As you get older, it’s important you continue to eat well. A good diet can help you manage conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. The body becomes less efficient at absorbing and using many vitamins and minerals. After 60, you may not be as active as you were and so you need fewer calories. You may also have a reduced appetite. So, you’ll need to pack more nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre into a smaller amount of food.
- Drink plenty of water: as we age digestive problems become more common. Ensure you keep your fluid intake up by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Limit food and drinks with added salt: our sense of taste and smell becomes less sensitive as we get older and its important that we don’t add extra salt. Use plenty of spices and herbs as an alternative
- Limit foods high in saturated fat such as cakes, pastries, processed meats and fried foods
- Limit food and drinks with added sugars such as fizzy drinks fruit drinks and sweets
- Be mindful of your teeth: nuts, grains and hard fruit and vegetables can be difficult to chew, try swapping them for softer fruits, cooked vegetables and soft nut butters.
- Eat foods high in fibre: High fibre foods and plenty of fluids will help to move slow bowels eg; whole wheat pasta, brown rice
- Get your vitamins and minerals: If you eat less or have digestive issues, you may be deficient in some important vitamins and minerals. Speak to your doctor about your levels and discuss a diet best suited to your needs
- Beans, pulses, fish, eggs and other proteins: Beans, peas and lentils are high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. Eggs are extremely versatile, they can be scrambled, boiled, poached or made into an omelet. According to the Irish Heart Foundation adults are recommended to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, fresh tuna and sardines for heart health.
- Eat 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and are low in fat.
*Always consult your GP for a diet to best suit your individual needs
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