It can be FUN
It can be SIMPLE
BUT it is so very IMPORTANT!
Be Physically Active YOUR Way!
- Physical activity is the voluntary movements you choose to do each day that burns calories
- Brisk walking, dancing, golfing, and playing games outside with your grandkids or friends are examples of moderate activity
- An overall ACTIVE lifestyle includes things like swimming, jogging, and playing tennis
- ANY activity per day is better than none! Do whatever you are physically capable of doing!
- Primary recommendations include about 60 minutes of activity each day!
- Important risk nutrients include protein, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, iron, vitamin C, vitamin D, B12, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Many older adults are not getting enough of these nutrients. On the other hand, too many older adults are getting too much
- CUT BACK ON SODIUM! Sodium from salt can contribute to raising your blood pressure or put you at risk for heart disease, stroke, or kidney disease. You should have no more than 1500 mg of sodium per day.
- Sources of PROTEIN: The National Institute of Health recommends that 10-35% of your calories should be from protein. That means if you eat 2000 calories in a day, you need 100 grams of protein. One ounce of a food high in protein will usually have 7 grams of actual protein. You can get protein through simple foods like eggs, a variety of nuts, protein shakes, meat sources from animals, etc.
- Sources of OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS: lack of omega 3 fatty acid intake has effects such as nutritional status itself, cognition, bone health, muscle tone, and general health status. These fatty acids are important for people of all ages: including elderly people as they help prevent inflammation which can cause cancer, rheumatoid, arthritis, and heart disease. You can find this nutrient in things like salmon, herring, walnuts, flax seeds. You need about 250 to 500 mg per day.
- Sources of DIETARY FIBER: As we get older, our digestive system slows down. The walls of the gastrointestinal tract thicken, and the contractions are slower and fewer which may lead to constipation. Foods rich in fiber promote proper digestion by moving food through the digestive tract. These foods have also been known to reduce the risk of heart disease. Foods rich in fiber include nuts, whole-grain cereal, wholegrain bread and pasta, brown rice, brown bread, fruits, and vegetables. Women need about 20 grams per day while men need about 30 grams per day.
- Sources of IRON: Iron plays a vital role in the body. It produces hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. Meat is a good source of iron. You need about 10mg of iron per day.
- Sources of VITAMIN D: Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium in the body slowing down the rate at which bones lose calcium. It aids in the maintenance of bone density; therefore, preventing osteoporosis. You need about 1000 IU/day, or getting out in the sun and participating in everyday physical activities.
- Sources of VITAMIN C: Vitamin C has antioxidant properties which are believed to prevent cancer and heart disease. It is also involved in the production of collagen, which gives your skin elasticity and gets rid of dead skin cells giving you healthy skin. It also helps repair bones and teeth and aids in healing wounds. This essential vitamin can be found in fruits and vegetables.
- Sources of VITAMIN B12: Vitamin B12 is responsible for maintaining nerve function, the production of red blood cells, and DNA. As you age, absorbing the vitamin from food is more difficult. You can, therefore, consult your healthcare provider about supplements. It is found in dairy products like milk, meat, and poultry products. Not for energy.
- Sources of MAGNESIUM: Magnesium plays a crucial role in 300 physiological functions. It keeps your heart healthy, your immune system, and your bones strong. As you grow older, your body’s ability to absorb magnesium decreases. Some medication for older people decreases the absorption of magnesium. It is mainly found in whole grains, nuts, fresh fruits, and vegetables. You need about 350 mg per day.
- Sources of POTASSIUM: Surveys show that many older Americans do not take the recommended 4700 mg of potassium daily. Potassium aids in cell function reduces blood pressure and lowers your chances of kidney stones. It is also believed to strengthen bones. It is found in fruits and vegetables like bananas, prunes, and potatoes. While lack of potassium is a problem, too much of it is dangerous, so consult your doctor before getting started on supplements. You need 4700 mg per day.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER!
You need at least 8 (8 oz.) glasses of water per day!!!
This is the most important factor in order for you to stay healthy as you age.
Healthy Eating Tips and Tricks
Best things for you to eat to begin a healthier lifestyle when you are discharged:
- COLORFUL vegetables and fruits! Make it fun. There are many different ways to incorporate vegetables and fruits into your diet and there are many that you can try to see if you like them.
- When you are at the grocery store, look for WHOLE GRAINS when buying loaves of bread, kinds of pasta, rice, and other products like that. You can still have these items; you just want to limit the amount you have per day and look for whole grain.
- When buying dairy products (milk, yogurt, cream cheese, etc.) buy the low or nonfat versions, not full fat. This will allow you to cut down on your fat intake, but still, get the vitamins and calcium that are in the dairy products.
- LEAN protein options such as fish, chicken, lentils. These are products that will allow you to get a great amount of protein in without the extra gunk that comes along with red meats.
- Add low sodium seasoning to your vegetables and your meat if you would like a little bit of extra flavor without adding salt!
- Cook your food in avocado oil to reduce the amount of fat and sodium you might get from other cooking oils
Sample Breakfast items:
- Smoothie with low-fat yogurt, frozen fruit of your choice, and spinach for added benefits
- Eggs with low sodium seasoning, no salt, and a piece of whole-grain toast
- Whole grain toast with avocado on the top for healthy fats
Sample Lunch Items:
- Baked chicken with broccoli and spinach stir fry
- Low-carb tortilla quesadilla with ¼ cup cheese and black beans
- Lettuce wrap sandwiches with tuna and 1 slice of cheddar cheese
Sample Dinner Items:
- Whole wheat pasta, ground turkey, and low-sodium marinara sauce
- Whole grain rice with salmon and spinach or broccoli on the side
- Roasted chicken with zucchini and a sweet potato
Sample Snack Ideas:
- Celery with peanut butter
- Low-fat yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, or any other kind of fruit you would like
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- Apple with cheddar cheese slices
Tips and Tricks:
- Have SET meal and snack times so that you control when you eat each day
- Prep your meals and snacks beforehand so that you do not feel unprepared when trying to pick something healthy!
- Go grocery shopping right after lunch so that you are full, and you are not shopping on an empty stomach. This can help you choose healthier items.
By Ashton Bronson,
Dietetic Intern, ACU
For more assistance and nutritional guidance please feel free to contact the Christian Care Communities and Services Dietitian.
Denise H. Munion, MS, RDN, LD, CDP