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family eating foodDietary needs change with age. What you ate when you were young may not be adequate to sustain your health now that you are over 50. Consider the following recommendations to determine if you are eating appropriately as a senior. Make changes—with additional assistance from your doctor—as needed to help keep healthy for years to come.

Protein

In order to maintain muscle mass, more protein is required as people age. Loss of muscle mass can contribute to loss of ability to walk without assistance. This results in an increased chance of a fall and potentially the loss of the ability to live independently. Consider adding lean sources of protein, such as fish, poultry and beans.

Fiber

Fiber is well-known for its ability to maintain a healthy digestive system. In addition, fiber reduces the risk of heart disease and helps prevent diabetes. Foods high in fiber include whole grain cereal, whole grain bread, beans, peas, fruits and vegetables. Keeping the skin on fruits and vegetables increases the amount of fiber intake.

Vitamin D

Men and women over 50 are not able to produce vitamin D through sun exposure as well as younger individuals. Therefore vitamin D must be obtained through food and supplements. Vitamin D is necessary to maintain bone health because it promotes calcium absorption. In addition, vitamin D reduces inflammation and improves immune function.  

Fats

It is important to realize that some fats are healthier than others. Eating polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and help maintain neurological health. Healthy fats are found in nuts, olives, seeds and fish. Try to avoid saturated fats and trans fat. Read labels before purchasing food items to learn what type of fat is contained in the item.

Eating well is one way to live a long, healthy life. Make sure you are getting the appropriate nutrients. You may find yourself feeling better and can hopefully avoid unwanted visits to the doctor's office and hospital.

Healthcare helps you partner with your doctor. Call Insurance Providers at (417) 862-7700 for more information on Springfield health insurance.
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