Tip of the Day
Nutrition and Older Men
Eating a well-balanced diet filled with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean animal and plant-based proteins, low-fat dairy products and heart-healthy fats is the best line of defense for older men to stay healthy.
Healthy eating can keep your body and mind sharp and extend quality of life. Older men need:
- Calcium and vitamin D: Older adults need more vitamin D and calcium to help maintain strong and healthy bones. Calcium-rich foods include low-fat and fat-free dairy like milk and yogurt, fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables and canned fish with soft bones. Older adults need three servings of calcium and vitamin D every day. If you take a calcium supplement or multivitamin, be sure to choose one that contains vitamin D.
- Fiber: Fiber helps keep bowel functions normal and is good for your heart. If you need to lose weight, fiber keeps you full longer so you do not feel hungry as often. Men older than 50 need 30 grams of fiber a day; good sources are whole grains, fruits and vegetables. For products with a label, choose those with at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
- Potassium: Increasing potassium intake along with decreasing sodium (salt) may lower your risk of high blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include fruits, vegetables and low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt.
- Healthy fats: For weight control and overall health, limit fat calories to 20 percent to 35 percent of your diet. Most of the fats you consume should come from heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Try extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, walnuts, almonds and avocadoes.
To learn more about healthy aging, consult a registered dietitian in your area and visit our Healthy Aging and Men's Health page.
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Reviewed January 2013