The National Council on Aging gives us some useful tips on eating well in later life. Take a look at the tips, along with bonus videos below!
Tips for Picking Healthy Food as You Get Older
Here are 6 tips to help you find the best foods for your body and your budget.
1. Know what a healthy plate looks like
You might remember the food pyramid, but the USDA recently unveiled a simpler way to help people see what they should eat each day. It’s called MyPlate. The simple graphic shows exactly how the five food groups should stack up on your plate. These are the building blocks for a healthy diet.
2. Look for important nutrients
Make sure you eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Your plate should look like a rainbow—bright, colored foods are always the best choice! A healthy meal should include:
Lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans)
Fruits and vegetables (think orange, red, green, and purple)
Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
Low-fat dairy (milk and its alternatives)
Remember to choose foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium or salt. Also, look for Vitamin D, an important mineral as we age.
3. Read the Nutrition Facts label
The healthiest foods are whole foods. These are often found on the perimeter of the grocery store in the produce, meat, and dairy sections. When you do eat packaged foods, be a smart shopper! Read the labels to find items that are lower in fat, added sugars, and sodium.
4. Use recommended servings
To maintain your weight, you must eat the right amount of food for your age and body. The American Heart Association provides recommended daily servings for adults aged 60+.
5. Stay hydrated
Water is an important nutrient too! Don’t let yourself get dehydrated—drink small amounts of fluids consistently throughout the day. Tea, coffee, and water are your best choices. Keep fluids with sugar and salt at a minimum, unless your doctor has suggested otherwise.
6. Stretch your food budget
Want to get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck? The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help you afford healthy food when you need it. Over 4 million older Americans use SNAP to buy food, and the average senior receives $113 each month. Visit BenefitsCheckUp.org/getSNAP to see if the program can help you.
In 2016, Partners In Care screened a free documentary for members of PIC and the greater community. We learned so much about dating in later life. Here are some of the learned lessons:
Speed dating first appeared in the 1990s but has become much more popular in recent years among baby boomers and seniors. Perhaps it’s the breaking of stereotypes and old taboos among older generations, as well as our increased longevity. Whatever the reason, speed dating – a way to meet many potential matches in a short amount of time – has proven especially beneficial for the over-50 population, who have fewer options for social interaction. Also, since older adults have a better idea of what they’re looking for in a partner, they gain from the chance to meet other available seniors one-on-one. The documentary “The Age of Love” – which follows 30 participants of an actual speed dating event for the 70+ set – helps viewers of all ages see that our search for love and companionship transcends age.
How many older adults are single?
In 2012, only 57% of adults 65 and older in America, were married and roughly one-third of baby boomers are currently unmarried. Dating in later life will increase as the proportion of older adults who are single continue to rise.
Why do older adults need companions?
Research suggests that many women view dating as a social activity that provides a unique form of companionship not achieved through friendships with other women
Sexuality is increasingly considered key to older adults’ satisfaction in life – and an important factor in their health and well being.
“My own children don’t ask me what’s in my heart, or what I’m feeling. they ask me what I need, they take care of me and they love me. But they never ask me about what I’m feeling emotional. And I have so much to tell you…”– Participant from the film.
Why is “touch” important in later life?
According to Polish data, men and women aged 70 or older, expect and want sexual tenderness and touch in later life.
“We live by the touch, and I mean just a handshake, a hug, a kiss on the cheek. You have to have that contact….. You don’t survive without it.”- Joan Floyd, 69-year-old from New Jersey experiencing Speed Dating for the first time.
What are the other benefits of dating in later life?
Combats loneliness and social isolation
Brings physical intimacy and touch back into their lives
Breaks down barriers of ageism– sends a message to the world that older adults can be romantic too
Promotes healthier eating choices and habits
Research shows that dating in later life promotes healthier lifestyles…
…enhances driving abilities
…and promotes greater involvement in organizational activities
Forming a new partnership that provides close ties is preferable to relying on their adult children for social support and interaction.
For men and women– older adults who date reported greater social connectedness
Take a look at the trailer here and website and check out a screening near you. And if Speed Dating isn’t your thing check out these articles to learn the best ways to get out there and date!