As we get older, where we once didn’t worry about what food we ate, we become more knowledgeable about the importance of eating healthily using good nutritional foods. The aim of this section is to give support, help and guidance in Nutrition.
General points for a healthy diet
- Aim to enjoy your food.
- Eat enough but not more than you need.
- Have a variety of different foods.
- Base your diet on foods rich in starch and fibre (but not so much that you exceed your daily calories).
- Have plenty of fruit and fibre – at least five portions a day.
- Have only a little of foods containing fat or sugar (this includes sugary drinks).
- Only drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Alcohol-free days are recommended. Daily drinking is not generally encouraged. Also remember that drinks, including alcoholic drinks, contain calories.
- Aim for your total calorie intake to not exceed your calorie output each day.
Read our articles, understanding calories and eatwell plate.
Whilst the above information gives a general guide to nutrition, as we get older our dietary needs also change.
From our 40’s onwards, changes occur in our body. We are more at risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, fatigue, food intolerances, high blood pressure etc. Specific dietary changes can help reduce the risk of the above conditions. Should you wish to have further in-depth information relating to this, please see our directory on Men’s health 40 – 60 and Women’s health 40 - 60 (NHS choices – living well)
In our 60’s, further changes happen, once again we need to re-evaluate our dietary needs as our risk factors increase. By making specific adaptations in our diet, we can help reduce our risk factors and improve our health.
Here are some examples of the changes in our diet that can be adopted in our 60’s that will be of benefit to you:
We are at a higher risk of having osteoporosis and as such we need to have calcium in our diet to help us avoid this. Example of foods high in calcium are milk, cheese yogurt, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, canned fish, such as sardines.
To maintain healthy bones we can make sure we have Vitamin D foods in our diet-for example eggs, oily fish and some fortified breakfast cereals.
Our blood pressure can rise as we get older. A cause of this is too much salt in our diet and therefore we should reduce our salt intake.
Iron rich food is important for general good health. A lack of iron makes us feel like we have no energy. Example of foods high in iron are lean red meat, pulses such as peas, lentils and beans, plus oily fish such as sardines, eggs, bread, green vegetables and breakfast cereals with added vitamins.
Constipation can become more of a nuisance as we get older. Foods rich in starch and fibre can prevent constipation and other digestive problems. Example of foods high in starch and fibre are wholegrain or brown types of starchy food such as bread, rice, pasta and some breakfast cereals. Other sources of fibre foods are potatoes, oats, beans, peas, lentils, fruit and vegetables.
Too much vitamin A (example food: liver) can cause us to have a higher risk of bone fractures, as such we need to moderate the amount of Vitamin A that we eat.
As we get older our appetite may reduce and this could be because we are not as active as we once were and do not need to burn so many calories. It is still necessary however to eat regular healthy balanced meals. Small and often may be a better option for you. You can also include nutritional snacks such as fruit in your diet.
For more in-depth information on the above examples, please visit our ‘Live Well section – eat well over 60’
Here are some web sites that address the changes that happen as we get older and give you specific help and guidance to your nutritional needs.
British Nutrition foundation www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/healthyageing
Related topics on this site include:
- Healthy living – healthy ageing Top tips for healthy ageing
- Live long and healthy chart (Autumn 2010)
Age UK www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/healthy-eating-landing
Related topics on this site include:
- Healthy eating overview
- Healthy eating fact vs fiction
- Food to improve digestion
- Food to improve immunity
- Healthy hearts
- Vitamins, minerals and supplements
MEALS DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME
It may not be possible for you or a loved one to be able to prepare a home cooked meal. This could be either for a short period of time or on an on-going basis. You would still like to enjoy healthy balanced meals in the comfort of your own home. Therefore we have provided a few links to some national home meal delivery companies for you to look at and find what best suits your needs. There is either a frozen option for you to heat up your meals at a time that suits you, or a hot meal service ready and prepared to eat immediately.
Wiltshire Farm Foods provide frozen meals delivered to your door
Their contact number is 0800 773 773
Oakhouse Foods provide frozen meals delivered to your door
Their contact number is 0845 643 2009
WRVS provides both hot and frozen meals delivered to your door
Their contact number is 0845 600 5885
Apetito provides both hot and frozen meals delivered to your door
Their contact number is 01225 807 210