These days it seems as if a new diet pops up every week. Men and women everywhere are avoiding carbohydrates for the Atkins diet, rejecting meat as vegetarians, counting their points for the Weight Watchers program, eating like an early human for the Paleo diet, or rejecting their ovens and stovetops in favor of a “raw” approach to many of the foods they consume.
Though many of these diets contain healthy, nutritious foods and can be helpful tools when we make choices regarding what we eat, research is beginning to show that maintaining a healthy diet is much simpler than these programs make it out to be. In honor of National Nutrition Month, we’d like to provide you will some simple and easy ways you can eat for your health.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies: Even though many diets contradict each other on a number of topics, they all seem to be in agreement on one thing - the more fruits and vegetables, the better. If you grew up on meatloaf and mashed potatoes, it may be hard to become accustomed to filling 2/3 of your plate or more with fruits and veggies. However, this is exactly what is recommended by The National Institute on Aging, as well as The American Institute for Cancer Research in their guide, “Nutrition After 50.”
Be Smart When You’re Snacking: Indulging in something sweet or salty every once in a while can be a great way to treat yourself. However, making a habit of snacking on candy, chips, and other highly processed foods can have adverse effects on your health, creating issues such as high blood pressure and unwanted weight-gain. Instead of reaching for that bag of Fritos, munch on a handful of almonds, a piece of fruit, or veggies and a healthy dip such as hummus.
Pay Attention to Portion Size: You’ve probably lost track of the number of times you were told to “clean your plate” as a child. However, if you have too much food on your plate, eating all of it could be detrimental to your health, as overeating leads to an excess of calories, which in turn, leads to weight gain. Here are some helpful ways to double check your portion sizes from The National Institute of Health.
3 ounces of meat or poultry = a deck of cards
1–1 1/2 ounces of hard cheese = four dice
2 tbsp. of cream cheese = a golf ball
1 c. of salad or cooked vegetables = a baseball
3 ounces grilled/baked fish = checkbook
Fill up with Fluids: Drinking enough fluids, especially water, can help fight dehydration and constipation. Staying hydrated is especially important for seniors. According to The Mayo Clinic, “As you age, you become more susceptible to dehydration for several reasons: Your body's ability to conserve water is reduced, your thirst sense becomes less acute, and you're less able to respond to changes in temperature.” Besides drinking water, consuming foods that have high moisture content such as fruits and vegetables can help keep you hydrated.
At Trilogy health campuses, dining is an experience. We believe that a well-balanced diet and great tasting food are equally important. That’s why our Dining Services Team is specially trained to prepare and serve nutrient-rich, healthful foods that are as flavorful as those special dishes our residents have always enjoyed throughout their lives. We also ensure that all of our residents have access to a variety of food and drink options 24 hours a day. Do you have a loved one who could benefit from such attentive care? Find a Trilogy location near you and stop by for a tour!