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Eating Healthy in the Golden Years

As you grow older, the priority of a healthy, balanced diet becomes higher for keeping independent in your daily activities, reducing the risk of chronic diseases

Starting at the age of 65, life tends to slow down, there’s usually more free time, less stress and the daily schedule is less hectic – this can be a great opportunity to invest more in a healthy diet. As a general rule, the new government dietary guidelines and nutritional rainbow provide a comprehensive solution to all dietary requirements (naturally, in addition to required supplements), however, it is also important that the diet includes more of the following:

  • Dietary fiber – fruit and vegetables (including skin), wholegrains (whole wheat bread, oatmeal) and pulses.
  • Calcium – low fat dairy products, sardines, calcium-enriched breakfast cereals and tahini. Since it is difficult to provide the body with the daily recommended quantity of calcium just from food, supplements are recommended.
  • Vitamin D – fatty fish (sardines, trout, salmon, herring, mackerel and mullet) and enriched dairy products. In order to meet the recommended consumption, it is better to integrate supplements.
  • Vitamin B12 – proteins (such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs), enriched foods (such as some breakfast cereals). B12 deficiency is common among older adults. Consequently, it is recommended to take supplements.
  • It is recommended to eat three meals a day, at least: it is important not to skip breakfast. “Skipping” breakfast was found to be the cause of increased hunger throughout the day.

Video: healthy nutrition in the golden years (in Hebrew)

Maintaining fluid consumption

People at an older age tend to drink less for several reasons: a decrease in the sense of thirst, the effect of the medications they take and more. Therefore, it is advisable to be proactive and drink about 8 cups a day of the most recommended beverage – water. It is important to minimize consumption of sweetened, carbonated or caffeinated beverages and limit alcohol consumption.

Important to remember: the risk of cardiovascular disorders increases during the golden years (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and the like), therefore it is recommended to seek nutritional advice at your health services provider.

Fitness and physical activity in the golden years? It is possible!

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, it is recommended to exercise regularly. Even if you have not done so before, there is no reason not to start exercising in your golden years - it can only contribute to your health.

Further reading

Nutrition during the golden years, Ministry of Health Nutrition Division

Video: Eating healthy in the golden years (in Hebrew)