Food Choices and Your Health

How you feel today, tomorrow and in the future depend on YOU and the food choices you make!

Good nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, along with increased physical activity and adequate hydration. Did you know that making better food choices can also lower your chance of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes?

Healthy Lifestyle Tips:

  • Keep a healthy weight for you. Try to lose weight if needed BUT do it in a way to ensure that you will not jump up and down with your weight. AVOID fad diets and choose daily lifestyle changes. It will make a difference!
  • Limit calorie dense food items. Change those meal and snack items to “NUTRIENT RICH” food item. Remember to include all food groups including low fat dairy and whole grains.
  • Decrease or avoid food items that include more than 10% of calories from simple sugars. Look for ways to decrease sweetened beverages and limit portions of desserts – savor and enjoy each bite of a smaller portioned dessert or better yet choose fruit as your dessert.
  • Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. They are filled with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables for each meal.
  • Include a good protein source that is lean – but watch your portion size. Remember beans provide protein, vitamins and minerals and are a GREAT meat extender.
  • Choose good fats. Avoid food items which contain Trans fats and saturated fats. Watch the total amount of fat in your diet to help with weight control. Good sources of fats include avocado, low sodium or unsalted nuts, polyunsaturated oils like canola and corn oil, monounsaturated oils like olive oil.
  • Reduce sodium in your diet. Read your labels. It is recommended that older adults limit sodium to 1500 mg per day. Remember that foods like lunch meat, bacon, sausage, and all processed foods may have extra sodium and should be limited and/or avoided.
  • Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Try flavoring water with fruit like lemons and oranges, for a refreshing taste add herbs.
  • Don’t forget to increase your physical activity. MOVE MORE!

Balancing Food & Physical Activity

Maintaining a healthy weight is not easy! In a world full of quick fixes and fad diets, the emphasis is not about healthy eating. To keep a healthy weight, it is important to eat healthy and be active.

Eat a variety of foods

Choose a variety of foods every day; it is important to eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy. All foods, including your favorites, fit in a healthy diet! Eat treats in moderation, keeping your serving size small.

Exercise Regularly

One of the most important steps in maintaining your weight is to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity. Older adults should incorporate aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening activity and balance training for those at risk for falls. Always talk to your doctor before starting a physical activity program.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water keeps you hydrated without adding calories. Drink when you are thirsty, but try to drink more in hot weather or when exercising.

Eat Regular Meals

Eating breakfast helps you feel full throughout the day. Eating three smaller meals and a couple of healthy snacks may help you stay fueled throughout the day.