In the past, we have talked about the importance of breakfast, different types of food that keep you healthy, getting the right nutrients, eating enough fiber, and potassium, and preparing food for the holidays. In this blog we will cover general healthy eating habits to apply to your overall diet.
Eating nutritionally is so important for seniors. Here are some healthy eating habits to adopt:
Reduce your sodium (salt). This will help prevent water retention and high blood pressure. Look for the “low sodium” label and season meals with garlic, herbs, and spices instead of salt.
Stock up on “good fats.” Opt for olive oil, avocados, salmon, walnuts, flax seed, and other monounsaturated fats that can help protect your body against heart disease by controlling “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and raising “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
Avoid “bad” carbs. Stay away from white flour, refined sugar, and white rice. They
digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and short-lived energy. Chose instead complex carbs from whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
Look for hidden sugar. Added sugar is found in such foods as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, fast food, and ketchup. Check food labels for other terms for sugar like corn syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup, cane juice, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, or maltose. Replace these foods with fresh or frozen vegetables, and choose low-carb or sugar-free versions of such foods as tortillas, bread, pasta, and ice cream. Try to avoid artificial sweeteners as well; it’s healthier to sweeten drinks with honey or use whole fruit or fruit juice to sweeten dishes.
Cook smart. Are you cooking your food to maintain its maximum nutritional value? For example, when it comes to preparing veggies you should consider steaming or sauteing them in olive oil to preserve nutrients.
Paint your plate with different colors. Fruits and veggies rich in color correspond to rich nutrients. Examples of colorful veggies include blackberries, melons, yams, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini.
Creating these healthy eating habits may take some work, but they will help you feel better and look better. To help create the habit, you can do things like creating grocery lists and meal plans and keeping a collection of your favorite healthy recipes.