Celebrating March as National Senior Nutrition Month

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Celebrating March as National Senior Nutrition Month

UMAS observed March 10th, 2021 as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. At UMAS we help educate seniors on choosing the right kind of foods that help prevent & manage diseases like diabetes and hypertension which are common in our culture. MAFS is in its 15th year of serving hot lunches to the senior citizen population. These lunches are nutritionally balanced, freshly prepared by trained cooks under strict hygienic conditions. We provide hot meals to the community from our Chicago, Niles, Roselle, and Naperville facilities. Please call 847.306.7606 for further details.

Nutritional needs vary from one person to another. However, some strategies can help everyone maintain a healthy diet.
Focus on Nutrient-Rich Foods
As you age, your caloric needs will probably decrease, while your nutrient needs stay the same or increase. Eating nutrient-rich foods will help you get the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats you need.
Get most of your calories from nutrient-dense foods, such as:

  • vegetables and fruits
  • beans and lentils
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains
  • low-fat dairy
  • lean protein

Limit foods that are high in calories, but low in nutrients. For example, save deep-fried foods, desserts, and sweetened beverages for the occasional treat. Your doctor may recommend avoiding junk food altogether.

Eat Enough Fiber
Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system. To avoid constipation and other problems, include fiber-rich foods at every meal. Soluble fiber is especially important for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Good sources of fiber include:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • beans and lentils
  • nuts and seeds
  • oats and oat bran
  • whole grains

If you struggle to eat enough fiber, your doctor may recommend a fiber supplement, such as psyllium husk (Metamucil).

Choose Healthier Convenience Foods
If you find yourself relying on convenience foods, choose the healthiest options. For example, these foods can be easy to prepare and nutritious:

  • frozen or low-sodium canned vegetables
  • frozen unsweetened fruit or low-sugar canned fruit
  • precooked grilled turkey or rotisserie chicken
  • low-sodium canned soup or stews
  • bagged salad or coleslaw mix
  • instant oatmeal
  • steamer bags of veggies in either the produce or freezer sections of grocery stores

Consider Supplements
You may find it hard to get some nutrients in your diet, especially if you must avoid some foods. Ask your doctor if you should take a vitamin or mineral supplement, such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, or vitamin B-12. These specific vitamins are often poorly absorbed or not consumed enough by older Americans.
Some supplements can interfere with certain medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about potential side effects before starting a new supplement or medication.

Stay Hydrated
As you age, you may not notice when you’re thirsty. Make sure you’re drinking fluids on a regular basis. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. You can also get some water from juice, tea, soup, or even water-rich fruits and vegetables.