Eating healthy food is a key ingredient to staying healthy as we age. It has been shown through countless scientific studies that what we eat contributes to a reduction in the incidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other numerous ailments. Below are some tips on how to make sure you get the best foods at the grocery store into your home, and then into your body.
Put a variety of colors in your cart when you choose your vegetables and fruits. The different colors displayed by the fruits and vegetables indicates the different nutrients they contain. Therefore, you insure that you are getting a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals by choosing a variety of colors. And it looks nice, too!
The dangers of fat are well documented. When buying meat and chicken, pick out the leaner and/or skinless cuts. Look for the word ‘loin’ in the name, such as tenderloin or sirloin. This is also an indication of a leaner, less fatty meat. When purchasing dairy products, avoid the high-fat varieties. Stick with reduced fat, such as 2% or less. When it comes to eating fish, however, fat is good. Eating two servings per week of either salmon, trout or some other oily fish will help lower the risk of heart disease while increasing the level of healthy omega-3 fat in your body.
Be sure to keep up with fiber in your diet. Nuts and other high- fiber foods help curb your appetite for less healthy foods, while also lowering cholesterol levels. Eat lots of whole grains, beans, and cereals, plus vegetables and fruit, along with delicious nuts, to get the important fiber you need.
Butter is definitely not better. It is better to keep butter out of your diet, especially as you age. Everyone should actively pursue the goal of eating under 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day. By refraining from butter, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and eating low-fat dairy and lean meats, you will be helping your body enormously.
Read the labels to know what you are putting into your precious body. Do you drink sugary soft drinks? These add lots of unnecessary sugar to your diet. Try replacing with herbal tea for a flavorful alternative drink. Too much sodium can also be a problem, especially if ready-made foods is a normal part of your diet. Most seniors should ingest about 1500mg of sodium each day. “A general rule of thumb is that if one serving of any particular item has more than 250 mg of sodium, you should consider buying a product that has less.”
Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables can be more convenient to keep stocked in the kitchen. If getting to the store for the fresher varieties is a problem, canned and/or frozen vegetables also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, just in a more convenient package. Just be sure that the items you are buying do not have added sugar or salt.
These suggestions might seem like a lot, but don’t worry. Start slowly and build up to a heart-healthy diet; for yourself and your loved ones, too.