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Good Nutrition for Healthy Aging

Eating a low salt, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber can actually reduce your age-related risks of chronic diseases. Eating a variety of foods will help meet your nutrient needs.

Successful Aging Strategies

Good nutrition plays an important role in how well you age.

Protein – a part of all living cells
• Make wise protein choices – choose more low-fat quality protein sources, such as poultry, fish, eggs or egg substitutes, soy, and limited amounts of nuts and low-fat meat and dairy.

Carbohydrate – body’s preferred source of energy
• Choose more complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and whole-wheat grains.
• Choose fewer simple carbohydrates, such as sucrose (sugar added to sweets and desserts), fructose (sugar contained in fruit), and lactose (milk sugar);
• Get most of your carbohydrate calories from complex carbohydrates

Fats – provides the body energy
• Select “heart healthy fats,” such as monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocados,
and nuts), rather than “bad” saturated fats (beef, pork, veal, milk, butter, stick margarine, shortening, and cheese)and “good” polyunsaturated fats (in liquid corn oil or soybean oil)
• Limit the Worst- Trans fats found in vegetable shortening; some margarines (especially stick margarines); commercially prepared crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, salad dressings, and other processed foods
• Replace fat calories with complex carbohydrates in your diet

Water – keeps the body hydrated and must be replaced daily
• Aging causes the kidneys to become less efficient.
• Make a conscious effort to get six to eight 8 fluid ounce glasses of water daily

Maintain a healthy body weight. Your body’s daily calorie needs slowly decrease with age. As you age you need fewer calories per day than when you were younger. This means you need adequate protein and less fat in your diet. To help your body maintain a healthy weight, eat enough protein, less fat and increase physical activity.

As you age your bones lose mineral content more rapidly than before. This is especially true if you are a postmenopausal woman. Lower estrogen hormones increase bone loss. You need adequate daily calcium to help prevent osteoporosis.

Tell your physician and health care provider about all of the over the counter
medications, vitamins, minerals, and supplements you are taking.

Take your medications as prescribed by your physician or healthcare provider.

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