Healthy eating for seniors

Healthy eating is an integral part of aging well. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet can provide essential energy and nutrients to maintain health, lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and prevent bone and muscle loss which can reduce the risk of falling or breaking bones.

Decreased appetite in seniors is common and due to the many changes that occur as people age. Sedentary males over the age of 70 require about 2,000 calories daily, while sedentary females aged 70 and older require approximately 1,600 calories per day. These numbers increase for active seniors. Here are some tips for healthy eating for seniors.

Protein

Protein such as chicken, fish, beans, meat, or dairy products should account for 10-35% of your calories. Based on these numbers, a sedentary male should consume between 200-700 calories and a sedentary female should consume between 160-560 calories from protein a day. Protein intake for seniors should consist of one serving per meal. The palm of your hand can be used to measure one serving of protein.

Carbohydrates

Seniors should consume between 45% and 65% of their daily calories from the carbohydrates food group. Carbohydrates are extremely important because they are the body’s main source of energy. Carbohydrates are found in a wide range of food such as bread, bananas, corn, and soft drinks.

Dairy

Three cups of dairy should be consumed by seniors per day. Examples of one cup of dairy include 1 cup of milk, 1 container of yogurt, 1 and a half ounces of cheese, and 1 and a half cups of ice cream.

Fat

Approximately 20-35% of calories should come from fat. The most common fats are saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are solids at room temperature. These are commonly found in animal foods such as meat, milk, and cheese. It is recommended to limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your daily calorie intake because they offer limited nutritional benefits while also increasing your risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats are liquids at room temperature. These are often found in oils from plants. An improved cholesterol level is a benefit of consuming unsaturated fats.

As you age, some of your micronutrient needs increase. To meet their vitamin and mineral needs each day, seniors should eat a variety of whole foods such as protein, fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates.

Boom Health provides fresh and healthy meals that are prepared and delivered to your door. All you have to do is reheat them! New menus are posted every week. Check out the Boom Health app on the App Store or Google Play Store to order your meals today.