As we age, sense of taste and smell can change, foods may become less flavorful. Medications can both affect how food tastes and can diminish appetite. Some people become lactose intolerant or have foods that disagree with them in other ways. Others have difficulty chewing food because their gums are sore or their dentures don’t have a good fit. With each of these challenges, it’s important to find ways to maintain daily nutrition intake required for healthy senior living.
The National Council on Aging recommends:
Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Your plate should look like a rainbow—bright, colored foods are always the best choice! A healthy diet should include:
- Lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans)
- Fruits and vegetables (think orange, red, green, and purple)
- Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
- Low-fat dairy (milk and its alternatives)
- Foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium or salt
- Vitamin D as this is an important mineral for aging
- Plenty of water! Drink small amounts of fluids consistently throughout the day. Tea, coffee, and water are your best choices. Keep fluids with sugar and salt at a minimum, unless your doctor has suggested otherwise.
The American Heart Association provides recommended daily servings for adults aged 60+.
The USDA offers a simple way to help people see what they should eat each day called MyPlate.