March is National Nutrition Month
"Go Further with Food" is the theme for 2018, and its importance is timely for many reasons. Whether it's starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a real difference. Preparing your foods to go further, by planning meals and snacks in advance can also help to reduce food loss and waste. This year's theme for National Nutrition Month® encourages us to achieve the numerous benefits healthy eating habits offer, but it also urges us to find ways to cut back on food waste. Learning how to manage food resources at home will help you "Go Further with Food", while saving both nutrients and money.
Healthy Eating As We Age
As we age, healthy eating can make a difference in our health, help to improve how we feel, and encourage a sense of well-being. Eating healthy has benefits that can help older adults:
- Obtain nutrients needed by the body such as potassium, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, minerals, and dietary fiber.
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. If you have a chronic disease, eating well can help to manage the disease.
- Meet individual calorie and nutrition needs.
- Help to maintain energy levels.
Special Nutrition Concerns for Older Adults
Our daily eating habits change as our bodies get older. Make small adjustments to help you enjoy the foods and beverages you eat and drink.
- Add flavor to foods with spices and herbs instead of salt and look for low-sodium packaged foods.
- Add sliced fruits and vegetable to your meals and snacks. Look for pre-sliced fruits and vegetables on sale if slicing and chopping is a challenge.
- Ask your doctor to suggest other options if the medications you take affect your appetite or change your desire to eat.
- Drink 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk throughout the day. If you cannot tolerate milk try small amounts of yogurt, butter milk, hard cheese or lactose-free foods. Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
- Consume foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals.