Six Ways To Eat Well As You Get Older

1. Know what a healthy plate of food looks like. MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet. It gives guidelines by showing food group targets. It helps you focus on variety, amount, and nutrition. Choose foods with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. Make at least Ç your grains whole grains, vary your proteins and include beans or peas at least once a week.

2. Look for important nutrients. Eat enough protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and vitamin D. Eat real, unprocessed food. Don’t waste calorie intake on foods which don’t offer good nutrient value.

3. Read nutrition labels. Be a smart shopper! Find items that are lower in fat, added sugars and sodium. On the label you will find your serving sizes, calories, fats, sugars, nutrients and % of daily value (usually based on a 2000 calorie per day diet). New, easier to read and understand labeling will be coming out this summer. It will list ADDED sugar not just total sugar and types of fat (trans or saturated). Nutrient lists will now include Vitamin D and Potassium; Vitamins A & C are no longer required as deficiencies are rare. Calcium and iron will continue to be listed.

4. Use recommended serving sizes. Learn the recommended daily servings for adults aged 60-plus at heart.org — A serving size is the amount of each food that you are supposed to eat during a meal. Always check the number of servings per container. Generally a serving would be the size of a tennis ball for fruit, ¢ cup canned fruit/vegetable or 1 cup raw; 1 slice of bread, ¢ cup cooked rice, pasta, or potato or 2 oz. cheese.

5. Stay hydrated. Water is an important nutrient too! Drink fluids consistently throughout the day. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells and help to flush bacteria from your bladder plus also helps prevents constipation.

6. Stretch your food budget. Get help paying for healthy food by using food stamps or SNAP at BenefitsCheckUp.org/getSNAP. Sit down with the newspaper flyers, plan your meals, make a list, and be sure to stick to your list at the store. Supplement by getting some food items at food pantries in your area. Healthy food choices which are reasonably priced include: rice and bean dishes as beans are a good source of protein, throw in some vegetables- even better. Eggs are another source of protein; add spinach, cheese, beans and vegetables to make this even more nutrient dense. Chili or any soup loaded up with fresh vegetables and beans can be very nutritious. Peanut butter or other nut butters will also add protein to your diet. Because these suggestions are protein based they satisfy your hunger more efficiently, help you feel full faster and a healthy choice for maintaining your muscle mass.

Save the date: The OFA picnic is Friday, Aug. 10.

Please remember to contribute toward your OFA nutrition services if you can. These programs are not sustainable at current levels without the support of participant contributions. Be aware that Food Stamps can be used toward your contribution. Thank you for your support.

Chautauqua County Office for the Aging Senior Nutrition Program provides nutritious noon meals at several Congregate Dining Sites throughout the county along with a Restaurant Dining out Program. Our Dietitian, Cheryl Walhstrom, RD is available for nutrition counseling in your home or by phone. We also sponsor several exercise programs. Call the office for more details and information.

Call NY CONNECTS: 753-4582

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