Eat Well, Live Well
Eating good, nutritious foods helps ensure you're giving your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Conversely, poor nutrition is a major threat to aging well. A healthy, balanced diet improves body and mind function and can help keep your weight in check. It can also help reduce your risk for developing cancer and heart disease, and help you prevent or manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
The Nuts (and Bolts) of a Healthy Diet
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have no saturated fats (bad fats) and are high in vitamins and fiber-and eating them is critical to your health. Unfortunately, unhealthy foods are everywhere and too easy to grab, so stock your refrigerator and cupboards with things that are good for you.
- Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily
- Choose whole grains
- Substitute good fats (olive oil, canola oil) for bad fats (stick butter, margarine)
Ways to Watch Your Weight and Eat Better
- Calories in ≤ calories out: Your daily calories must be equal to or lesser than the energy you expend every day, or you will gain weight.
- Keep your BMI >20 and <30: Small weight changes can make big differences in blood sugar readings, blood pressure, arthritis pain, and heart disease. You can easily find BMI charts online.
- Keep track of servings and portion sizes: Watch the number of servings you eat and portion sizes; most people don't understand how much they're actually eating. As an easy point of reference, a half cup is about half a baseball.
- Keep a food diary: Log your diet for a few weeks and closely examine what you eat; you're likely to start eating better.
- Watch your salt intake: If you're over 50, limit yourself to 2/3 teaspoon a day. Don't add salt while cooking or eating, and try herbs, lemon, and pepper instead.
Talk to your doctor about your diet so you can be sure you're properly fueling your engine today and for years to come.