Healthy eating is essential for a healthy retirement! Eating a variety of foods in sufficient quantities will help you maintain your energy level and quality of life over the long term. Healthy eating habits promote good mental health, reduce the risk or slow the progression of certain chronic diseases and also prevent the loss of muscle and bone mass to limit the risk of falls or fractures (1).
Here are 5 tips for a healthy retirement:
1. Encourage a Good Distribution of Meals Throughout the Day
- Avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast.
- Aim for at least 15-20g of protein at breakfast by adding a side of whole nuts, peanut butter or 2 eggs to your toast, Greek yogurt to your favourite cold cereal or a soy beverage to your oatmeal in the morning.
- Plan snacks (as needed) between meals that combine carbohydrates and protein such as crackers with cottage cheese, fruit with nuts or roasted chickpeas.
2. Increase Your Fibre Intake
Fibre comes mainly from plants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes, etc.) and can help lower blood cholesterol levels, improve glycemic control, and improve digestive transit and intestinal flora diversity. On a daily basis, consume a minimum of 21 g of dietary fiber.
- Consume at least half of your grain products as whole grains.
- Cook plant proteins such as legumes or tofu more often. For example, add lentils to a spaghetti sauce or try our Warm Tofu and Pomegranate Salad.
3. Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamin D
The production of vitamin D in our skin from sunlight decreases as we age. Only certain foods such as fatty fish and egg yolks naturally contain vitamin D, so most of it needs to come from fortified products such as milk and certain vegetable drinks, margarines, yogurt and fortified kefir (2).
- On your next trip to the grocery store, look at the % Daily Value (% DV) of your favorite dairy products or alternatives, and try to choose those with at least 15% DV of vitamin D.
- It's hard to meet needs through diet, so a vitamin D3 tablet of 400-1000 IU/day (10 μg/day) throughout the year is recommended.
4. Fill Up on Omega-3
- Consume fish weekly, at least 1-2 times a week to optimize your essential fat intake.
- Sprinkle chia seeds or flax seeds on your cereal or yogurt.
- As a snack, add walnuts and/or roasted edamame to your favorite trail mix.
5. Beware of Trendy "Weight Loss" Diets
Rapid weight loss not only leads to a loss of body fat, but also to a loss of muscle mass. Encourage a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
Remember that healthy adults vary greatly in height and weight! For personalized advice from a dietitian, contact us and we will take care to adapt our approach to your personal situation.
(1) Health Canada. (2021, March 01). Healthy Eating for Seniors. Retrieved March 08, 2021, from https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/tips-for-healthy-eating/seniors/
(2) National Institute of Health, (NIH). (2020). Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin D. Retrieved March 08, 2021, from : https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/