My doctor says that I need to follow a 1500 calorie diet. What does that mean?
A calorie is a measurement of energy…and that just means how much food you are supposed to eat. If we get too much energy, the excess is stored in our bodies as fat. If we get too little energy, our bodies use our fat stores and muscles to make sure that we have enough energy to run on.
Both of these situations can cause complications for older adults making it difficult to stay active and healthy. Being overweight can lead to a variety of chronic diseases that can be debilitating. Too little weight and muscle can impair your ability to fight off disease and stay healthy.
Consider the kinds of foods to eat…in order to have a balanced diet. As we age our bodies change in the way that we process and absorb the food we eat. At the same time we usually need to eat less than we used to. This makes it all the more important to get the most nutrition possible out of what we are eating 1.
Add it all up…what should my plate look like?
1/2 to 3/4 of your meal should be carbohydrate based foods:
-grains, fruits, vegetables
1/8 to 1/4 of your meal should be protein based foods:
-meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and cheese, beans and tofu and nuts
1/3 of calories should be from fat:
-oils that our foods are cooked in and butter and cheeses we add to our plates.
Check out this sample menu to see how much food will give you 1500 calories…1500 calorie handout
Guest Blogger: Jennifer Cantwell-Wood
1. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-DGACReport.htm p B1-4. accessed 10.16.10