Eating healthy isn’t always easy, especially as we get older. Preparing home-cooked meals can become quite a challenge for many people, whether it’s due to mobility issues, joint pain, or a long term medical condition such as dementia. Here at Abing Homecare, we want to provide you with the best tips on how to keep yourself healthy. These healthy eating tips for older people will help you to maintain a nutritious, balanced diet.
Here in the UK, lots of us consume a very high-fat, high-sugar diet. While it’s perfectly fine to eat these treats in moderation, we shouldn’t be having them every day. Choose baked or grilled food instead of fried. Make water your go-to drink instead of sweet beverages like fizzy drinks. Lastly, try swapping salt for different herbs and spices to add flavour to your food while cooking. Avoid adding salt to your food at the table before you’ve tried it – you might find that you don’t need any extra salt at all. Avoid having more than 6g of salt per day.
We’ve all heard about the importance of getting our 5-a-day, but most of us still aren’t eating enough fruit and veg. According to the NHS Eatwell Guide, fruits and vegetables should make up more than a third of the food we eat every day. Add vegetables and fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert. The more colourful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fibre your body needs to be healthy.
How many of us actually look at the recommended portion size on food packaging? You might be overeating or undereating without even knowing it. Check the portion information on your food labels and fill your plate accordingly. Filling up a standard-sized dinner plate could be leading you to overeat. If this is the case, use smaller plates when preparing your meals, so you are not tempted to add more food than you need. If you feel full up, listen to what your body is telling you. Instead of finishing off the plate, why not save the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch?
The protein food group includes much more than meat and fish. Pulses such as beans and lentils are a great source of protein – plus they are significantly cheaper and lower in fat than meat. The average UK vegetarian diet is up to 26% cheaper than a diet containing meat! Therefore, it’s no surprise that pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan diets are on the rise here in the UK. In fact, more than 6 million Brits intend to give up meat in 2021, according to Finder’s recent survey. When you do eat meat, look for leaner cuts and save red meat and processed meat such as sausages for an occasional treat.
Finishing off our list of healthy eating tips, let’s talk about snacks. Fad diets and slimming schemes do their best to convince us that snacking is always unhealthy, but this simply isn’t true. Healthy snacks are an important part of any healthy diet. We often turn to unhealthy snacks such as crisps and chocolate bars out of convenience. The key is to have healthy snacks on hand ready to eat. Cut up fruits and veggies like carrots, peppers, or orange slices and keep them in the fridge. Keep healthy nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, and unsalted peanuts in the cupboard.
We hope you’ve found these healthy eating tips useful. Alongside your healthy diet, don’t forget to keep moving and get a little exercise every day, even if it’s just a short walk.
Eating a balanced diet is easier said than done, especially for lots of older people. Perhaps you struggle to get to the supermarket to buy fresh ingredients. Maybe you find it difficult to prepare your food at home. No matter what support you need, Abing Homecare can help. We offer domiciliary care to older people and disabled people up and down the UK. You can have a professional carer visit you at home to provide support with cooking, cleaning, shopping and much more.