The body natural changes while we age. As a result, nutritional needs also change. When we are older, even the nutritional needs of women are different than those of men, as being influenced by activity level, age, and medical conditions.
Food offers the energy and the nutrients we need when we want to remain healthy. Women and men need protein like nuts, beans, dairy, fish, and meat, carbohydrates like whole grains, vitamins, healthy fats, water, and minerals. When eating right, some diseases can be prevented. This does include high blood pressure, osteoporosis, certain cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.
Improved Well Being
After you turn 50, mindful eating should be a top priority. This practically means that you have to think about what you drink and what you eat. You have to take the time you need to properly plan meal times, snacks, and your meals.
Some mindful eating tips to help you out when you are over 50 are:
- At every single meal, choose various healthy foods. You can definitely include servings of protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
- Do not consume unhealthy calories or at least reduce them as much as possible. This includes alcohol, soda, chips, cookies, and cakes.
- Choose those foods with low cholesterol and fat content. Also, avoid trans (always found in processed foods) and saturated fats (animal-based like dairy and red meat). You also do not want to buy without looking for this when you look for packaged baked goods.
- Be careful with portion sizes. One 3-ounce portion of meat is about the size of a standard deck of cards. You can sometimes eat some chips and other foods that are not necessarily healthy but do not do it all the time. Way too many just eat chips as they watch TV. It is always better to just measure how much you will eat and then eat it instead of grabbing a bag of chips as you watch TV.
- When you have motivation problems to eat vegetables and fruit, simply buy them pre-cut.
- Add some healthy spices to your diet. This is great when your tastes change. Just do not add more salt since this would be bad for your health.
- Learn all you can about how to read food labels. There are always nutrition labels on packaged items and you should never buy anything that does not have the label. The labels will let you know details about serving sizes, total fat, calories, carbohydrates, sodium, proteins per serving, cholesterol, and even whether or not the ingredients are sourced in a healthy way.
When you have a meal, make sure you get all the appropriate nutrients. The best ones you have to remember are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Daily fibers
The nutrients you have to avoid after you are 50 are:
- Trans and saturated fat
Important Things To Consider About What You Eat After 50
One thing you might not want to hear is that you have to listen to the advice your doctor gives you about nutrition after 50. There are always differences that have to be taken into account when comparing with others. For instance, in the event that you suffer from diabetes, you have to be careful with sodium levels, much more than with other nutrients.
We should also highlight that nutrients are not built the same. For instance, calories found in fruit are generally much healthier than what you find inside a cake. Carbohydrates coming from whole grains are always healthier than what you find inside candy.
Another really important thing that you have to be aware of is that women and men do need different calories in terms of amounts every day when over 50. Some examples of this include:
- A physically inactive woman should consume around 1,600 calories per day.
- An active woman should eat around 2,100 calories per day.
- A woman who is moderately active should eat around 1,800 calories per day.
- A physically inactive man should consume around 2,000 calories per day.
- An active man should consume around 2,600 calories per day.
- A moderately active man needs to eat around 2,300 calories per day.
Make sure that you take these recommendations as a general guideline. You might need more or fewer calories.
A Few Words About Sodium
When we age, we need to start thinking about how much sodium we consume. This is true for both women and men. It is recommended to never go over 1,500 milligrams daily after the age of 50. And it is a very good idea to avoid adding table salt to the food.
Always read your nutrition labels and be careful with how much salt is added to processed and packaged foods. Processed meats and canned foods do often include a lot of salt.
Basically, consuming some sodium is great since it helps the nerves. However, too much will increase your risks of developing some medical conditions. This is because the body ends up retaining fluid when too much sodium is present. As a result, you can be faced with stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. As a woman over 50 and after menopause, sodium can also make bones lose calcium. You might end up with osteoporosis simply because of eating too much salt.
Everyone over 50 should also think about food safety. When we age, the body is not as strong and cannot properly fight infections when consuming unsafe foods. You thus should always wash your raw foods with some soap. You want to keep cutting tools, surfaces, and hands clean at all times with some hot soapy water as food is prepared. Always respect the required cooking temperature and refrigerate your foods in around 2 hours after you finish cooking if this is the storage option you want.
You might not be thirsty and you might not want to drink water but when you are over 50, you have to be careful with hydration. And no matter what you might think, water is your best option.
Fortunately, water can be obtained from soups and broths. And there is also some limited water present in tea and coffee. Just make sure you do not consume too much caffeine since this strips water from your body.
Add water to your daily routine and just drink one glass of it before every single snack or meal. You can sip water as you eat, too. If you decide to exercise or you will go out in the sun, also drink water.