Posts Tagged ‘boomer health’

Simple Nutrition

by: John Aker | March 22nd, 2013

March is National Nutrition Month, so this is a good time to gather up some helpful information about what to eat! 

For many of us, nutrition seems intimidating.  We are bombarded with information about diets, recipes, cooking shows, news stories advocating some new super food or health scares related to food.

Let’s be honest.  When many of us think about what we are going to eat it’s a matter of what do we have in the house.  And when we are in the grocery, we mostly look for items we know we enjoy. 

It does take a bit of effort to plan out healthy, balanced meals.  We all know we should.  But many of us don’t or won’t make that effort.  Sometimes we are unsure what to believe–what should we be eating?  In what quantities?  And how do we prepare quinoa?  In an ideal world, eating nutritiously would be simple.

Simple? Surprise–yes, it can be simple! Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to make huge changes to your routine.  Nutrition can be simple–and you truly can benefit right away by selecting simple, healthy options. 

Studies have shown that even those with chronic conditions might reduce symptoms after appropriate dietary changes.  So at your next visit, ask your doctor for nutritional advice.  In the meantime, we’ve collected a few items for your consideration:

Save Time & Money At The Grocery Store

·         Don’t shop when you are hungry

·         Make and stick to a shopping list

·         Organize your list into sections corresponding to the layout of your favorite store

·         Check for specials and sales

·         Don’t be afraid of larger bags of frozen items–just take out what you need and return to freezer

 

What’s On Your Plate?

Eating well and remaining active can make a dramatic difference in your quality of life.  You are never too young or too old to benefit from improved nutrition and fitness.  As we age, we need more nutrients, but fewer calories.  We particularly benefit from protein, B-vitamins and calcium.  A great resource is the USDA’s website MyPlate.gov.  The site can help you determine the right number of calories for an individual based on their age, and activity level, offers a wealth of information and resources and recipes, and even sample week-long menus.

This concept is pretty simple, really.  According to their recommendations, your meal should include:

·         Half of your plate should be filled with Fruits and Vegetables

·         Make at least half of your Grains whole (whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, etc)

·         Switch to Skim or 1% Milk

·         Vary your Protein food choices (lean meat, fish twice a week, beans)

·         Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars

·         Be physically active–even range of motion exercises in a chair counts and a brisk for just a few minutes a day will yield results! (Ask your caregiver to assist you to ensure your safety.)

 

How Many Calories Do You Need?

The number of calories you need depends on your age, gender, and activity level.  Here’s a basic guide, courtesy of eatright.org, for adults over 51 years of age:

                Activity Level                    Women               Men
               Sedentary (not active)        1,600                       2,000
                Moderately Active               1,800                      2,200-2,400
                Active                                     2,000-2,200         2,400-2,800

 

Snack Wisely to Avoid Overeating  At Mealtime
Many of us do feel hungry in between meals.  And, it can be fun to have a treat now and then.  Many experts agree that snacks are a good idea.  So go ahead and enjoy a small container of Greek yogurt…a whole wheat English muffin with a tablespoon of peanut butter…a fresh apple or orange…or fresh veggie sticks.  These snacks can provide great nutrition and help you stick to smaller portions at mealtimes.  You can make a healthy, delicious snack a reward for exercising and feel a great sense of accomplishment for your efforts!  Be sure to drink plenty of water too–often we mistake thirst as hunger.  Medications often can cause a bit of dehydration or constipation so drinking more water than you think you need is likely a good policy.

As always, check with your physician before making changes to your diet or exercise routine.  And for more tips and hints, visit eatright.org and choosemyplate.gov. 

If you’d like individualized advice about meal planning and preparation, please call our office and ask for one of our nurses.  She can discuss your concerns and relay instructions to your caregiver too!

Bon appétit!

 

The content of this page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.