Easy tips for seniors to “eat clean” in honor of National Nutrition Month
March has been designated as National Nutrition Month, a campaign by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encouraging people to learn about how to make informed food choices and develop healthful eating and physical activity habits. Let’s face it, with all the temptations out there today, learning more about how to make better choices for the body is good education for all ages!
Fellowship Square offers the following tips for seniors that want to eat clean and healthy in the name of National Nutrition Month.
Food Fuels Health —
It’s important to recognize the “food as medicine” adage, especially as seniors age. Multiple illnesses can be improved or even prevented by addressing one’s dietary intake. Certain foods can prevent muscle loss, improve diabetes, support memory, prevent hypertension, maintain eye health, and more.
Don’t Diet or Deprive —
There is no need to omit any certain food group, such as carbs or meat, in the name of healthy eating. A healthy lifestyle can include a well-rounded array of options. Though moderation of certain foods is key. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website states that “eating a variety of foods from all food groups can help supply the nutrients a person needs as they age. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy; includes lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
Add Some Color —
When looking to add variety in the way of fresh produce, get vibrant! A visually appealing plate can help enhance the dining experience. So serve up a rainbow of delicious veggies and fruits. Butternut squash, beets, snap peas, carrots, broccoli, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries are just a few of the colorful additions that will make any plate beautiful and enticing!
Avoid “Frankenfoods” —
While there is no need to cut out any one real food group, “frankenfoods,” packaged foods, and frozen meals should be limited or avoided. It’s a safe bet that if the list of ingredients on the package is more than five ingredients long (or are hard to read or pronounce!), this is a “food” that should be skipped. Focus on real, whole foods and save the packaged foods for a rare treat or special occasion.
Spice it Up —
A world of flavor can be created with fresh herbs and spices. Spending just a little time in the spice aisle can help cooks conjure up some creative ideas. Generally, herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor without adding a lot of calories, fat, or other unwanted items into a recipe so they are a fun way to change up the taste of vegetables or lean meats and give them an extra little punch. Marinades and hot sauces can help, too, but be sure to check the labels to be sure they are not filled with additives or lots of sodium and or sugar.
Get Moving —
Regular physical activity is a great way to reinforce a healthy lifestyle all around. Even a 30-minute brisk walk is an excellent way to keep the body active. According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is the best recipe for health and fitness. Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day — this even can be broken into three 10-minute sessions throughout the day.”
Before embarking on any new eating or activity regimen, seniors should always check with their healthcare providers to ensure a specific way to eat won’t interfere with any medications or their current health status and to make sure they are healthy enough for specific physical activities. Fellowship Square invites seniors to eat clean this month (any every day!) in the name of their health.