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Healthy Lifestyles for Seniors (cont.)

Diet for Seniors

The benefits of a healthy diet in promoting well-being cannot be over-emphasized. Heart and lung diseases, vascular (blood vessel) disease, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol, strokes, memory deficit, osteoporosis, variety of cancers, skin diseases, and visual problems are known to be impacted by the type of diet we consume.

Most tissues in the human body are made up of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. A balanced and healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fiber is essential in providing these important elements. Vitamins and mineral supplements and adequate fluid intake are also considered critical by many physicians. Reduced dietary portions of meat, eggs, and dairy products should be considered.

The size of food portion is also as important as the quality of food. Intake of calories from food should roughly match the body's metabolic needs. Daily caloric goals of between 1500 and 2000 are generally recommended in most adults. Being aware of the amount of calories consumed on a daily basis can help achieve these goals and prevent over and under eating.

Avoiding foods with empty calories are also essential. These are foods with high calories and limited nutritional values. Sodas, chips, cookies, donuts, and alcohol are some examples of commonly consumed foods with empty calories.

Other specific dietary guidelines pertaining to particular conditions may be recommended. For example, limited carbohydrate intake for people with diabetes, or low salt intake for people with heart disease is commonly advised.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/27/2015

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