Food For Thought AsYouAge

Exactly What Is Healthy Eating?

Ask anyone what healthy eating and good nutrition is and you will probably get a different answer every time.  Very simply, it means finding ways to eat foods that are better for your body, including healthier foods in your everyday diet and controlling your portions - the amount of food you eat.  As you age, healthy eating means the very same thing.

Healthy Eating For Seniors

Means Making Good Food Choices

  1. Choosing foods that improve your mind, body & mental health                                    

  2. Avoiding foods that increase your risk for illness and diseases          

   (like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity).

Know the BIG THREE of a Healthy Diet


The Modified MyPyramid For Older Adults

The Tufts University Food Guide Pyramid for Older Adults is designed to help people 50 years and older – and especially those 70 and older – choose and eat foods that are better for their diet and overall health.  

As you age you need less food to maintain your weight.  However, the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy stays the same - or may even increase.  That’s why it is important to choose a variety of nutrient-rich foods every day.  It’s also important to include physical activities like walking, climbing stairs or yard work in your daily routine; and regular exercises focused on cardio, strength, balance and flexibility.

Read the complete Tufts Food Guide Pyramid For Older Adults at

High-Fiber Foods

Help Prevent Many Types of Medical Conditions

High Cholesterol Levels.

        Fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.  Soluble fiber tends to bind to cholesterol and moves it down the digestive tract so it can be eliminated from the body.  This prevents the cholesterol from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream.


       A high-fiber diet can be a non-drug answer to constipation. Fiber in the diet adds more bulk to the stools, making them softer and shortening the time foods stay in the digestive tract.


    Fiber in the diet adds more bulk and softens the stool, thus, reducing painful hemorrhoidal symptoms.


        Soluble fiber in the diet slows down the rise of blood sugar levels following a meal and helps control diabetes.


         Dietary fiber makes a person feel full faster.


       Insoluble fiber in the diet speeds up the movement of the stools through the gastrointestinal tract. The faster food travels through the digestive tract, the less time there is for potential cancer-causing substances to work. Therefore, diets high in insoluble fiber help prevent the accumulation of toxic substances that cause cancer of the colon. Because fiber reduces fat absorption in the digestive tract, it also may prevent breast cancer.


The New Food Guide Pyramid Recommends

Daily Servings In Each Of 6 Categories:

Low-Fat Daily Food Choices

Help Prevent or Control Some Health Conditions

Obesity. High fat consumption often leads to excess caloric and fat intake, which increases body fat.

Coronary artery disease. High consumption of saturated fats is associated with coronary artery disease.

Diabetes. People who are overweight tend to develop or worsen existing diabetic conditions due to decreased insulin sensitivity.

Breast cancer. A high dietary consumption of fat is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

The USDA Offers Some Recommendations                                 For Healthy Daily Nutrition

  1. 1. 80% of your total daily calories should be vegetables, fruits, and grains. Consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products should not    

exceed 20% of total daily caloric intake.

  1. 2. No more than 20% or your total daily calories should be meat, eggs and dairy products.

  1. 3. Saturated fat intake should not exceed 10% of total daily calories.

This type of low-fat, high-fiber diet is believed to promote health and help prevent many diseases, including heart disease, obesity, and cancer.  It may also help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.

  1. 4. Highly processed foods should be avoided whenever possible because they do not contain significant amounts of essential trace minerals.In addition, they contain lots of fat, sugar, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and other additives.

High consumption of fatty and processed foods causes the build up of unwanted chemicals in the body and should be avoided. Food allergies causes a variety of symptoms including food cravings, weight gain, bloating, and water retention. They also may worsen chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
  1.    Grains            6 +  servings

  2.   Vegetables     5-6  servings

  3.   Fruits              2-4  servings

  4.   Meat               2-3  servings

  5.   Dairy               2-3  servings

  6.   Fats & Oils     Use Sparingly

A Low-Fat Diet Promotes Good Health

And Helps Prevent Many Diseases

Good nutrition and dietary modifications can can help minimize the effects of painful conditions such as allergies, anemia, arthritis, colds, depressions, fatigue, stomach disorders, high or low blood pressure, insomnia, headaches, obesity, respiratory conditions, and stress.

Nutritional therapy is often included as part of a comprehensive treatment program for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.

The Tufts Modified MyPyramid For Older Adults

USDA Dietary Guidelines describe a “Healthy Diet” as one that:

  1. 1.  Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat

     milk and milk products

  1. 2.  Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts

  2. 3.  Is low in saturated fats, transfats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and

     added sugars

  1. 4.  Stays within your personal daily calorie needs

Dietary Guidelines From The U.S. Department of Agriculture

The USDA offers dietary guidelines   and programs designed to improve your health through good nutrition at

Nutrition Resources From the U.S. Government

High fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables and grains play a major  role in a healthy daily diet.  Provides Free, Reliable Senior Information and Resources

The content on is provided as a courtesy for our site visitors. The information, resources, links, advertisements and other material on AsYouAge does not constitute a professional opinion or advice; nor does it constitute an endorsement of any organization or the information, products and/or services they may offer. AsYouAge reviews and updates its content regularly when new and relevant information is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice in any area: health, medical, legal, insurance, financial or any other area. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider, or caregiver, attorney, financial, insurance expert or other specialist prior to starting, dropping or changing your current program or have questions or concerns  regarding current or anticipated issues.


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Read the FDA’s new booklet,

Make Your Calories Count

Low-fat and low- carbohydrate foods may help prevent or control some health conditions like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer.

Learn more about the USDA’s healthy daily nutrition guidelines by going inside the Pyramid now at

Make the USDA’s Food Pyramid Work For You is a directory of Senior information and Senior resources for in-home care, healthcare, senior housing, Social Security, Medicare, Veterans benefits, elderlaw, nutrition, fitness, travel, finance, medical symptoms, consumer protection, senior  care, caregiving and more.

1.    Foods Low In Fat

2.    Foods High In Fiber

3.    Proper Serving Sizes