No single set of criteria exists to retire healthy by eating right. There are many healthy diet plans available out there – the Paleo diet, Vegan diet, Low-Carb diet, keto diet, Atkins diet, Zone diet, and a lot more diet plans are available. Since all the plans claim to be superior, some focus on restricting calories, carbs, or fat and others on appetite. However, no one diet is best for everyone, but the proper intake of food concerning the body’s dietary needs keeps retired healthy. Individuals of 60 years and above need a wide range of nutrients to lead a healthy and active life. Adequate, well-balanced nutrient-rich foods combined with physical activity enable them to be fit and active. A cornerstone of good health is to intake more of vitamins, minerals, micronutrients (iron, calcium, vitamin C, folic acid, carotenoids, and phytochemicals) and macronutrients (complex carbohydrates/fiber). Today’s rapid urbanization/globalization, reduced number of calories, decreased physical activity and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns.
The body composition changes with advancing age and requires a more healthy diet to prevent age-related degenerative diseases and increase life expectancy. Sometimes the major concern is not the consumption of healthy food, general complaints are loss of appetite and insufficient/ imbalanced intake of foods/nutrients. A diet needs to be a combination of vegetables and fruits in such a quantity and proportion that adequately meet for maintaining health. Though one needs to consume a healthy diet throughout the life-course to increase the immune system, we underestimate our healthy routine in this fast pace of life. To maintain bone health to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures include a balanced and healthy diet will vary depending on lifestyle, gender, age, and regular exercise. As per age, elders should cut down on their saturated fats, excess salt and sweets from the diet, and need to consume more pulse, egg white, toned milk, etc as its rich protein diet.
- Consume whole-grain foods, oatmeal, and brown rice.
- Prefer more homemade foods against frozen and fast food.
- Start taking calcium-rich foods like low-fat dairy products, toned milk, and green leafy vegetables.
- Avoid junk foods as they are a major cause of obesity.
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables instead of munching on snacks.
- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake by having at least one vegetable or fruit at every meal and as a snack in each daily meal.
- Adopt the proper storage strategy, improper storage of food items allows bacteria to grow and thrive, causing potential food poisoning.
- Limit consumption of unhealthy trans fats and processed foods like fast food, snacks, fried food, frozen pizza, and cookies.
- Prefer iodized salt with an intake of fewer than 5 grams per day as it reduces the risk of heart disease and prevents hypertension.
- Increase the consumption of; large portions of vegetables, salads and soups and small portions of high-calorie foods.
- Good nutrition like beans and lentils, eggs, jaggery, seasonal fresh fruits, and green leafy vegetables.
- Eat fresh foods with the minimum of processing and have alternative meals 2-3 times per day. At least including fruits and vegetables, 400 grams (5 portions) should be consumed in the diet every day.
- Eat raw vegetables, cook them properly with use as little water as possible because many nutrients will be destroyed by overcooking.
- Wash fruits and vegetables with 2% of saltwater will remove most of the contact pesticide residues. About 75-80% of pesticide reduces are removed by cold water washing.
- Fiber-rich foods can help you feel full and satisfied, and this will help prevent you from overeating. You need not eat large amounts of these foods to meet your nutritional needs.
- Have 1–2 cups skim or 1% milk or fortified soy beverage every day to provide the nutrients.
- Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils, and tofu often and try to have fish at least two times per week.
- Don’t cut and wash the eatables until you are ready to eat them.
- Avoid replacing healthy meals with ready to cook food.
- Limiting the consumption of processed foods like papads, sauces, pickles, salted biscuits, cheese, and chips.
- Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables to have a potassium intake.
- Optimize your nutrients from your grains by having whole grain products and whole grains such as barley, quinoa, wild rice, oatmeal, whole-grain pieces of bread and whole-wheat pasta.
Some vegetables and fruits provide very low calories, while some others provide good calories as these are rich in starch (such as potato, sweet potato, fruits as a banana). One should contribute to balanced eating by taking an equal amount of vegetables and fruits in the diet. Therefore, food like high in energy, fat-free, free sugars or salt/sodium and dietary fibers such as whole grains. The diet for elderly people needs to be well cooked, in small quantities with less salt and spice. Ensure they eat and drink water at frequent intervals to avoid dehydration and constipation. A healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients, for more detail, consult a doctor for an individualized diet depending upon the medical history, gender, age, and lifestyle. Healthy eating plans shall have enough calories for good health, but not so much that it makes you overweight.