As you age, the foods you eat become even more important to maintaining your health and well-being well into your senior years. But keeping up with proper nutrition can be challenging, particularly if you have health issues that require specific dietary attention. Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Milwaukee senior care, offers a short guide for what to eat as you age to prevent disease and stay healthy and active.
According to the National Institute of Aging, a woman over 50 who is not physically active should consume about 1600 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight, more if she exercises regularly. For a man, the ideal number if he is not exercising is around 2000 calories per day. This varies if you are overweight or obese, so talk with your doctor about a calorie count that’s right for you.
But it’s not just the calories that matter – it’s eating the right kind of foods. Start off with 1.5 to 2 servings a day of whole fruits, along with 2 to 2.5 cups of veggies. For best results, think of the rainbow and eat fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors, such as leafy greens and bright orange and yellow peppers. If attaining fresh fruits and vegetables is difficult as the result of lack of mobility or transportation, reach out to family and friends for help. Assistance from a professional Milwaukee home caregiver can also be an invaluable asset, helping to ensure that healthy foods are purchased and prepared.
Adequate calcium is critical for maintaining strong bones as you age. Aim for 1,200 mg per day through dairy like milk, yogurt and cheese; choose low-fat versions for maximum health benefits. You should also try to get six to seven ounces of whole grains per day; swap out white bread, pasta, and rice for whole grain versions to get the fiber and vitamins you need.
Protein is also important for senior diets, but choosing lean versions is important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol low. About a quarter of each meal you eat should consist of white meat chicken, fish, beans, peas, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, or seeds.
The above are guidelines and are meant to help seniors get on the right track in terms of healthy eating. They will not be the same for everyone and may need to be modified in order to maximize health benefits. If you are unsure of how to craft the appropriate meal plan for yourself or aging loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee today. We are a leading provider of Milwaukee senior home care, offering custom care plans. Our highly trained caregivers can provide assistance with grocery shopping and healthy meal preparation as well as light housekeeping, personal care, mediation reminders and more.
We offer complimentary in-home consultations, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 414 – 964-8000 – our Care Managers are available 24/7.