It’s no secret that as we age, things change. While we alter our lives for many reasons, not all habits need to be modified. That is exactly the case when it comes to our diet, as one of my Twitter followers asked:
Should I be on a different diet once I turn 60?
The short answer is no. The same healthy eating principles that were important before you turned 60 are now arguably even more important. That’s because our health conditions tend to multiply as we age and eating well with regular exercise is the best way to stop this from happening. It doesn’t always take you back to your 20s, but sometimes it can stave off diabetes or high blood pressure for a few more years. So what are these eating rules? Here are a few to stick to.
- Eat a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies have consistently been associated with decreased death from a variety of diseases, not to mention you’ll feel a lot better on a diet high in both.
- Get your fiber. Constipation and digestive troubles plague many older adults. Fruits, veggies and whole grains are a great way to get enough fiber in your diet.
- Get enough calcium and iron. Anemia and osteoporosis are common in older adults. Meats, beans, eggs and green veggies are all high in iron. Dairy, green leafy vegetables, bony fish and soy are good sources of calcium.
- Lower your salt. There’s been a lot of news about how much is too much, but most will agree that high amount are bad for you and salt is hidden in pretty much everything we eat. The CDC recommends you aim for less than 1,500mg.
- Vitamin D. This vitamin is a key player in making sure you get enough calcium in your diet to keep your bones healthy. Additional research has shown that those who are severely deficient are also at risk for dementia. Eggs, oily fish and fortified soy and dairy are all good sources.
- Get enough to drink. Dehydration can lead to dizzy spells that might lead to deadly falls in older adults. Aim to get 1.2L per day in non-alcoholic beverages, preferably water.