Regardless of age, a well balanced diet is crucial to staying healthy, and particularly as we get older - our metabolic rate slows down and we become vulnerably to age-related diseases such as: diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, Alzheimer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. The main reason being: poor eating habits resulting from a diet deficient in vitamins and minerals, and regular consumption of foods containing many chemical additives.
We’ve been programmed to believe that with age comes illness, and that’s just the way it is; but the truth is, many age-related diseases can be reversed and could have been prevented by maintaining a well-balanced diet and adhering to our body’s warning signals. Those facts should be enough to motivate changes in our eating habits.
Obstacles to Eating Healthy
There are several reasons why so many people, in particularly seniors have trouble eating nutritiously everyday. The most common reasons are loneliness, economic barriers, physical and oral issue; such as discomfort when chewing or swallowing, don’t know how to cook, unhealthy foods are quick and easy to prepare, and healthy foods are expensive and not easily accessible.
Overcoming Obstacles to Eating Healthy
Depending on your situation or the obstacles you face, getting started may or may not be a hurdle to get over. Making simple lifestyle changes, consulting with your medical practitioner or by just changing or disciplining your mindset may be the solution to getting on the right track to eating healthy consistently.
For instance: loneliness is a state of mind that can be overcome if you wish to. There are many people in midst of thousands and many with husbands, wives and children who are still lonely. You can find a way to enjoy your own company and eat well.
Here are a few steps you can take to get you on the path to eating healthy.
- Make a decision to stop eating bad foods immediately or relinquish them gradually. The sooner the better.
- There are many books, as well as websites that provide actionable steps on how to overcome loneliness. Learn to enjoy your own company, and eat well.
- You can volunteer, join a gym and, or garden club to maintain an active interpersonal lifestyle
- Meet regularly with family and friends and prepare or try new meals as often as possible.
- Get involved in an adult daycare center that way you can interact with other seniors.
- Learn about foods in particularly the nutritional content. That way you can know which foods to consume regularly, which to eat occasionally, and those to avoid especially if you have any health conditions that might conflict.
- Find out how many calories you should consume daily. This varies according to age and nutritional needs.
- Learn to cook healthy meals. You can find recipes for everything online.
- Visit your primary care physician and dentist concerning any health concerns that interfere with your diet.
Eat Nutrient Rich Foods
Let’s be clear, a well balanced diet does not mean you need to be on a diet in order to gain or lose weight or deny yourself foods that you love. It does not mean eating equal portions of foods to get the required nutrients because our body needs more of some nutrients than others. A well balanced diet entails eating the right types and portions of foods and drinks to supply the body with all its nutritional needs. According to Connie Bales, PhD, professor of medicine at the Duke University Medical Center “As we get older we should eat less, because we are not as active; which results in decrease muscle mass, slow metabolic rate and the issues of a slow digestive system and slow metabolic rate a. In addition, “as the years advance the nutritional and physical needs become more unique in order to remain healthy,” said Scientist, Jean Mayer of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center. However, as we eat less, our diet should consist of more nutrient rich foods.
Foods Rich in Nutrients
- green leafy vegetables
- sweet potatoes
- lean meats
- low fat milk.
As the saying goes "if you don't have your health, you have nothing" I guess in many ways that's true.
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