Healthy Diet Tips for Seniors: How to Follow a Low Fat, Low Cholesterol, Low Sugar Diet

Healthy Diet Tips for Seniors: How to Follow a Low Fat, Low Cholesterol, Low Sugar Diet

If a person’s doctor has indicated that a person has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or any other typical health problems that face seniors.

It’s easy to throw in the towel. After all, everything that tastes good is bad, right? Not always. While fast and frozen foods are always a no-no, there are plenty of healthy options due to the explosion of health food stores, co-ops and farmers’ markets.

The Mayo Clinic and the American Health Association recommend these guidelines for anyone trying to follow a healthy diet to avoid troublesome problems like diabetes or heart disease.

The following calculations are based on a 2,000 daily calorie diet.

Carbohydrate Information for Seniors

Carbs are not necessary the enemy. In fact, complex carbohydrates are actually quite good for the body’s health. People should aim to eat between 225 and 325 milligrams of carbohydrates per day. Excellent sources of complex carbohydrates include whole wheat and other grains, beans and fruits.

Protein Nutrition

People should aim for 50 to 175 grams of protein per day. Great sources of protein include tofu, beans, lentils and lean meats. Fish is also a good source of protein, but fish should be consumed only twice a week because heavy pollution in the ocean has made popular seafood (such as tuna) high in poisons like mercury.

Types of Sugar

Refined sugar, which is found in processed foods, is completely unnecessary for the body’s health. If a person’s doctor has recommended a low-sugar diet, then that means they should consume no more than 40 grams per day. Natural sugars found in fruits are an exception; unless a doctor has ordered certain fruits off-limits, they can be eaten freely by most seniors.

Types of Fat

There are basically two kinds of fat: the good kind and the bad kind. Saturated fat and trans fat are the bad kinds. A person should limit saturated fat intake to no more than 15 grams per day, and trans fat should be limited to under two grams per day.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the good kinds of fat, and are essential to a healthy heart. These types of fats can be found in monounsaturated fats are typically high in vitamin E. Good fat can be found in olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, walnuts, omega-3 fatty fish and avocados.

People should aim for a total of between 44 and 78 grams of fat per day.

Natural Fiber

Eating plenty of good fiber helps seniors with bowel movements and in general keeps the bowels regular. Good fiber sources include leafy vegetables, whole grains, apples and oranges. Seniors should aim for between 30 and 38 grams of fiber per day.

Sodium Levels

Sodium is the main culprit when people have high blood pressure. Easing up on salt, and avoiding all processed foods is the main way to get rid of sodium in one’s diet. A low sodium diet means eating less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.

Cholesterol Intake

Unfortunately, many seniors suffer from high cholesterol, which can almost always be traced back to foods high in cholesterol and fat. Seniors should aim for less than 200 milligrams per day of cholesterol if a doctor has ordered a low-cholesterol diet.

While it may seem like a daunting task, seniors can actually breathe easier knowing that nutritional data is available on almost all foods, and the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables can be easily found. The key to eating a healthy diet is to simply always look at labels and follow expert guidelines.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss