The old adage “You are what you eat” is no     
misnomer. In fact, researchers confirm that the
number one factor to controlling physical and
mental health lies at the end of the fork. Good
eating habits can have a big impact on health by
improving energy levels, boosting immune
systems, and making for a greater sense of
overall well-being. Healthy eating habits can even
restore feelings of youthfulness.


Although we may not need the same number of calories as we did when we were younger, good
nutrition is still important, especially in the later years of life. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats,
vitamins, minerals, and water are important substances in foods that individuals need to
function and maintain their health.

Consume Nutrient-Dense Foods
To stay on the healthy eating road, try eating these nutrient-dense foods:
-Egg yolks and fatty fish contain Vitamin D to help grow bone density and maintain bone strength.

-Fatty fish contains B12, which older adults need more of because it is more difficult to absorb it as you age.
-Spinach, nuts, and whole grains contain magnesium to help the heart, bone strength, and sleep.
-Chicken breast, eggs, almonds, and other lean meats and fish are packed with protein.

Add Fiber and Grains
-Fruits and vegetables help the digestive system to function properly.
-Whole grains like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice help to guard against disease and
reduce inflammation.

Limit Empty Calories
-Stay away from foods low in nutrition, which are attributed to type 2 diabetes and mild cognitive
impairment: chips, candy, baked goods, soda, and alcohol.

Watch Cholesterol and Fat
-Avoid saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats come from animals, and trans fats are processed
fats found in foods such as margarine and vegetable shortening.
-Store-bought baked goods and fast food are some of the worst culprits for saturated and trans fats.

Stay Hydrated
-Drink enough water, even when not feeling thirsty. As a rule, women should drink about
11.5 cups of water and men 15.5 cups of water per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.
-Include foods that contain water, such as soups, cucumbers, watermelon, and other fruits.
-Infusing your water with fruits and herbs may encourage greater interest in drinking.
-Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge or on the counter at all times to serve as a
reminder to boost your water intake.

Read Labels
Be a smart shopper and read nutrition labels.
-Watch out for items that are high in fat, sugar, and sodium.
-The healthiest foods are whole, unprocessed foods, which are found on the
perimeter of the grocery store in the produce, meat, and dairy sections.

Signs of Poor Nutrition
It’s also important to be aware of the signs of poor nutrition and to contact a doctor if you
are experiencing some the following:
-Brittle hair/increased hair loss
-Cracking at the corners of the mouth
-Brittle/dry nails
-Poor digestion/bowel changes
-Unexplained fatigue
-Mood changes, such as anxiety, depression, irritability, or moodiness
-Unexplained weight loss
Sticking to a nutritious diet doesn’t have to be boring. For some healthy sack idea check
out page 24.