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Nutrition needs vary with age and gender. How you eat as an older person will also vary depending on your gender: older men have different nutritional needs from older women. You simply need to be aware of your own specific nutrition requirements and adjust your food choices so your body gets exactly what it needs for good health in older age.
If you need help choosing or preparing a healthy diet, chat to a family member, your healthcare professional, carer or an Accredited Practising Dietitian. Discuss any major change in eating or exercise patterns with your doctor, pharmacist and dietitian. Any medications you take may need to be adjusted. The best place to start for any person looking to develop a healthy diet is the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The guidelines were developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, with input from many food and nutrition experts, as well as members of the community.
They are based on the best available science about the types and amounts of foods and dietary patterns that may promote health and wellbeing, and reduce the risk of diet-related conditions and chronic disease. You probably know a healthy diet benefits you physically, mentally and socially.
A healthy diet helps socially too — regularly connecting with other people may stave off loneliness and isolation. Throughout life, men generally need more energy calories or kilojoules per day than women. This is because men tend to be larger and have a higher proportion of muscle. The amount of energy you need each day depends on your age, height, and how active you are. But as you tend to lose muscle mass, and activity levels tend to drop with age, kilojoules also need to reduce.
In fact, your need for nutrients carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre, water, etc. Calcium is a good example. Your need for calcium for strong bones and teeth will increase, so extra serves of low fat milk, yoghurt and cheese are important. Other good sources of calcium are tinned salmon, sardines, leafy greens like spinach, kale and bok choy, sesame seeds and tahini and almonds. For the five food groups, aim for these serves each day :. More information about serving sizes and food examples can be found in this healthy eating summary guide. Health issues may also make it difficult to eat or enjoy foods.
If you can, try to see every meal and snack as a chance to give your body maximum nutrition like vitamins, minerals and fibre — and as a social activity you can enjoy with others if possible. Ask for help with shopping or meal preparation, if you need it, Want to eat or 69 family and friends, community groups, carers, or your doctor.
Protein is essential for building, repairing, and maintaining healthy bones and muscles. Excellent sources of protein include all meats, fish, eggs, and seafood; all types of dairy watch cream and butter intake ; and soy products like tofu and soy beverages. Other good sources include beans and pulses, such as baked beans, all nuts and seeds, and wholegrains.
Vitamin D is also essential for healthy bones. The best source is the sun, but you only need a short time in the sunshine each day to get the amount of vitamin D you need. Aim for 10 to 30 minutes if you live in Australia, but check on healthy amounts for you in your area. Talk to your doctor about your needs. If you suffer from arthritis, fish oil may help. Eat fish at least twice a week, or talk to your doctor about a supplement. To keep your bowels active, include plenty of fibre in your diet.
Wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, fruit, dried fruit, dried peas, beans and lentils are all excellent sources.
Make sure you drink enough water to prevent constipation. Remember, most older people need 6—8 cups of fluid each day. Have your teeth or dentures checked regularly so you can continue to enjoy a wide variety of foods. See your dentist whenever you are having difficulty with your teeth, gums or dentures. If shopping is an Want to eat or 69, keep your pantry stocked with foods that will last a long time. Some good items to stock up on include:. Better Health Channel has more good information on eating for life stageshealthy and active ageingand maintaining a healthy mind with age.
This has been produced in consultation with and approved by:. The size of a standard drink can vary according to the type of alcohol. A common misconception is that anorexia nervosa only affects young women, but it affects males and females of all ages. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body's cells, and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. No special diet or 'miracle food' can cure arthritis, but some conditions may be helped by avoiding or including certain foods.
It is important to identify any foods or food chemicals that may trigger your asthma, but this must be done under strict medical supervision. Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website.
All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances.
The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website. Keeping active. Home Keeping active. Actions for this Listen Print. Summary Read the full fact sheet. On this. So, what do the guidelines say? Drink plenty of water — six to eight cups of fluid per day. Limit foods high in saturated fat, such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps and other savoury snacks.
