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Improve your eating habits

Healthy foods at breakfast table

Start living a healthier life by improving your eating habits this National Nutrition Month.

National Nutrition Month provides a good reminder to recommit to healthy eating habits and the importance we give daily to our diet in general.

If seniors do not meet the basic needs of a healthy diet, they can experience a decline in several mental and physical activities, potentially triggering health problems and vitamin deficiencies. A good and balanced diet favors healthy mental development and allows a good performance of several functions such as critical thinking, reasoning, or understanding.

Take this month to commit to making small changes in your daily routine to help you make smarter choices. Check out these recommendations from our West PACE registered dietitians and allow yourself to see results that will motivate you to pursue a healthier life.

Stay Hydrated

As we age, our sense of thirst decreases. Because of this, it is important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Try taking an additional glass of water than usual per day. Keep it interesting by trying new things like adding some lemon, cucumber, or other fresh fruit slices to your water.

Increase your protein intake

Make sure you meet your protein goal. Your dietitian can help you know what your protein goal should be based on your current health condition. Choose rich foods like chicken, beef, fish, tofu, beans, and nuts which help prevent muscle loss, keeping you strong.

Reduce sugar and salt consumption

Cutting back on foods with high sugar leaves more room for more nutritious foods. It can also prevent weight gain that could lead to diabetes. If you crave something sweet, try having a piece of fruit or making a yogurt parfait. Too much salt/sodium can increase high blood pressure and many other conditions. Try using herbs, spices, and salt-free seasonings to add flavor to your food.

Plan your meals

When starting to establish better habits, it’s easier to begin with a meal plan. It allows us to stick to healthier and pre-established options, considering our portions and personal preferences. Restaurant or fast-food options typically do not opt for the healthiest ingredients, and they tend to be pricier. Eating at home or sticking to a meal plan can also prevent you from skipping a meal or eating too much.

Choose your fats consciously

Remember fats are not bad, it’s all in which types of fats you consume. When possible, have healthy fats instead of trans and saturated fats. Some examples of healthy fats are olive and canola oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fish.

It’s all about maintaining a healthy balance. Start with achievable goals, and keep it creative, fun, and delicious. Feeling good will keep you motivated. Remember the West PACE staff is here to help and support you with any medical condition or special diet.

If you or a loved one are 55 or older, live in North County San Diego, and meet state requirements for nursing home level of care, contact us today to see if enrolling in our program at Gary and Mary West PACE is right for you. We also welcome you to schedule a tour of our center. Call 760-280-2230 or email us today.

Adapted from: Sunrise Senior Living: 10 healthy eating tips for seniors

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