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As older adults move through midlife and on into later years healthy eating becomes even more important to ensure that you lower the risk of developing serious illnesses and chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Some foods can be harmful to our health as older women This article will list some of the foods we need to avoid to maintain our health and well-being in later years.
Our nutritional needs change as we age
The body absorbs and uses nutrients differently as we get older. As we age we require more calcium which means we need vitamin D as a supplement to assist our bodies to absorb calcium from our food. Fibre is essential to maintain to prevent constipation. It’s also good for lowering blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
Swapping unhealthy foods for more healthy ones in your recipes is a good way to make the transition from some of these foods that should be removed from your daily intake.
Get my Food Swaps Cheat Sheat for some easy ideas.
My Top Healthy Food Swaps
Keep your waistline and your family happy with these hacks
Add one of these food swaps into your life each week to see and feel the positive difference in your health
Which foods to avoid after 60
Of course, as we age there are foods that our bodies will indicate to us that we shouldn’t eat them. These can most often be spicy, fatty, or processed foods.
The indicators that your body doesn’t like them will be in the form of heartburn, gas bloating, and upset tummy.
Certain foods to steer clear of in our 60s:
Lunch meats, salami, pastrami, bacon, and sausages are highly processed and should be avoided.
These are a group of processed foods that have too much sodium and unhealthy saturated fats. They can also contain a bucket load of preservatives and other ingredients that have no nutritional benefits.
Instead include good quality meats, whole grains fruits, and vegetables that are nutritionally dense and will help you keep healthy as you move into your older years.
Like with everything as you age things don’t work quite as well. That includes your immune system.
Soft cheese is made with unpasteurized milk and can contain harmful bacteria such as Listeria that can put you at risk of illness. Symptoms of foodborne illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
If you experience any of these symptoms after eating soft cheese, seek medical attention immediately.
Hard cheeses are safe to eat as they are made with pasteurized milk but as we get a little older we are less able to tolerate some foods one of which is dairy. Monitor how you feel after cheese and other dairy products if your experiencing digestive issues it may be best to avoid them altogether
Sugary drinks such as soda and sports drinks
Soda is usually loaded with sugar and empty calories. Excessive sugar contributes to the breakdown of teeth and bone and as our bone is already shrinking due to age this is definitely something you want to avoid.
High-sugar drinks can also contribute to weight gain which can leave you at risk of serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
It isn’t all bad. You get to drink water with a squeeze of lime or sparkling water with a slice of lemon. Water is an essential part of a healthy diet so try to drink at least eight glasses a day.
This is a little like soft cheese in that raw eggs can contain unwanted bacteria leaving you at risk of food poisoning.
Products that you should avoid are homemade mayonnaise that includes raw egg, egg nog, and hollandaise sauce. Commercially available products will have been pasteurized to delete the possibility of bacteria so go with those or make it at home without the egg leaving out the egg.
Try a vegan mayonnaise that uses soy milk, tofu, or aquafaba.
High salt foods
Too much salt in your diet after 60 can worsen a pre-existing blood pressure problem or potentially cause one.
High-sodium foods can also put extra strain on the kidneys as they struggle to remove excess liquid. The extra liquid in the body can cause extremities to swell and contribute to higher blood pressure.
Avoid packaged foods that are high in salt and consider using something like a herb or veggie salt where you would need less of it or seaweed salt.
Fried foods such as french fries are usually high in saturated fat and in some cases trans fat. Both of these are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
These foods can make you put on weight leading to issues like diabetes.
Transfat in particular can age your skin by making it more susceptible to sun damage, less hydrated, and increasing inflammation.
Fats that are used at high temperatures can undergo a change that produces a toxic substance.
Consider baking foods in healthy fats or perhaps use an air fryer.
Coconut, avocado, and olive oil are some of the more stable oils to use.
An odd one I know. But sprouts grow in a warm moist environment which makes them an ideal carrier for dangerous bacteria.
When you’re older or have a weakened immune system this leaves you at higher risk of becoming seriously ill through a foodborne bacteria such as listeria.
This last one may be unpopular but as you age, alcohol can affect you differently. It can disturb your sleep and increase your blood pressure. In people with diabetes, it can even cause hypoglycemia. Consider cutting down on your alcohol to prevent possible problems.
Onto the best bit – Healthy foods you get to eat
You may find you eat less so it is important to make sure that what you are eating is nutritionally rich.
Protein has become more important to help maintain muscle mass, strength, and function.
Double dip by making them high-quality proteins such as eggs, dairy, lean meat, and salmon. These will provide you with essential amino acids.
Foods high in fiber
There are so many good reasons to eat plenty of fiber throughout your life but even more, if you’re older. The insoluble fiber helps to flush through toxins and regulates bowel movements.
Make sure to drink plenty of water to help fiber do its job.
You’ll find insoluble fiber in fruits, vegetable nuts, and seeds.
Soluble fiber helps you feel fuller for longer, stabilizes your blood sugar levels, and assists with lowering cholesterol levels.
You’ll find good sources of soluble fiber in chia seeds, linseeds, oats, barley, and also fruits and vegetables.
High calcium and vitamin d foods
These are important at any time but more so as you age. Calcium supports bone health and vitamin d is needed to allow the body to absorb the calcium.
The best form of vitamin D comes from the sun on your skin but as this may not always be possible a supplement would be beneficial.
Dairy is a good source of both of these vitamins as are white beans, cooked spinach, broccoli, chia seeds, and fatty fish.
Keeping your health as you age should be prioritized therefore it is important to consider your nutritional needs carefully. Avoid what is not working for you and include foods that support you and your health.
Make sure to drink plenty of water and always consult with your doctor before making major changes in your diet.