March is National Nutrition Month!
Making informed food decisions and developing sound eating habits is an important part of healthy living, but for older adults on a budget, it can be difficult to make the healthiest choices. Fortunately, there’s plenty of free information available online through reputable resources such as ChooseMyPlate.gov, EatRight.org, American Heart Association, National Institute on Aging and American Diabetes Association.
10 tips that are healthy for you and your wallet
Why should you pay attention to what you eat?
As people age, they experience natural bodily changes that cause an increased risk of muscle loss, B12 deficiency, bone loss, dehydration/loss of thirst, constipation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and skin tears.
While age is nothing to fear, it is something worth paying attention to. Not all signs of aging are inevitable. A person who eats a healthy, balanced diet, does aerobic and strengthening exercises regularly and maintains a healthy social life can mitigate disease risk and likely prevent becoming what many people describe as a “frail” or “feeble” older adult.
Many people have the misconception that frailty is inevitable with age when, in actuality, frailty is almost always associated with poor self-care and poor mental health. These components of health are interconnected; taking good care of the body may lead to taking good care of the mind and vice versa.
Many older adults have cared for others for so long they have forgotten to take care of themselves. Think of one easy way your bodily or mental health could be improved. There’s your starting point. Remember that lifestyle changes take time to become habits. Be sure to give yourself grace and be kind to yourself.
We’ve all heard the saying, “You’re only as old as you think you are.” Age is the fulfillment of a natural and wonderful stage of life, no stereotypes required. Why not enjoy as much of life as possible – no matter what age?
About the Author:
Jordan Wingate is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the Commission on Dietetic Registration and a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist with the NC Board of Dietetics and Nutrition. At Grace Ridge Retirement Community in Morganton, NC, she enhances residents’ quality of life through food by providing medical nutrition therapy and nutrition counseling.
This content was originally published here.