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Fruits and vegetables - eating healthy as a senior

Nutritional Importance For Adult Seniors 60 And Up


As we age, eating a well balanced mix of foods every day has many health benefits. For instance, eating well may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, and anemia. If you already have one or more of these chronic diseases, eating well and being physically active may help you better manage them. Healthy eating may also help you reduce high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, and manage diabetes.

Eating well gives you the nutrients needed to keep your muscles, bones, organs, and other parts of your body healthy throughout your life. These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water.

Food pyramid pie chart - eating healthy for seniors

Eating well helps keep up your energy level, too. By consuming enough calories you give your body the fuel it needs throughout the day. The number of calories needed depends on how old you are, whether you’re a man or woman, your height and weight, and how active you are.

Consuming the right number of calories for your level of physical activity helps you control your weight, too. Extra weight is a concern for older adults because it can increase the risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease and can increase joint problems. Eating more calories than your body needs for your activity level will lead to extra pounds.

If you become less physically active as you age, you will probably need fewer calories to stay at the same weight. Choosing mostly nutrient-dense foods — foods which have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories — can give you the nutrients you need while keeping down calorie intake.

The Importance Of Fiber Within Your Diet


Your food choices also affect your digestion. For instance, not getting enough fiber or fluids may cause constipation. Eating more whole-grain foods with fiber, fruits and vegetables or drinking more water may help with constipation.