Formerly the American Dietetic Association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals dedicated to helping people enjoy healthy lives through their daily diets. The group’s website, www.eatright.org (http://www.eatright.org/)
“We all owe it to ourselves at any age to fuel our minds and bodies with the best nutrition possible,” said Charles Williams, President and General Manager of Right at Home Ann Arbor, a provider of senior care services in Metro Detroit Michigan. “In our work with senior care, we find that many elderly rely on microwavable, convenience foods that often contain extra fats, sugar and salt that complicate existing health conditions. Eating right doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Sometimes only a few adjustments are needed.”
To help people think about what goes on their plate or in a cup or bowl, the U.S. Department of Agriculture presents the Dietary Guidelines for Americans with the five food groups that comprise a healthy diet. Online at www.ChooseMyPlate.gov, people can access dozens of resources for healthy eating, plus nutrition tips, sample menus and recipes.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends shifts in dietary nutrients as we grow older, including more of the following:
- Calcium and Vitamin D to help maintain strong bone health. Older adults should eat three servings of vitamin D-fortified low-fat or free-free milk or yogurt daily. Other sources of calcium-rich foods include dark green leafy vegetables, canned fish and fortified cereals and fruit juices.
- Vitamin B12 is often low in people older than 50. Lean meat, fortified cereals and some fish and seafood are excellent sources of vitamin B12.
- Potassium is found in fruits, vegetables, and milk and yogurt products. To lower high blood pressure, seniors should increase potassium in their diets while reducing sodium or salt intake.
- Fiber found in whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, peas, fruits and vegetables is a natural way to stay regular, prevent Type 2 diabetes, control weight and lower one’s risk for heart disease.
- Healthier Fats found in olive oil and peanut oil, for example, are considered polyunsaturated or monounsaturated vs. saturated and trans fats found in many commercially processed and baked foods.
Dieticians and nutrition experts stress not only the types of foods we eat but also the importance of safely storing and preparing foods to prevent illness. Proper hand-washing with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds can eliminate almost half of all food-borne illnesses. Storing foods in the refrigerator set cooler than 40º F also will reduce the risk of eating contaminated foods.
“Our caregivers provide senior care services every day with menu planning, grocery shopping and preparing nutritious meals and find that some people need to follow specific dietary restrictions but just feel a bit lost,” Williams explained. “Or sometimes all they need is someone to sit down with them and take the loneliness out of eating alone. National Nutrition Month is a helpful reminder that informed everyday food choices are not just essential to our physical health but to our emotional and social health, as well.”
About Right at Home
Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers home healthcare and companionship and assistance to seniors and disabled adults who want to continue to live independently. Local Right at Home offices are independently owned and operated and directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff, each of whom is thoroughly screened, trained, bonded and insured prior to entering a client’s home. Right at Home’s global office is based in Omaha, Nebraska, with franchise offices located in 42 states nationwide and throughout the world.
About Right at Home of Ann Arbor
Right at Home of Ann Arbor is an Ann Arbor senior care company that is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home, Inc., providing senior care services to the communities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Belleville, Plymouth, Chelsea, Dearborn, Canton, Dexter, and beyond. For more information, contact Right at Home of Ann Arbor at http://www.rightathome.net/