Eating a healthy diet after age 60 is essential for maintaining good health, energy levels, and feeling your best!
As our bodies age, the way we should eat changes too—which means midlife nutrition is important.
In this blog post, you’ll learn why good nutrition in midlife is so important and get 8 tips for healthy eating that will help you to maximize your health benefits as you get older. Discover simple changes you can make to help you feel energized, fueled, and fit.
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How Do Our Nutrition Needs Change as We Age?
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at absorbing vital nutrients from the food we eat. Our metabolism slows, resulting in decreased energy and a higher risk of weight gain.
Hormonal changes also play a role in our nutritional needs as we age; nutrient absorption can be affected by decreased hormone production or during menopause. What’s more, immune system function is often impaired with aging, highlighting the importance of an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals.
Eating right after 60 means understanding the changing needs that come with age—from proteins and minerals to fluids, vitamins, and healthy fats—and taking steps to ensure that you get enough nutrients to stay healthy.
Why is Good Nutrition Essential After 60? Does It Really Matter That Much?
Eating a balanced diet is essential for your health and well-being as you age. After 60, it’s important to make sure that your nutrition keeps up with the changes in your body, which includes changes in hormones and metabolism.
Not only can a healthy diet help reduce the risk of physical problems, such as heart disease and certain types of cancer, but it can also improve mental clarity, memory, and energy levels and help you stay independent for longer.
In fact, the food you eat is one of the most important factors in maintaining your health later in life. Through good nutrition, you can reduce your risk of developing conditions like obesity and heart disease as well as slow down the aging process. Investing in good nutrition now will help you reap tremendous rewards later on. Feeding your body well with nutrient-rich foods gives you the energy to do more of what you love without having to worry about feeling tired or rundown.
The combination of exercise and the right food choices is key to staying active and feeling vibrant as you age. That doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite treats – just be conscious about emotions when eating and make conscious decisions to be healthy. So yes, nutrition does matter after 60 – more than you think!
8 Tips for Healthy Eating
Healthy eating doesn’t get any easier than when you are in your 60s. You can set yourself up for enjoying a longer, healthier life with your own simple changes to your existing diet. Ultimately, good nutrition starts with making informed choices and is always worth the effort.
Here are eight tips to help you make small yet meaningful shifts that will make you feel better over time and add a boost of energy to your day. They may even help you maintain a healthy weight. Start by implementing just one of these healthy eating tips, and let it become a habit before adding the next tip.
Small changes today will lead to big results tomorrow!
1 | Eat 3 meals a day
Eating three meals a day should be part of your regular routine! Even if you’re busy or not feeling particularly hungry, skipping meals can cause more harm than good. Don’t skip breakfast, my friend.
Eating a healthy breakfast is especially important as it kickstarts your metabolism and gives your body fuel for the morning ahead. Studies also show that those who eat breakfast are more likely to get the vitamins and minerals their body needs, which helps with focus, energy levels and overall health.
So make sure that each morning you give yourself the best start possible by having a nutritious, balanced breakfast—it will make all the difference throughout your day.
2 | Increase fiber intake
Eating enough fiber plays an important role in anyone’s good health so it should come as no surprise that women over 60 should pay particular attention to their fiber intake.
Fiber is essential for digestion, weight management, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Increasing your fiber intake in your 60s can help promote a feeling of fullness and energize your body.
Research has indicated that foods high in fiber can improve blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and promote healthy gut bacteria. Without eating adequate amounts of fiber, seniors become more vulnerable to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and other medical conditions.
Fortunately increasing fiber to recommended amounts doesn’t have to be difficult; adding whole grains like oats or barley to soups and cereal bars or snacking on fruits like apples, pears, and berries offer simple ways to increase your daily intake without much extra effort. Their delicious taste is a bonus too!
3 | Prepare your meals at home
Eating healthy as you get older is so important, and one great way to stay on top of your nutrition is to cook your meals at home rather than eating out. This way, you have full control over the ingredients you put in, as well as portion size.
One major reason we encourage preparing meals at home is that it reduces your overall intake of processed foods. Most pre-packaged store-bought foods can contain a lot of added sugar, salt, and fats with little nutritional benefits.
Buying fresh ingredients from the grocery store and cooking up meals yourself helps to reduce the amount of these unhealthy additives in your diet.
