People are living longer and what you do in your 50’s and 60’s determines your quality of life in your 70’s and 80’s. As we age we need less energy from food but the same level of nutrients. It is very important that your diet is made up of foods that bring benefits, are healthy and enjoyable.
10 Top Healthy Eating Tips for the Adult Nutrition:
1. Mind those muscles! By not using muscles, we begin to lose them. Protect those muscles by:
- Including protein at each meal with food such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, pulses and dairy.
- Exercise daily, doing different activities to improve strength, endurance and flexibility.
2. Bone Health. A high protein intake helps preserve strong and healthy bones. Calcium and Vitamin D work together to maintain bone strength. It's recommended to have 3 portions of dairy a day as part of a balanced diet. Low fat and skimmed varieties contain just as much calcium as higher fat versions, for those worried about their weight.
3. Benefits of Oily Fish. Including fish in a diet has many healthy benefits. Try to include at least one portion of oily fish a week such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, herring and shellfish. Why not try this this Eggs Benedict with Fresh Salmon recipe.
4. Importance of Gut Health. Wholegrain cereals and bread should form part of your diet as well as 5-7 portions of fruit & vegetables a day. This will help with keeping the bowel healthy, keep that full feeling for longer and provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
5. Healthy Heart. In the middle year's, total intake of fat should be reduced. Low-fat cooking methods such as grilling, poaching, steaming and boiling should be used. The minimum amount of oil should also be used when roasting and frying. This Steamed Haddock with Carrots and Leeks is the perfect option.
6. Easy on the Salt! The majority of people in Ireland consume too much salt! Reducing the amount of salt in the diet will help prevent high blood pressure reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Fresh red meat is naturally low in salt and a great choice for people looking after their heart health.
7. Regular Exercise. Exercise is a wonder drug. It helps you manage weight, improve sleep, reduce stress, improve quality of life and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. Try to sit less and move more, every extra bit helps!
8. Limit Alcohol. Alcohol intake should be kept to within safe limits. Each drink contains about 100kcal and it also has an effect on blood pressure, sleep and mood. Try not to get into bad habits making sure you have several alcohol free days in the week.
9. Portion Control. The majority of older adults in Ireland are overweight or obese. Reduce the risk of overeating by managing portion size.
10. Read Labels. Reading food and nutritional labels is really important. Often foods marketed as healthy like muesli, yoghurts, granola and cereal bars can have surprisingly high levels of sugar, fat and calories.
The Food Pyramid
Healthy eating is essential for good health and is achieved by eating a balanced diet. To ensure your body gets all the nutrients it requires you should combine a variety of foods from each of the main food groups.
The following foods should make up the majority of a balanced diet:
- Fruit & Veg. Make sure to include lots of colour on the plate by choosing bright coloured fruit and vegetables. Not only are these filling and low in calories, but they also provide many vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which have a huge range of health benefits.
- Wholegrain Foods. The best carbohydrates are the ones higher in Fibre. Choose high fibre and low sugar breakfast cereals, wholemeal and wholegrain bread, rolls and wraps, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and potatoes with their skins.
- Dairy. If you are watching your weight choose low-fat dairy produce as they contain the same calcium content as higher fat versions.
- Protein Foods. Choose lean meat, skinless chicken, fish, eggs, peas and beans for at least 2 of your daily meals
The content in this section is taken and/or adapted from accredited and reputable sources for nutritional and health information such as the HSE, INDI, SafeFood and FSAI