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Food for Thought: Eating Healthy is Simple and Smart

Making healthy food choices in your daily life is a great way to age strong. Healthy eating will keep you feeling and looking your best—and it doesn’t have to be boring. Making small changes in the foods you prepare can be a delicious way to promote healthy living and prevent or delay the onset of illness and disease.

Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy diet, and they can be used in a variety of flavorful dishes. Greens like kale and broccoli are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. These ingredients help maintain bone strength and can enhance your immune system. Some fruits and vegetables, such as berries and kidney beans, also contain antioxidants that may help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and macular degeneration. Potassium-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes and bananas help reduce the risk of kidney stones and bone loss as you age.

When planning your meals at home, consider the foods you are cooking and how you can eliminate any unhealthy parts of your meal, such as fatty cuts of meat and whole milk dairy products, which contain high saturated fat levels that increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Also, cut down on processed foods that may contain unhealthy partially hydrogenated oils—or “trans fats”—that can make you more vulnerable to type 2 diabetes.

For more information and resources to help you eat well as you age, visit:

Eldercare Locator: Food and Nutrition
http://www.eldercare.gov/eldercare.net/public/resources/topic/Food_Nutrition.aspx

National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging: Eating Well as You Get Older
http://nihseniorhealth.gov/eatingwellasyougetolder/toc.html

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Food Safety for Older Adults
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Food_Safety_for_Older_Adults.pdf

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Last Modified: 12/31/1600

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