As we age, it becomes increasingly important to look after our health. One of the most significant contributors to our overall wellbeing is our diet. Eating well is a manageable yet effective way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This helps to ensure that you can travel, play with your grandkids, dance, learn, volunteer and simply live a full and active life after 60! To help you get started, here is a list of tips that you can consider to improve your diet.
1. A Balanced Diet
Whatever your age, it's important to have a healthy, balanced diet containing a mix of all the food groups. Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. When choosing bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods, try to choose the wholegrain varieties if you can as they are much more nutritional. Include some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein. We all enjoy a treat or two and there’s no need to deprive yourself. However, try to keep fatty and sugary foods to a minimum; you’ll appreciate them more if you do, I promise!
2. Starch and Fibre
Feeling bloated and uncomfortable tends to become more of a regular occurrence as you get older. Eating foods containing fibre is important for your digestion and can help you to avoid these symptoms. Some subtle changes in your diet make a big difference. Try choosing wholegrain foods and filling your plate with fresh fruit and vegetables. You’ll feel better almost instantly!
Keeping your energy levels up is important to get the most out of your retirement. Iron is important for our general health to keep us fit a raring to go. A lack of iron can make us feel as though we have no energy, so include some iron-rich foods in your diet. The best source of iron is lean red meat but it is also found in pulses (such as peas, beans and lentils), oily fish, eggs, bread, green vegetables and breakfast cereals with added vitamins.
Eating calcium helps you to keep your bones healthy and strong so you can keep active for years to come. Eating calcium-rich foods can help you avoid bone problems such as osteoporosis. Good sources include dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. Choose lower-fat varieties when you can or eat higher-fat varieties in smaller amounts.
5. Less Salt
Many of us in the UK are guilty of eating too much salt. This can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at increased risk of health problems such as heart disease or a stroke. Next time you reach for the shaker, try tasting your food again to see if you really need it! Most food already contains hidden salt so keep an eye on food labels to keep on top of your daily levels.
Your 60s is a great time to reflect on your lifestyle and make some positive changes for the future. While it’s easy to get stuck in bad habits, try to ease yourself into some different eating routines and see for yourself how great you feel. Team this up with some activities from our previous post on exercises for a happier, healthier you!