Want to live a long life? Here’s how to eat!
Regardless of your age, healthy eating is important throughout your life. Unfortunately as we age, it has been found that most people decrease consumption of certain nutrients such as calcium, iron, B vitamins and zinc.
Additionally, health experts say “eating ultra-processed foods can actually expedite the aging of cells.” Which bring us to an inescapable conclusion: choosing food wisely is an important part of healthy aging. Diet choices play a surprisingly large role in a person’s longevity!
Here are a few habits that can help you improve your diet:
• Eating a nutritious diet is more enjoyable when you share a meal with others. Try to get together with friends or invite people over to cook a healthy nutritious meal.
• Medicine can affect the taste of certain foods. It is important to mention that as you age, food may lose some of its flavor. To prevent this, try adding spices and herbs, instead of salt, to your meal. This can enhance the flavor and balance these changes.
• Do your best to prevent food-related illnesses by keeping your food safe. Throw away food that is spoiled, and avoid foods that may be risky, such as unpasteurized dairy foods. Other foods may be harmful if they are undercooked, like chicken, meat, eggs, or fish.
• Staying hydrated is an important part of a healthy diet. Make sure you drink plenty of water, because you may lose some of your sense of thirst as you age. To combat this loss, sip on water throughout the day, aiming for 8 glasses. Or, if you like to mix up your liquids, antioxidant-rich green tea may also enhance memory and mental alertness as you age.
• Colorful meals are essential. Make sure you see different colors on your plate. Adding colorful vegetables and fruits not only makes your meal more inviting, but usually improves the nutritional value, too.
Avoid ultra-processed foods, as these have been identified as bad for us. Research has shown that they are often linked to chronic degenerative disease. These foods often contain a high percentage of hydrogenated oils, which are full of trans fats that can promote chronic inflammation. This hastens the breakdown of your cells, resulting in accelerated aging. To avoid this, focus on whole foods that have minimal processing.
Also, limit your consumption of foods high in added sugar, which include sweetened cereals, cookies, cakes, and many items marketed as low fat.
Your body needs a variety of nutrients to function at its best, including proteins, carbohydrates fats, vitamins, and minerals. The idea of a healthy diet is to combine all of these in the meals we eat daily, aiming for variety and balance.
Beyond these general rules, it is also important to consider any recommendation or restriction linked to the diagnosis of a specific disease. Therefore, make sure to talk with your doctor or Registered Dietitian about what you as an individual should be eating to optimize your health.