The nutritional needs of different people vary. Nevertheless, irrespective of your age, there are some strategies that will help you to maintain a healthy diet.

Nutrient-Rich Foods

As people age, their caloric needs tend to decrease, though the necessity for the same level of nutrients either remains the same or increases. Relying on nutrient-rich foods helps you to get all the carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals that are required.

You can get the majority of your calories by relying on nutrient-dense foods:

- vegetables and fruits

- whole grains

- low-fat dairy

- beans and lentils

- nuts and seeds

- lean protein

Aim to limit those foods that come with high calories though are low in nutrients. Examples of these include deep-fried foods, high-sugar desserts, and sweetened beverages. Your doctor might recommend that you avoid junk food entirely.

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Enough Fiber

To maintain a healthy digestive system, fiber is essential. So as to avoid constipation and related problems, try to include foods that are rich in fiber in every meal. Healthy cholesterol levels can be maintained through soluble fiber:

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- beans and lentils

- fruits and vegetables

- whole grains

- nuts and seeds

- oats and oat bran

If you are struggling to get enough fiber, you could use a fiber supplement, for example, psyllium husk (Metamucil).

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Healthy Convenience Foods

If you do tend to rely a lot on convenience foods, opt for the healthiest alternatives:

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- low-sodium canned or frozen vegetables

- low-sugar canned fruit or frozen unsweetened fruit

- rotisserie chicken or precooked grilled turkey

- low-sodium canned stews or soups

- coleslaw mix or bagged salads

- instant oatmeal

- vegetables in steamer bags

Do check the labels on any prepackaged foods. Go for those that consist of less saturated fats, less added sugar, and less salt, and those that have more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

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Supplements

It may be difficult to get all the nutrients you need in your diet, particularly if you are forced to avoid certain foods. Perhaps you should take a supplement for vitamins or minerals such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin B-12, and vitamin D. Often, these vitamins are poorly absorbed or are not consumed frequently enough by people who are older.

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Remain Hydrated

As people age, it’s possible to be unaware of a growing thirst. Thus, fluids should be taken regularly. Go for about 60 ounces of water per day, while you can also get water from juices, tea, from soup, and also from water-dense fruit and vegetables.

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Remain Social

Whenever possible eat together with your friends, family members, or with your in-home caregiver. This type of social interaction will help to turn mealtimes into more enjoyable activities, as opposed to a chore that can easily be skipped.

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