Replace high fat foods containing mostly saturated fat with foods containing mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Swap butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with unsaturated fats from oils, spre, nut butters and pastes, and avocado. Limit foods and drinks containing added sugars, such as confectionery, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks. Limit alcohol.
Drink no more than two standard drinks a day. Extras are the high sugar, high fat, high salt foods listed above, such as commercial burgers, pizza, alcohol, lollies, cakes and biscuits, fried foods, and fruit juices and cordials.
Be physically active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking, every day. Extra specific advice for older people includes: Maintain healthy weight and muscle strength through physical activity.
The benefits of walking for older people]. Talk to your healthcare professional if you need to lose or gain weight. Look out for quick and easy healthy recipes for one or two people, and try to eat regularly with family and friends if possible. Be careful with your teeth. If nuts, grains and hard fruits and vegetables are difficult to chew, try milled wholegrains, soft cooked and canned fruits and vegetables, and nut pastes and butters.
Prepare and store food safely. Limit your intake of foods containing saturated fats and trans fats. Keep those to a minimum. Foods like pies, pastries, fried and battered foods, chips, and chocolate are generally high in saturated fat, and may contain dangerous trans fats. Eat these foods very occasionally. Fresh fruit with reduced fat yoghurt is a good dessert option, or cakes and Want to eat or 69 made with wholegrain options, like oats. Talk to your doctor about your personal health needsparticularly about how best to apply the dietary guideline that says to limit saturated fats, added salt, and added sugars above.
Some older people may be at risk of malnutrition from restricting their food intake, and eat too few nutrients and kilojoules for their age.
Eat plenty of fibre and drink plenty of fluids. Try to drink water about 6—8 cups of fluid a day, and more in warmer weather or when exercising. Water is your best bet for hydration, but tea, coffee, mineral and soda water, and reduced fat milk count too. High fibre foods and plenty of fluids will help to move slow bowels. Use less salt. Everyone needs some salt, but too much can increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Watch your intake of high salt foods, such as cured meats ham, corned beef, bacon, lunch meats etc.
Choose reduced salt food when shopping, and flavour your cooking with herbs and spices instead of salt. Watch your alcohol intake. Follow Australian guidelines if you drink: no more than two standard drinks on any given day for healthy men and women. Get your vitamins and minerals.
If you eat less or have digestive issues, you may be deficient in some important vitamins and minerals. Speak to your doctor about your levels, and always choose a variety of foods from the five food groups. Fish is your friend. Regularly consuming fish may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and macular degeneration a type of vision loss. Eating fish twice a week is wise. Keep the following health matters in mind too.
You may like to try these meal ideas for a protein boost: breakfast : add yoghurt and milk to cereal; or try egg, sardines, leftover meat or cheese on toast lunch : have some cheese or ham; make an open sandwich of tinned tuna or sardines; have a glass of milk or a banana smoothie dinner : serve meat, chicken, fish or eggs with vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower with melted cheese; enjoy ice-cream, yoghurt or custard with fruit for dessert.
Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or light weights, is also important for bone health. Arthritis If you suffer from arthritis, fish oil may help. Healthy bowels To keep your bowels active, include plenty of fibre in your diet. Healthy teeth Have your teeth or dentures checked regularly so you can continue to enjoy a wide variety of foods. How to make quick and simple meals If shopping is an issue, keep your pantry stocked with foods that will last a long time. Some good items to stock up on include: canned fruit and canned and UHT fruit juice canned vegetables reduced salt where possible baked beans and bean mixes rice, spaghetti, pasta, flour, rolled oats and breakfast cereals canned, powdered and reduced fat UHT milk and custard canned meat and fish canned soups sauces such as reduced salt soy sauce and pastes such as reduced salt peanut butter vegetable oil such as olive oil or canola oil.
Remember… As you become older, the foods and drinks that make up a healthy diet for you may Want to eat or 69 slightly different from when you were younger.Want to eat or 69
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Healthy eating over 60