Let’s face it – in your 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, you’re pretty much out from under the pressure of the summer swimsuit season. What you really want is a HEALTHY you so that you can be as independent as possible for as long as possible. And along the way, if your body trims down a bit, you’re not going to complain.

There is no shortage of fad diets and quick weight loss schemes out there, but the smart way to better health, especially if you are a senior adult, is through healthy eating habits. Dietary changes can have an immediate effect on your body and health, so it’s never too late to start.

Retirement communities, like Wesley Place on Honeysuckle in Dothan, AL, employ professionals to plan meals for their residents based on the dietary requirements of senior adults. But if you are not yet taking advantage of retirement community life and you don’t have a nutritionist living in your home, you may benefit from discovering these tips from USDA’s 10 healthy eating tips for people age 65+ :

1) Drink plenty of liquids. Not surprising that hydration is important to health, but it’s important to drink the right kinds of liquids. Water most of all, limiting your intake of liquids with added sugar or salt.
2) Make eating a social event. Some seniors struggle with eating habits because their taste buds are not sending the signals that they once did. So if the food itself is no longer a motivation, the pleasure of good company can be your new motivation.
3) Plan healthy meals. Discover how much to eat and which foods to choose, and plan for variety so that you get benefits from many different vitamins and minerals that each type of food delivers.
4) Know how much to eat. Portion size, portion size, portion size. Not only are smaller portions better for your waist, it’s better for your wallet! Many restaurants offer smaller portions, but if not available, plan to take home half the dish for an easy meal the next day.
5) Vary your vegetables. Adorn your plate with vegetables in a variety of colors and nutrient values. Vegetables are a good source of that all-important fiber.
6) Eat for your teeth and gums. Trouble biting into an apple or chewing that steak? Look for softer alternatives, such as non-sugar added canned fruits, low-sodium soups, or canned meats, like tuna and chunk chicken.
7) Use herbs and spices. As you age, your sense of smell and taste can change. Adding herbs and spices can give your senses more flavors to explore.
8) Keep food safe. Throw out food that might not be safe. Pay close attention to expiration dates as well as proper cooking times and temperatures.
9) Read the Nutrition Facts Label. This simple guide sheet called Food Label Facts from eatright.org can help you navigate food labels.
10) Ask your doctor about vitamins or supplements. Food is the best way to get the nutrients your body needs. Before you add a vitamin, powdered drink, or other supplement to your diet, talk with your doctor. Your doctor can help you decide if you need it, and help ensure that there is no interference with your medications.

Use this link to the USDA’s guide of 10 healthy eating tips for people age 65+ for additional links to resources that may help you on your journey to better health.

To learn more about life at Wesley Place on Honeysuckle, visit our website at https://wesleyplacedothan.org or call Holly at 334-792-0921.

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