Here are a few tips from the National Institute on Aging to keep in mind.
- Drink plenty of liquids. That means water, yes, and also low-fat or fat-free milk and 100 percent juice, if you like. Watch out for added sugar, and stay away from diet sodas.
- Get plenty of protein. Even at breakfast, when you need it to power you through the morning. Meat, eggs, chicken, fish, milk, cheese – and plenty of vegetarian sources like nuts, spinach, asparagus, broccoli and more.
- Mix your vegetables. Brighten your plate with different colored vegetables – red tomatoes, green lettuce, orange carrots, etc.
- Add herbs and spices. We lose our ability to taste flavor as we get older, and some medications interfere with taste and smell.
- Ask your doctor about supplements. Food should give us most of what we need, but talk to your doctor to learn if you should add vitamins or other supplements.
- Keep it lean. Make sure the meat you eat is low in fat.
- Keep it whole. As in whole foods – an apple over a slice of processed dessert, for instance.
- Limit fried foods. It’s just as easy to have a roasted chicken breast as it is fried chicken wings. And the first option is much lower in calories and fat.
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.