Healthy eating and physical activity are encouraged for healthy ageing. While ageing your body needs nutrients to survive and stay healthy. Each of the 6 groups of nutrients; fats, carbohydrates, protein, minerals, vitamins and water.
Foods in the 6 food groups provide these nutrients, picking an assortment from every food group throughout the day will ensure you get many nutrients and the variety of foods will make meals more interesting. In addition to eating healthy, physical activity plays an important role in healthy eating.
Healthy eating can lower your risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. It can help ward off depression and keep our minds sharp as we age.
To help with your healthy eating plan:
– Do not skip meals. Skipping meals may cause your metabolism to slow down or lead you to eat more high-calorie and high-fat foods at your next meal or snack leading to weight gain
– Select high-fiber foods like whole grain breads and cereals, peas and beans, vegetables, provisions and fruits. They can help regularise your bowels and lower your risk for chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
– Choose lean beef, pork, turkey breast, fish or chicken with the skin removed to lower the amount of fat and calories in your meals. As you age, your body needs fewer calories, especially if you are not very active.
– Have three servings of vitamin D-fortified low fat/fat-free milk, yogurt, or cheese every day. Milk products are high in calcium and vitamin D and help keep your bones strong as you age. If you are lactose intolerant, you can use calcium fortified non-diary milk instead.
Drink plenty of water or water based fluids. You may notice that you feel less thirsty as you get older, but your body needs water to stay healthy.
Physical activity has been shown to decrease your risk of being overweight or obese for heart and other diseases. It should be part of your everyday life. Find things you like to do as going for brisk walks, riding a bike, dancing, working around the house, climbing stairs, swimming and working the garden.
Try different kinds of activities that would keep you moving. Look for new ways to build physical activity into your daily routine to get all the benefits of physical activity try all four types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.
In addition, get 7-8 hours sleep every night, limit alcohol intake, do not smoke and maintain positive relationships.
(The above was submitted by the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council)