HEALTHY eating can keep your body and mind sharp and extend quality of life, and older men are no different from anybody else.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Older adults need more vitamin D and calcium to help maintain strong and healthy bones. Calcium-rich foods include low-fat and fat-free dairy like milk and yogurt, fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables and canned fish with soft bones. Older adults need three servings of calcium and vitamin D every day. If you take a calcium supplement or multivitamin, be sure to choose one that contains vitamin D.
Fibre helps keep bowel functions normal and is good for your heart. If you need to lose weight, fibre keeps you full longer so you do not feel hungry as often. Men older than 50 need 30 grams of fibre a day; good sources are whole grains, fruits and vegetables. For products with a label, choose those with at least 3 grams of dietary fibre per serving.
Increasing potassium intake along with decreasing sodium (salt) may lower your risk of high blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include fruits, vegetables and low-fat or fat-free milk and yoghurt. Choose low-sodium foods and replace salt with other herbs and spices to reduce your sodium intake.
For weight control and overall health, limit fat calories to 20 percent to 35 percent of your diet. Most of the fats you consume should come from heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Try extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, walnuts, almonds and avocadoes. Healthy older men without heart disease should limit saturated fats, which comes from meat, full-fat dairy and fried foods, to 10 percent of total fat calories. Men with high cholesterol need to cut more saturated fat from their diet and should limit it to 7 percent of total fat calories.