Other healthy meal delivery options to consider:
Healthy Meal Delivery Options
Here are some healthy ‘done for you’ options if the thought of planning and preparing meals is more than you want to take on:
Hello Fresh – they offer a variety of food meal plans including a low-calorie option
Green Chef – premium ingredients and plans that include Balanced Living, Keto+Paleo, and Plant-Powered
Bistro MD – weight loss meals, or the complete meal program for weight loss. More than just meal delivery!
Freshly – clean eating, carb-conscious menu with several healthy options
Fresh ‘n Lean – chill, then heat and eat. And it’s good, clean food. How easy is that?
4 | Watch the sodium
As your body matures, it is important to watch out for how much sodium you consume. Too much salt can be dangerous as it can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
These are all conditions that become more likely as we age, so it’s best to take preventive measures early on. Developing a diet of low or moderate sodium content is a great way to reduce the likelihood of these health problems.
This can include swapping out regular cheese for low-fat types which are naturally lower in sodium, using fresh herbs instead of pre-made sauces with added salt, cooking with unsalted butter and using a light hand when shaking the shaker on your meals.
By making small changes like this in your diet, you’ll be creating healthier habits that will benefit you long term.
5 | Limit sugar
Sugary treats are enjoyable, no doubt about it. But controlling your sugar intake is an important step for healthy eating.
Having too much sugar can lead to high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and triglycerides, and extra weight. So take a good look at how much added sugar you’re consuming each day and think of those long-term consequences. Make it a habit to check labels and see how much sugar foods contain.
Aim to be conscious of foods that have large amounts of added sugars in the list of ingredients and look for alternatives with less or no sugar.
When you do have something sweet or sugary, try smaller portions or treat yourself occasionally with a moderate portion – it can be a good way to indulge without overdoing it.
6 | Include fruits and veggies
Eating fruits and vegetables every day is arguably one of the easiest ways to get the nutrients your body needs. Regardless of age, eating all colors of the rainbow helps give you multiple sources of vitamins and minerals.
Incorporating more fruits and veggies into your meals doesn’t have to be difficult; start by replacing unhealthy snacks with chopped veggies like bell peppers, cucumbers, or carrots, or have apples as an easy side item.
Adding berries to your cereal in the morning or making a salad with spinach, tomatoes, and onions can increase your overall nutrient intake.
Being mindful of what you eat doesn’t need to be a chore. Choose items that will add more vitamins and minerals to your diet – like fresh fruit smoothies for breakfast, adding sliced peaches at lunchtime, and grilled eggplant topped with feta cheese for dinner.
7 | Remember the calcium and Vitamin D
Tip #7 is an important reminder that calcium and Vitamin D are essential nutrients for keeping bones strong and healthy. To get the recommended daily intake of both, try incorporating more calcium-rich dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese into your snacks and meals.
Plant-based foods like spinach, kale, cruciferous vegetables, almonds, and sardines can also provide beneficial sources of calcium daily. In addition, make sure to spend a few minutes in the sun each day or take supplements to get Vitamin D.
Eating fatty fish like salmon or tuna can also keep your Vitamin D levels balanced throughout the day.
If you’re looking for a supplement or on-the-go snack, chewable vitamins with both nutrients are an easy option as well. Whatever your preference may be, make sure you are getting enough calcium and Vitamin D so that you can stay at your most active and healthy best.
8 | Water as the go-to beverage
Water is essential for healthy living, especially as we get older. It helps with digestion, lubricating organs and muscles, flushing toxins from the body, aiding circulation, and improving brain function.
Drinking plenty of water improves your daily energy levels and even the health of your skin—it’s a fountain of youth!
The recommended amount for adults is 8 glasses a day or 2 liters total. That might sound like a lot but breaking it up throughout the day is key. Try having one or two glasses first thing in the morning when you wake up and then sipping on water throughout the day to get your full recommendation in.
You can also switch it up with drinks such as herbal tea or sparkling water for variety. Aim to make stepping away from sugary beverages and fizzy drinks more of a habit so that you can always stay hydrated.
Conclusion: 8 Tips for Healthy Eating
These eight tips are a great starting point for eating better after 60, but as you start to make changes, consider speaking with your doctor or dietician first. They can provide personalized advice and insights into the best way to adjust your diet according to your individual needs. Eating healthy foods after 60 is not only essential for maintaining strength and vitality, but also for preventing chronic diseases.
By incorporating nutritious foods, controlling portion sizes, striving to eat fewer calories, eating more fruits and veggies, getting enough calcium and Vitamin D, and staying hydrated with water, you’ll be on your way to living a healthier lifestyle. So go ahead—start now!
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