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Health-Smart Tips for Seniors
Brought to you by the Registered Dietitians at Giant Eagle

Regardless of age, health-smart eating includes the same nutrients to maintain health but being a senior puts emphasis on lead nutrients and food safety. Below are some helpful, health-smart tips for seniors. You can also visit MyPlate for even more great tips at choosemyplate.gov.

  • Vitamin D, calcium, protein and potassium are at the top of the list along with immune-boosters zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E.
  • Low-fat dairy foods or fortified soy, rice or almond milk are good choices for calcium, D and protein.
  • Fruits and vegetables rule for vitamins and minerals, especially potassium, and add fiber. My Plate recommends half our plate being fruits and vegetables.
  • Protein helps maintain and rebuild every cell in our body. Lean meat, fish, eggs, chicken are known sources but so are dairy foods and some vegetables. Beans, lentils, nuts or peanuts offer protein and fiber. As a bonus, yogurt has the added value of digestion-helpers!
  • Speaking of digestion, fiber is important for seniors. This is the nutrient that "keeps food moving along" but also helps control cholesterol levels. Oatmeal and other cereals fill this need along with bread, pasta and rice, Check labels and aim for whole grains as sources of heart-healthy nutrients.
  • Reducing sodium content of food choices may be an issue especially if you have high blood pressure.

Your physician and the Giant Eagle Registered Dietitians are great resources for help. Experiment with adding flavors with herbs, spices, vinegar, and fruit juice. Keeping it safe is especially important. Weakened immune systems are one of the issues seniors may face and food safety in today's world differs from guidelines of the past.

For starters:

  • Wash all fruits and vegetables before you eat them.
  • Buy and use thermometers for your refrigerator and when cooking meat.
  • Refrigerate prepared foods or leftovers within two hours of the time it was served or purchased. This includes meal items and cut fruit. Remember this advice when going to Giant Eagle or eating out!
  • If you plan to buy prepared foods or take home extras, invest in an insulated container with an ice pack you can carry with you!

Our Giant Eagle Registered Dietitians can provide help on nutrition needs, safe cooking and storage at nutrition@gianteagle.com.

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