Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by of Home Instead in Watford.
A healthy diet can be the key to maintaining a positive outlook on life whilst keeping your mind and body fit and well. No matter what age you are, or what you're eating habits are like, it’s never too late to change your diet and improve how you feel.
Healthy eating includes consuming high-quality proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins while minimising processed foods, saturated fats and alcohol. Eating in this manner helps you maintain your body’s everyday functions, promotes optimal body weight and can assist in disease prevention.
Here are some small lifestyle changes which can make a huge difference to your health:
Rather than cut out fat completely, choose healthy unsaturated fats which can improve cholesterol, lower risk of heart disease, and benefit your blood sugar levels. Healthy fats are found in avocados, nuts and seeds. Omega 3 found in oily fish is particularly important for brain health.
Regular exercise can help you stay healthy, independent and energetic as you get older. Anything that gets your body moving for an average of 150 minutes a week is recommended. Walking rather than driving is a small change which gradually introduces exercise into your daily routine. This is especially lovely at this time of year as the sunshine definitely motivates us to spend more time in the outdoors.
Slowly reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. This can be tricky as sugar is found in a variety of foods that you may not even think of, such as ready meals, tinned goods and pasta sauces. Consider using natural herbs and spices to flavour your food, and give your taste buds time to get used to the new flavours.
As we age our digestion can become less efficient, so it’s important to include more fibre in your diet. One of the best ways to get fibre into your diet, is to start the day with a high fibre cereal and snack on fruit throughout the day. Whole grains, oatmeal, beans, nuts, vegetables and fruit are all great sources of fibre.