The Ideal Healthy Snacks for Older Adults
As you age, your body slows down and processes things differently. However, the weight that you carry will still determine your energy level, regardless of how old you may get. This means that by making the right changes, you can hope for a more full and active life into your golden years.
Each individual needs fewer calories as they get older to maintain a healthy weight. Some of the most important things to include in a list of healthy snacks for senior citizens would be:
Fiber to prevent constipation and gastrointestinal problems, and help to regulate blood sugar. Choose snacks like whole fruit such as apples or mixed berries. Blueberries are a great snack option and are loaded with antioxidants that help prevent aging and fight cancers. Of course, whole wheat foods like, bread, chips, and crackers are high in fiber. Some vegetables are high in fiber too. Avocados have at least 8 grams of fiber and are low in saturated fat. Use avocados to make guacamole, spreading small amount onto four to five whole-wheat crackers for a delicious snack that is very high in fiber.
Calcium can help to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Menopausal women should take 1200mg, and 1500 mg for post-menopausal women or those who already have osteoporosis. Some excellent ways to include calcium are low-fat yogurt or string cheese. An 8 oz. container of low fat yogurt contains approximately 100 to 150 calories, and will give you up to 42 percent of your calcium requirement. Most string cheeses are under 100 calories and contain at least 20 percent calcium.
Protein to help prevent muscle loss. All adults will lose valuable muscle as they age, and protein helps to retain that muscle. Snacks with protein include: nuts, low fat deli meats and dairy products.
Here is a list of healthy snacks for senior citizens:
- 1/2 cup low fat yogurt with 1/4 cup mixed berries, approximately 150 calories, 2g fat, 14g protein, 19g carbohydrate
- Sliced apple with 2 Tbsp. peanut butter has approximately 280 calories, 8g protein, and 24g carbohydrates
- Low-carb whole-wheat tortilla wrapped around 3 oz. turkey breast lunch meat contains approximately 160 calories, 2g fat, 15g carbohydrates and 15g protein
Strengthen Snacks with H2O
As people age, they become more susceptible to dehydration from loss of fluid regulation in their bodies. Many medications can also cause dry mouth and constipation-both signs of dehydration. This makes the need for water a priority. Make sure to keep hydrated by drinking water when snacking, as well as throughout the day. Healthy snacking is a good habit to practice, ensuring a person to reach their dietary needs for vitality and energy at any age.
Healthy Eating For Seniors-www.nutrition.com
Young at Heart, Tips For Older Adults-www.win.niddk.nih.gov
Senior Nutrition, What your Body Needs-www.helpguide.org