Healthy Meals to Age Well
"How Eating Well Helps You Age Well"
by Mary Treacy
age-well.org > eat well
Healthy Meals So you can Eat Well to Age Well: CLICK HERE to find out how to interpret the food-pyramid in order to compose your anti-aging diet.
"Food is an important part of a balanced diet" - Fran Leibowitz
Make sure you eat healthy meals as you age. A healthy diet can contribute to living an active life well into old age and to preserving your independence. A healthy diet means eating food which you enjoy and which will give you all the nutrients you need to preserve your health, prevent bone loss and other signs of aging and guard against diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes.
Table of Contents
The Food Plate
The Food Pyramid
Watch Your Weight
Healthy Meals if You Live Alone
All About Nutrients
Includes pages on Water, Antioxidants, Chocolate, Caffeine, Cholesterol and its Effect on Health, Fruit & Vegetables - Fresh Versus Frozen or Canned, Nuts, Beans and Pulses, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Salt, Sugar, Unsaturated Fats - The Right Fats for Health and What are Trans Fats?
Superfoods - What they are and what they can do for your health.
The DASH Diet
The Raw Food Diet
All About Vitamins and Minerals
A - Z of Vitamins
A - Z of Minerals
Anti-aging Vitamins and Supplements
EAT-WELL FORUM - Readers' Opinons, Tips and Questions
Readers' Healthy Recipes - Contribute here.
The My Plate is a new icon that was launched in June 2011 and is a powerful new graphic that aims to encourage healthy eating. Designed to be more easily understandable that the nutritional pyramid the My Plate icon shows a plate divided into four sections. Each section represents a food group meaning fruit, grains, proteins and vegetables; with a circle on the side-representing dairy produce.
It is intended to give people a better understanding of the actual portion sizes involved than its predecessor did.
It is recommended that a little more than half of the plate should be fruit and vegetables, a quarter of a plate should be proteins and a quarter of the plate should be grains. Supplementing this with a portion of dairy at each meal will give a balanced and healthy diet.
Healthy Meals: CLICK HERE to read all about the food plate (My Plate) which has replaced the food-pyramid in the United States as the new icon used by the US Department of Agriculture to represent the ultimate in healthy eating.
Nutritionists have used the health pyramid for many years now to educate people on how to choose a healthy diet in the correct proportions for you, from the wide range of available foods recommended. It is meant to guide you to choose a diet that will keep you healthy and at the best weight for your age, height and body-type. If you are an active person and exercise regularly, you will probably need to eat more than a sedentary person. Of course, in order to age well, you should try to lead an active life, but if you are unable to exercise regularly for any reason you should reduce your food intake in order to avoid obesity. However, you must still make sure you get the necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients necessary to maximise your health as you age.
Healthy Meals: CLICK HERE to find out how to interpret the food-pyramid in order to compose your anti-aging diet.
Changing the way you eat will have a far better impact on your weight than following a strict diet, which can actually have a negative effect on your overall health. Dieting will tend to provoke the yo-yo effect, which means you will lose weight while you diet, but then put the weight back on again when you stop. Skipping meals doesn’t help either. Your body might think that it is beginning to go through a period of famine and start stocking food in order to ensure that you will survive during the coming hard times.
You have all heard that healthy meals should include at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, in order to meet our daily requirements for vitamins and to help prevent constipation.
We should also drink at least eight glasses of liquid a day – this means preferably water, but also unsweetened juice or other healthy option. Attention, tea and coffee do not count – tea can also cause constipation.
Watch Your Weight (continued)
It is often more difficult to eat healthy meals if you life alone. It is important to try and keep your fridge and cupboards stocked with healthy, easily prepared food, as it is easy to stop eating properly because you have only yourself to cook for. Try to have at least one cooked meal a day. And, if you hate eating alone, invite friends over to share your meal – you could even start a club, with each member taking it in turns to cook for the others.
If you can afford it, try local restaurants, but choose healthy options – Asian food is often freshly cooked and contains many vegetables. Also include enough protein in your diet, choosing white meat and fish over red meat, which you can eat of course but not so often. Duck and lamb are less likely to contain antibiotics or hormones, and you can also look around for a butcher who sells meat that has not been farmed in this way.
Cooking in bulk on a day when it is raining or you have nothing to do and then freezing small portions for future use can also help you to eat healthy meals on days when you don't feel like shopping or cooking.
| Mary Treacy is the founder and contributing editor of age-well.org. She has over thirty years of experience working with non-profit, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), mainly business associations, and is an experienced writer in many sectors including co-operatives, agriculture, commmerce, housing, insurance, banking and health. You can find her on Google + and Twitter.|
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