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Good Nutrition

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Some other tips:

  • Each day eat only small amounts of fats, oils, and sweets.

  • Remember, when counting servings, that there may be more than one "Food Pyramid serving" of a food on your plate. For example, a sandwich made with two slices of bread is two servings of grain products.

  • Sometimes manufacturers put more than one serving in a package or bottle.

Are You Less Interested in Food?

Does your favorite chicken dish taste different? Does Aunt Mollys pea soup suddenly seem to need salt? The flavor of the food is probably the same as always. With age your sense of taste and sense of smell may change. This affects how foods taste. They may
seem to have lost flavor. You may not be able to smell if foods have gone bad. You might want to date foods in your refrigerator to keep yourself from eating foods that are no longer fresh. If in doubt, throw it out.

There are other reasons food may not taste the same. Some medicines can change your sense of taste or make you feel less hungry. Maybe you have slowed down a bit, so your body needs fewer calories. Maybe chewing is difficult because your dentures need to be adjusted or your teeth or gums need to be checked. You might want to pick softer foods to eat.

Do I Need to Drink Water?

Not just water. You need to drink plenty of liquids like water, juice, milk, and soup. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses a day. You have to replace the fluids you lose every day. But, check with your doctor if he or she has told you to limit how much you drink.

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to start drinking. With age you may lose some of your sense of thirst. In addition, medicine can sometimes cause you to lose fluids. If you are drinking enough, your urine will be pale yellow. If it is a bright or dark yellow, you need to drink more liquids. If the color still does not change, talk to your health care provider.

Do you have a urinary control problem? If your answer is yes, don’t stop drinking a lot of liquid. But, talk to your doctor for help with your urinary control problem.

What About Fiber?

Dietary fiber is found in foods that come from plants— fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, brown rice, and whole grains, such as oat, barley, wheat, corn, and rice bran. It is the part of plant foods that your body cannot digest. Eating more fiber may prevent intestinal problems like constipation, diverticulosis, and diverticulitis. It may also lower cholesterol and blood sugar and help you have regular bowel movements.

Some nutrition experts think adults should eat 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day. If you are not used to eating a lot of fiber, add extra sources of fiber to your diet slowly to avoid stomach problems. The best source of this fiber is food, rather than dietary supplements. When adding fiber, remember:

  • Eat cooked dry beans, peas, and lentils often.

  • Leave skins on your fruit and vegetables when possible.

  • Choose whole fruit over fruit juice.

  • Eat whole-grain breads and cereals.

  • Drink lots of fluids to keep the fiber moving through your intestines.

Should I Cut Back on Salt?


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