in advance will allow you to stick to a healthy eating schedule and stray away from eating at fast food restaurants.
Take Your Vitamins and Supplements
When you get older, it can be more of a challenge to get all of the nutrients your body needs. This is where vitamins and supplements can enhance your diet and ensure you are receiving all of the nutrients you need. Because each individual is different, you may have certain deficiencies in regards to vitamins and minerals, so you should consult your doctor first before taking any supplements. Also, depending on the medications you’re already on, supplements could interfere and have negative effects on your medical conditions, so make sure to ask your doctor for recommendations.
Read the Nutrition Facts Label
The first section of a nutrition facts label you want to pay attention to is the serving size. Sometimes, what we think is one serving could end up being three servings. You’ll also want to note the amount of calories in each serving and limit the amount of fat and sodium you eat. You’ll notice at the bottom of the label, it will highlight fiber, protein, and any vitamins or minerals found in the food item. You’ll want to try and maximize those elements. On most food items, there will also be a list of ingredients used. It’s best to stay away from foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet. This article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. For even more tips on eating healthy, check out Choose My Plate.