Eating Well, Aging Well: Choose Healthy by Going Low
In this lifestyle segment of Eating Well, Aging Well, explore how being healthy starts with choosing a low intake of fats, sodium and sugar. Going low, doesn’t mean eating less; it’s about eating the right amounts of everything. If you want a healthy lifestyle and all the benefits, start by making smart choices with eating more fish, seasonal sweets and nuts while skipping on salt and sugar additives. There are plenty of great tasting options with great benefits for your body.
Know the Facts About Fats
A healthy lifestyle involves consuming the right amount of fats. Not all fats are unhealthy. Your body needs fats to transport fat-soluble vitamins to help keep your skin, nervous system and brain healthy, and they add flavor to food. Balance your plate with low amounts of fats or healthy fats such as mono-unsaturated fats (e.g. olive, canola, peanut and sesame oils).
Read the product labels when you shop. Keep your pantry stocked with the right products. Here at Miller’s Grant, we cook with quality fats and they are trans fat free!
The Right Choices
Having a balanced diet is delicious not difficult! Enjoy foods that fuel your body and satisfy your taste buds. What does your body need?
Omega-3 fatty acid
This healthy fat is commonly found in cold water fish. It keeps your blood thin, prevents platelets from clotting and sticking to artery walls. This amazing benefit could help lower your risk for a heart attack and stroke.
Get nutty with your taste buds! Nuts contain antioxidants, mono-unsaturated fats and minerals making them a healthy addition to your diet.
A small increase of protein intake is beneficial for older adults. Protein foods are essential for building, repairing and maintaining body tissues.
Choose the Substitutes
Make eating healthy a routine and break bad habits.
A common bad habit is consuming too much salt. Wait to add salt to your meal after you try a few bites. If you think your food needs salt, get creative with seasonings and herbs. Experimenting with new flavors of seasonings may be better than salt! Avoid salty snacks like chips and pretzels. If you have a craving, grab a pack of nuts, seeds, almonds, kale chips, popcorn, edamame or other healthy treats.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with fun creations by filling your plate with small proportions of multiple dessert options to lower the overall sugar consumption. Indulge in nature’s candy (i.e. seasonal fruit) and dip it in a scoop of yogurt or peanut butter. If you want dessert and a rich source of antioxidants and minerals, break off a piece of dark chocolate!
Let’s Make A Meal
Fats are healthy and good for your diet, but too much of a good thing is bad. How much fat should you be eating? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 states that a man should consume 44-78 grams of fat per day and a woman should consume 36-62 grams of fat a day. What does this mean for your diet?
1 tablespoon olive oil = 14 grams
1 tablespoon peanut butter = 8 grams
1/2 cup mixed nuts = 36 grams
1 tablespoon butter = 12 grams
1 cup whole milk = 8 grams
1 avocado = 29 grams
About 6-8 ounces of omega-3 fatty acids per week or two servings of fish.
1 ounce of nuts per day is known to help control weight.
3-4 ounces of protein at each meal is beneficial.
Added sugar should be less than 10% of daily calorie intake. About 200 calories of 2,000 calorie diet would be less than 12 teaspoons.
Older adults should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. A teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 mg of sodium. Less than a teaspoon of salt per day.
Now, let’s look at making a meal.
Breakfast eggs fried in healthy oils.
Yogurt parfait with fruit and granola topping.
Whole grain toast with avocado spread.
Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread.
Tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread.
Egg salad on whole wheat bread.
Salad with hard boiled egg and skinless chicken toppings.
Salmon or mackerel fish cooked in healthy oils.
Oysters as an appetizer.
Skinless chicken or turkey over brown rice.
Pork chops, trimmed of fat, served with fruit and vegetables.
Coffee with cream only and tea with lemon instead of sugar.
Half a slice of angel food cake and half a bowl of fruit.