A major predictor of how well you age and how many health concerns you will face while aging is your diet. Your diet affects your weight, cardiovascular health, cellular health, and even dermatological health. As you age, your metabolism slows down, and those foods that you could once eat without any problem may now be going right to your waistline or causing your stomach to be upset. Plus, foods can cause many unseen problems, such as diabetes or arteriosclerosis. Therefore, it is more important than ever before to be mindful of your diet.
The Importance of Good Diets
Although there are numerous diets touted for helping people lose weight, keep off weight and decrease symptoms of various diseases, one of the most well-researched ones is the Mediterranean diet, which is considered today to be one of the best options for seniors. The Mediterranean diet refers to the typical whole foods diet enjoyed along the Mediterranean coast. It focuses heavily on fruits and vegetables as well as on fish and seafood, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. In some ways, the Mediterranean diet turns the typical American diet on its head. Sweets and desserts are rarely consumed, but fruits and vegetables are mainstays. Other foods that are important in this diet are legumes and white meat. Garlic, onions, and tomatoes are bases in many meals, and olive oil is used for everything from sautéing to creating dressings and sauces.
This diet also refers to a certain style of eating, which is more laid back than what is found in most American households. Most meals are cooked at home, and foods are enjoyed in a leisurely style while seated at a table. In addition, individuals enjoy moderate amounts of wine if approved by their doctors.
This turn away from heavily processed foods, red meats, refined grains, and fast food makes the Mediterranean diet a great option for many seniors. These foods have been shown to improve seniors’ cognitive health, decrease risk factors for many cancers, and improve cardiovascular health.