Healthy Eating After 50

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What about Fat?

Fat in your diet comes from two places—the fat already in food and the fat added when you cook. Fat gives you energy and helps your body use certain vitamins, but it is high in calories. To lower the fat in your diet:

  • Choose cuts of meat, fish, or poultry (with the skin removed) with less fat.
  • Trim off any extra fat before cooking.
  • Use low-fat dairy products and salad dressings.
  • Use nonstick pots and pans, and cook without added fat.
  • Choose an unsaturated, monounsat­urated, or polyunsaturated vegetable oil (such as olive, canola, or vegetable oil) for cooking—check the label.
  • Don’t fry foods. Instead, broil, roast, bake, stir-fry, steam, microwave, or boil them.

Keep Food Safe

As you grow older, you must take extra care to keep your food safe to eat. It is harder for you to fight off infections, and some foods could make you very sick. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about foods to avoid.

Handle raw food with care. Keep it apart from foods that won’t be cooked or are already cooked. Use hot, soapy water to wash your hands, tools, and work surfaces as you cook.

Don’t depend on sniffing or tasting food to tell what is bad. Try putting dates on the foods in your fridge. Check the “use by” date on foods. If in doubt, toss it out.

Make sure food gets into the refrigerator no more than 2 hours after it is cooked.

Can I Afford to Eat Right?

If your budget is limited, it might take some planning to be able to pay for the foods you should eat. Here are some suggestions:

  • Buy only the foods you need—a shopping list will help with that.
  • Buy only as much food as you will use.
  • Choose foods with plain (generic) labels or store brands—they often cost less than name brands.
  • Plan your meals around food that is on sale.
  • Divide leftovers into small servings, label and date, and freeze to use within a few months.

Federal Government programs are available to help people with low incomes buy groceries. To learn more about these programs or find your Area Agency on Aging, contact the Eldercare Locator.

National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Publication Date: June 2016
Page Last Updated: April 27, 2017

Originally published on here

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