When I was your age…
Dinner came from recognizable, whole, unprocessed sources-vegetables, grains, protein, fruit, and dairy. It’s time to go back to that. Healthy meals have the proper components in the correct proportion. Nutrient dense foods, which are those with the most nutrients per serving or ‘pack for their punch’, are our focus. The Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults (1) is a great resource, specific to your needs:
- At least half of your grains (breads, rice, pasta) should consist of whole grains.
- If fresh fruits and vegetables are not an option, frozen are just as good! They can be stored for an extended period of time and are frozen at their peak, which is when all of their nutrients are at their prime. There are also great low sodium canned vegetables now as a third option.
- Choose lean animal protein, that which does not have a lot of fat, or other options, such as beans and tofu.
- Low fat dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese, round out your diet.
- Fluid, preferably water, should be consumed with every meal to not only aid in digestion, but to help with hydration.
- Lastly, but definitely not of least importance, is including a multivitamin daily, as it’s ‘cheap health insurance’ and can insure the proper vitamins and minerals are included if they are not supplied by the diet (5).
Video explanation of the Modified MyPyramid (3):
Another way to think about the Food Guide Pyramid is to use the Idaho Plate Method. Check out the image below…
Guest Blogger: Kate Pilewski
- Lichtenstein AH, Rasmussen H, Yu WW, Epstein SR, Russell RM.
Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults. J Nutr. 2008; 138:78-82.
- Modified MyPyramid for older adults: Tufts researchers update their food
guide pyramid for older adults. Boston (MA): Tufts University. Available from: http://nutrition.tufts.edu/1197972031385/Nutrition-Page-nl2w_1198058402614.html.
- “Brighter living: food pyramid (over 70)” (Brighter Living, 2008, 1:01).
- Idaho plate method [homepage on the Internet]. Rexburg (ID): Idaho
Plate Method. Available from: http://platemethod.com.
- Sebastian RS, Cleveland LE, Goldman JD, Moshfegh AJ. Older adults
who use vitamin/mineral supplements differ from nonusers in nutrient intake adequacy and dietary attitudes. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107:1322–1332.