Just as our body has special needs in relation to our exercise, based on what decade we are in, our body also needs dietary modifications as we age. There is a lot written about exercise for “older adults”, “over 65s”, “seniors” but gaining a really good understanding of what foods we should include in our diet at any point in time during our life is not as easy to access, or if accessible, easy to apply to oneself.
As my body matures, I am aware of maximising the benefits of anything I put in my mouth. I’m probably as good as the next person at enjoying some value-empty but hugely satisfying foods but I see them as earned treats rather than part of my staple diet.
I know that I now need more protein in my diet to offset diminishing muscle mass, to retain mental efficiency and to sustain my energy levels. I work at having protein at every meal.
I know that fibre and staying hydrated helps my gut function well.
I know that tracking and planning my water intake keeps me in a hydrated state.
Creating a personal plan of action in relation to our body, whether in relation to exercise or our diet, can make such a difference to how we regard the world.
There is so much unsubstantiated information about virtually anything and everything available now. Sifting through the internet to separate the wheat from the chaff is time consuming and confusing. It amazes me how some people set themselves up as experts in a certain field without any evidence of authenticity.
Finding out what we need to be fuelling our body with can be very rewarding. Finding out from someone who really knows what they are talking about saves a lot of time and false starts. And this is why I recommend every person who hits the 50, 60, 70, 80, 90-year target to add visiting a dietitian for an age-related diet plan when they organise other appointments for eye checks, hearing checks and overall health checks.
This is all part of our body-housekeeping. Sometimes I think we look after our possessions better than ourselves, servicing our car, cleaning our house, tidying up the garden. And of course, our superficial body-housekeeping is usually maintained, the hairdresser, possibly the nail technician, the facial, a waxing treatment because we can see the results. But the real action is going on beneath the skin and deep in the depths of the body.
At Green Apple we are lucky to have visiting dietitians who prefer to listen to you before giving out advice. To me this is the key to getting the help we need. I want someone who actually listens and takes an interest in WHY I have come to see them, not someone who is presuming what I want and dishing out a generic solution.
The principal dietitian at Green Apple, Loretta Howard, is one of the listening practitioners. If you want genuine advice on your age-related diet, you haven’t far to go!