Silver&Fit Offers Five Tips to Help Older Adults Get More Nutrition in Their Meals

Seniors have unique nutritional needs and may require education and assistance to better understand those needs.

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San Diego, CA (PRWEB) March 10, 2014

As we age, eating the right nutrients becomes more critical. But, how do you know which nutrients are best to include in your diet?

In recognition of National Nutrition Month® in March, the Silver&Fit® Exercise & Healthy Aging Program offers these tips to help older adults stay on track with meeting their nutrition needs.

  •     Calories— with age you can lose muscle mass and gain more fat. In turn, you may need to take in fewer calories. But it’s important to get the same amount of nutrients from the calories you do eat. This is where quality really counts, so try to eat fresh, unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables. These are rich in nutrients but usually have fewer unhealthy calories.
  •     Fiber— fiber helps move food through the intestine. This can help reduce constipation. Fiber can also help lower high cholesterol. Start adding fiber slowly. Good sources of fiber are cooked dry beans, peas and lentils. You can also choose whole fruit over fruit juice, and eat whole-grain breads and cereals.
  •     Protein—over time, your body may need more protein. This is especially true if you have less of an appetite and don’t eat as much as you used to. Protein is good for your metabolism and hormones. A goal should be 20 – 25 grams of protein at each meal if possible. Good sources of protein are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, tofu, nuts, seeds and peanut butter.

Minerals and vitamins also play a big role in a healthy diet, and how much you need varies for older adults.

  •     Calcium—as you age, your body is not able to absorb as much calcium. As a result, calcium is often pulled from the bones. This helps keep blood levels stable. When too much calcium is pulled from the bones they can get weak and brittle. This can lead to osteopenia, osteoporosis and bone breaks. Adults over the age of 50 should consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. This means about 4 servings of milk, cheese or yogurt.
  •     Vitamin D—vitamin D helps your body use calcium. Your body is less able to convert Vitamin D to its usable form as you age. So you need to get more vitamin D from your diet. Adults who are 51 – 70 years of age should get 600 units of vitamin D a day. If you are 71 years of age and older you should take about 800 units of vitamin D. Good sources of vitamin D are tuna, salmon, eggs and fortified milk and cereals.

Using the tips above, older adults can enjoy a tasty diet while getting the nutrients they need.

About the Silver&Fit Exercise & Healthy Aging Program
The Silver&Fit program is an exercise and healthy aging program providing unique, evidence-based fitness and health education activities for Medicare beneficiaries and group retirees. Silver&Fit members have access to: no-cost or low-cost memberships at a participating, contracted fitness club or exercise center, or to the Silver&Fit Home Exercise Program for those who prefer or need to work out at home; SilverandFit.com, a website providing health tools and resources specifically designed for older adults; The Silver Slate® newsletter; and a toll-free customer service hotline. For more information, visit http://www.ASHCompanies.com or call 800-848-3555. Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SilverandFit, YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/silverandfit, Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/silverandfit, Twitter at @SilverandFit and Instagram at @SilverandFit. The Silver&Fit program is a product of American Specialty Health Fitness, Inc., a subsidiary of American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH).

About American Specialty Health
American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH) is one of the nation’s premier independent, privately-owned specialty health services organizations, providing specialty health care networks and programs, fitness and exercise programs, and population health solutions for health plans, insurance carriers and employer groups. Operating from offices in San Diego, Calif., Southlake (Dallas), Texas, Carmel (Indianapolis), Ind., and Columbia, S.C., ASH has more than 1,100 employees and administers services for more than 33 million members nationwide. Products offered through ASH and its subsidiaries include Healthyroads®, FitnessCoachTM, Active&Fit®, ExerciseRewardsTM and others. For more information about ASH, visit http://www.ASHCompanies.com or call 800-848-3555. Follow us on Twitter at @ASHCompanies or on LinkedIn.

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