Though even the first lady Michelle Obama is publicly taking America’s obesity epidemic to task, more and more people in America and across the globe are trying to tackle their weight problems and eat healthier. Because kids are naturally more physically active than their adult counterparts, it can be easier for the younger crowd to get healthier.
For seniors, who no longer have rapid metabolisms, losing weight or keeping pounds off is far more difficult. Because even the most active senior is limited in what he or she can handle with respect to physical activity, a greater emphasis must be placed on eating healthy the older a person gets.
Fortunately, there are many ways for seniors to eat healthier without making drastic changes to their lifestyles.
DON’T FORGET FLUIDS
Be it seniors, young adults or even kids, water is an essential part of a healthy diet. For years, the medical profession has said eight cups per day is what the average adult needs to keep his or her body working properly. Eight cups per day should help avoid dehydration, the side effects of which include dry skin, elevated heart rate, lack of energy, and weakness.
One area seniors should be extra careful regards their caffeine intake. Caffeine can make the body lose water, so seniors who still enjoy caffeinated coffee or the occasional soda should be aware that it might be costing them in other areas.
CHANGE YOUR SHOPPING HABITS
How a person shops for food can have a big impact on how healthy that person eats.
For instance, don’t shop when you are hungry. Doing so often leads to buying more food than you need and even buying certain foods you otherwise would not eat.
Seniors typically must live on a budget. While this can make it difficult to eat healthy, it’s not impossible. Comparison shopping is one way to save money and eat healthy at the same time. Check labels for generic store brands to see if there’s any difference in nutritional value. Oftentimes there is no difference, and the generic brands are significantly cheaper.
When buying fruit, buy fruit at various stages of ripeness. That way, you can eat one ripe piece of fruit today and one that will be ripe tomorrow.
DON’T FORGET DAIRY
While many seniors struggle to digest dairy as they get older, there are ways to still get the health benefits of dairy, including stronger bones, and not struggle with digestion. When eating dairy, eat smaller amounts more times per day.
Also, eat dairy products with a meal and not alone. This can help ease digestion. For cheese afficionados, eat aged cheeses like Swiss or cheddar instead of mild cheeses, which are more difficult to digest.