Advice on what you should and shouldn’t eat at various stages of your life is plentiful but it can be difficult to know what types of food are right for you in your older age. After all you still want to enjoy your food but may have to take into account certain medical conditions.
As a simple rule that applies whatever your age it is good to eat less fat and less sugar and consume less alcohol – doing those things can never be bad for you. But not everyone finds doing that quite so easy especially if you have got into bad shopping and cooking habits if you are now living alone after years of feeding a family.
But that’s where in home care can help because a carer who comes to your home can help you prepare meals.And live in care jobs often require the carer to both shop for and prepare all meals meaning you will always have a range of healthy options to choose from.
Eating Healthily with Diabetes
For older people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes good control of what you eat is essential – and it isn’t just overweight people who develop diabetes (as is the common misconception). There is also a significant minority of slim people who develop the disease in later life. Sugar content in food and drinks is the most important ingredient to avoid for diabetics – but be aware that some savoury foods (especially ready-prepared meals) can also contain sugar so it isn’t always the obvious things you need to avoid. Many supposedly healthy foods and drinks such as fresh fruit juices, smoothies, and yoghurts have significant quantities of sugar.
Eating Healthily with Heart Disease
The pumping action of our hearts becomes less vigorous as we age and this problem can be further exacerbated by a diet with a high fat content. It is fairly simple to cut out certain fats that are bad for your heart by changing how you cook things and with what – the obvious one being to switch from frying food to grilling it where possible. And if you do need to fry food (maybe a stir-fry loaded up with healthy veg) then make sure you use a good quality oil low in saturated fats and trans fats such as rapeseed , sunflower or olive oil.
Other “bad” fats include butter and cream so go easy when buttering your toast and considering a cream cake with your morning coffee. But remember there are “good” fats in foods such as nuts and avocados both of which are great ways to an interest to all sorts of meals.
Consider smaller portion sizes
As people get older their metabolism tends to slow down, which means that we do not need quite so many calories as we might have done in earlier years. It is all too easy to continue making the same quantities for meals as we have always done but having a re-think about how much we need can help keep off the excess weight that might be impacted your health. One way to break the habits of a lifetime when it comes to food quantities is to gradually reduce them little by little. One good way to do this is weigh a typical quantity of, say, pasta, rice or potatoes, then remove 10% of the weight and get used to cooking that as a standard portion – putting less on your plate each mealtime will mean less excess weight putting a strain on your body.
If you are still not sure about the right foods and quantities try talking to your doctor or another healthcare professional.