Making healthy food choices and eating nutritious food can help us maintain our weight, keep us healthy, and allow us to live an active and independent life. As we advance into our golden years, being able to move around on our own will allow us the freedom to pursue our interests, participate in activities or learn new skills. If you would like to improve your diet, join us and follow these tips to eat healthier! Remember, it’s never too late to start!
Consume More Liquids
Staying hydrated is key to staying healthy as you age. Other than drinking milk, hot water with lemon, low-sodium broth, and unsweetened iced tea made from fresh lemons, there are plenty of other ways to make sure you’re taking in enough fluids. Adding a touch of cinnamon or cardamom to your favorite warm drink is another great way to make water more palatable; it can even help you burn fat and control blood sugar levels. If you would like something cold, fruit or vegetable juices, smoothies and homemade iced teas will do the trick!
Eat a Variety of Foods
One of the most important tips for eating healthier is to eat a variety of foods. Although there are benefits to eating certain foods over others, we need to bear in mind that people have different dietary needs. Your body may benefit from adding more fruit or leafy greens to your diet, while someone else may need an increase in protein or fiber in their food intake. However, a general rule of thumb is to include food from the five food groups in MyPlate, which is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals ahead of time is a great way to make sure you are eating healthier. Be sure to pick out food from the five food groups – vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and dairy. Do refer to the dietary guidelines and take note of how much of each food item you should eat during your meals. While this may sound tedious, you’ll soon be able to remember the amount that you should take from each food group after a few times. If possible, try to set aside a day for doing your meal planning for the entire week. This will save you lots of time in grocery shopping and food preparation.
Minimize Your Intake of Salt
Contrary to popular belief, all salt basically has the same nutritional value. Although table salt contains iodine, which is beneficial for thyroid health, many people often associate sea salt as being the healthier choice. No matter which type of salt you go for, ensure that you take it in moderation. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should limit your salt intake to one teaspoon per day.
Season Your Food with Herbs and Spices
Instead of reaching for salt to season your food, you can try adding different herbs and spices. Not only will this help to reduce your sodium intake, but you’ll also add nutrients to your food and boost its flavor. Spices like cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ginger have been shown to help lower blood pressure, and this is particularly helpful for those who need to watch their blood pressure. You can consider substituting salt with herbs such as thyme or oregano when cooking as well. These spices and herbs act as flavor enhancers, and can be used on everything from vegetables to meat!